The Essential Guide to Potting and Encapsulation

Table of Contents

Are you looking to protect and insulate your electronic components? In this article we explore different potting and encapsulation techniques for the electronics industry.

potting encapsulation
(Photo: Overmould)

What is Potting and Encapsulation?

Potting and encapsulation are the most common ways of protecting electronic components. They can help components become resistant to moisture, physical shock, harsh chemicals, thermal changes, and physical tampering. Additionally, they can be used to electrically insulate components.

In potting, a shell or a “pot”, containing a component, is filled with resin, which then becomes a part of the whole component. In encapsulation, the hardened resin and the component are separated in order to be placed in an assembly. Nevertheless, the terms “potting” and “encapsulation” are used interchangeably, to describe protecting a component by coating it in resin.

Major Types of Potting Compounds

Different types of potting compounds are used depending on the type of electronic protection desired. Generally, there are 3 major types of potting compounds:

Silicones

Silicone resins operate over the widest temperature range, out of all resins, and have excellent physical flexibility. They provide superb resistance to water, harsh chemicals, UV light, and ozone.

They are, however, an expensive option. Additionally, they are not suitable for applications requiring strong rigidity or high thermal cycling.

Epoxies

Epoxy resins are particularly well suited to achieve a high chemical and temperature resistance (up to 200°C). They are suitable for high-voltage applications as they provide a high dielectric strength.

They are, however, brittle at low temperatures. This can cause some problems if there are large temperature changes during the curing process.

Urethanes

Urethane resins are well suited for applications with thermal cycling and those in low-temperature environments. They are generally more flexible than epoxies, but less so than silicones.

They are, however, less resistant to harsh chemicals and high temperatures.

printed circuit board encapsulated

Other Potting Compounds

Other types of potting compounds, which are used if the applications specifically require them, include:

Heat Conductive Compounds

Heat conductive potting compounds, or thermally conductive compounds, are most suitable in applications where the components they are protecting are heat-producing. They allow thermal dissipation and prevent too much insulation of the components.

UV Curing Compounds

UV curing potting compounds provide the fastest curing solution (matter of seconds). However, they are not the most suitable for thick encapsulations or pottings, as they may not cure fully.

Hot Melts

Hot melts are thermoplastic compounds that are melted to cover a component. They are often UL rated and able to create watertight seals rapidly.

How To Pot and Encapsulate Safely

Care should be taken when potting and encapsulating to not damage the electronic components.

One such precaution is choosing a potting compound that produces little heat during curing, or is thermally conductive, when working with heat-sensitive components. Another precaution is to choose a potting compound that is flexible, or doesn’t shrink much, when working with delicate components or solder bands.

To learn more about electronic pottings and encapsulants, and which specific products to use, read our article: The $7.8 Billion Electronic Adhesives Market and Its Best Products.

Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on email
Email
Share on whatsapp
WhatsApp
Share on print
Print

We are your technical partner.

If you have any questions or want to find out more about the possibilities for your industrial application, please complete the contact form and one of our experts will be in touch.

If you have a problem with industrial adhesives, sealants, or electronic protection products and require advice, you can contact our technical support service. Our team can help you to optimize your processes and applications.

Liked this article?

If you found this article interesting please share it using the buttons below.

everything you should know about the EN 45545
everything you should know about the EN 45545 Standard
RELATED posts
Are you looking for a solution?

We are committed to optimizing your applications through our technologies and we advise you without any commitment.

Subscribe to the Knowledge Hub

Sign up to receive more articles like this directly in your mail.

Please be advised

As COVID-19 continues to impact many industries, companies and their day-to-day processes, we would like to assure you that Antala Ltd is classified as an “Essential Business” and is open for business as usual. 

We have implemented our continuity plan to maximise the safety of our employees while still providing critical support, sales, and fulfilment services to our domestic and international customers. 

Please contact us via phone, website or email 

We wish you the best during this difficult period. 

railway whitepaper antala

EN 45545 Railway Applications

This white paper examines the european standard EN 45545 Fire protection for passenger railway vehicles.