Potting & Encapsulation Compounds: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Potting & encapsulation compounds are resins that can coat electronic components to protect them.
The global potting & encapsulation market is estimated to reach a value of $3.6 billion by 2028, growing at a rate of 4.1% from 2021. The increasing adoption of consumer electronics, e-mobility vehicles and the electrification of modern cities largely accounts for the growth in this market. This has led electronic manufacturers to invest in more efficient and innovative potting & encapsulation solutions to gain a competitive edge in this growing market.
Here we answer the top frequently asked questions on potting & encapsulation compounds:
What Are the Advantages of Using Potting & Encapsulation Compounds?
Potting & encapsulation compounds provide crucial benefits to electronic systems, ranging from:
- Preventing temperature damage: by dissipating the heat generated within electronic assemblies, the components are protected from overheating. In addition, the potential damage from shrinkage due to cold temperatures is also prevented.
- Protection from moisture, chemicals and environmental hazards: potting & encapsulation compounds seal electronic components from exposure to moisture, humidity, water, dust, chemicals, pressure changes and even physical tampering.
- Protection from vibrations, impacts or abrasion: this increases the equipment’s lifespan and durability by minimising damage to components, reducing the need for maintenance and repairs.
- Electrical insulation: this happens as a result of the compounds replacing the air around the components; eliminating chances of electric fires.
How Do Potting & Encapsulation Compounds Protect Electronic Components?
Potting & encapsulation compounds protect electronic components by coating them in a resin material.
Through this, the components are kept secure within a resin mould where they can function as intended without being directly exposed to external hazards, forces or contaminants.
In addition, the resin replaces the air around the electronic components, which in turn provides thermal management and eliminates the likelihood of sparks and combustion.
As a result of these, and the advantages listed in the section above, the electronic components are protected to a large extent and can function much more reliably.
How Does Potting Differ From Encapsulation?
Typically, potting is where the electronic component is embedded within a resin enclosure and encapsulation is where the component is dipped in resin and fitted into its place on the printed circuit board.
Potting provides full enclosure of the components, leading to their full protection. It can also be used to hide sensitive components or information on products, making them impossible to be reworked and re-sold.
Encapsulation allows the components to be more easily accessible, enabling simpler repairs and maintenance tasks, while still providing protection.
What Are the Common Causes of Failure in Potting & Encapsulation Compounds?
Common causes of failure in potting & encapsulation compounds range from:
- Improper mixing of the resin and hardener
- Improper dispensing of the compounds
- Lack of surface preparation on the substrates
- Compounds stored incorrectly – e.g. not in an airtight container
- Compounds degassed incorrectly
- Improper curing of the compounds
How Do Potting & Encapsulation Resins Differ From Conformal Coatings?
Potting & encapsulation resins and conformal coatings can both be used to protect electronic components. However, they are different in a few ways, including:
- Potting & encapsulation compounds provide the most complete protection for electronic components. This makes them ideal for applications where high mechanical stresses or exposures to chemical or environmental factors are present; as well as applications where high thermal or electrical insulation is required.
- Potting & encapsulation compounds are waterproof, whereas only some conformal coatings are waterproof.
- Conformal coatings provide a very thin, lightweight layer of protection on top of components while potting & encapsulation compounds are thicker and heavier layers of resin.
- Conformal coatings can be processed and applied easier, leading to more flexible options for manufacturers.
How Do I Choose a Potting & Encapsulation Compound for My Application?
Important factors to consider when choosing a potting & encapsulation compound include the:
- Specifications of the electronic component to be protected
- Hazards that the components need protection from (e.g. water, temperature, chemicals, etc.)
- Production and cure times
- Required flame retardancy (e.g. UL 94)
- Required stress tolerance
- The extent of thermal cycling within the components
- Operating temperatures of the application
- The lifespan of the components
- Flexibility required around the application
- Presence of physical shocks, impacts and tampering
It’s vital that manufacturers choose a potting & encapsulation compound that matches these specifications as closely as possible to those of the application, in order to obtain the most complete electronic protection.
What Potting & Encapsulation Compounds Does Antala Offer?
Here at Antala, we offer a wide range of potting & encapsulation compounds for electronic protection applications.
Our potting & encapsulation compounds have been successfully used in electric vehicle battery packs, consumer electronics, PCB bonding, avoidance of electrical arcing, electromagnetic shielding, electric ferries, and many more applications.
Discover our full guide on potting and encapsulation compounds to further deepen your understanding of these products.
Huntsman Araldite electronic protection solutions provide excellent thermal endurance, conductivity and flammability resistance. Check out our article on how they can be used in protecting automotive e-motors.
Dowsil silicones for electronic protection provide various benefits, from a diverse range of chemistries, to offer great protection in various applications; from consumer electronics to aviation and LED lighting used in applications from sports stadium lighting to LED road signs.
For technical advice regarding your application, get in touch with us directly to determine your most suitable solution.