Low-Pressure Injection Molding: Use Cases

waterproof pcb

As technology advances, the use of circuit boards, wiring, and electronic components grow. With that usage comes the need to protect them from the elements.

Low-pressure injection molding( LPM) is the most effective method of accomplishing this.

The process uses a custom mold. It then injects a special material to protect electronic components. Below we explore some common uses, and how LPM has proven itself to be ideal.

Let’s begin with a brief overview of the process and its many advantages.

LPM Applications

The process of protecting delicate electronic components is simple and efficient. This process employs a favorable classification of material called thermoplastic polyamides. Thermoplastic polyamides have a good viscosity spectrum which makes them suitable. 

Injecting them at low pressure ensures the delicate components aren’t damaged. 

The other piece that makes these raw materials favorable, is the temperature at which they become pliable. At a low temperature, there is no risk of remelting the solder or harming any of the components.

These properties make these the ideal materials for encapsulating delicate electronic components.

LPM Uses

1.   Medical

The medical equipment industry benefits from the use of LPM. Medical diagnostic devices such as electrocardiographs rely on low-pressure molding to protect the critical components from moisture, chemicals, and the temperature.

Other examples include surgical equipment such as robotic arms and stations from which the surgeon operates. These are very harsh conditions that require critical protection of all components involved. 

Low-pressure molding is a large part of the reason that medical equipment can be depended on with a person’s life, and it is every day.

2.   Industrial Automation

Surgeries aren’t the only work that is performed using robotic arms. Industrial automation in settings such as the automotive industry uses equipment that is built to complete work in the most efficient manner possible.

The rigors of the production line would be far too strenuous for the delicate components. It’s the wires and circuit boards that grant these machines their usefulness. 

Without LPM to protect and take the strain off of the wire connections and housings, industrial automation equipment would pull itself apart. Without the electronics to convey the information to the arms, they are useless.

Low-pressure injection molding plays an important role. In a sense, it keeps the vehicle production lines of America running.

3.   Cable  Overmolding

It is more difficult to present an industry that doesn’t use LPM in some way, than the many that do. Low-pressure injection allows the overmolding that makes the HDMI cables in the back of a TV so tough, durable, and reliable.

It doesn’t matter what device this article is being read on. Whether it be through a tablet, phone, or computer, t – the cable that connects it to power is durable because of LPM. This is the process that means USB, HDMI, and most other cables can be used day in and day out, without damaging the wires inside. 

It’s because of the qualities of the LPM process and final product.

4.   Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs)

The process is so fast that most components can move to assembly within 45 seconds to 1 minute; as soon as the material has cured. That’s a major benefit to high volume producers of products that require protected PCBs – which accounts for a massive swathe of manufacturers.

The LPM process is not only fast it also produces zero waste. This makes it one of the easiest to put in place and most efficient production phases around. The low-pressure molding will not hold up the line. 

That’s why it is widely used by industries that manufacture reliance-critical products from those mentioned to the aviation and defense sectors. If an electronic product needs to be reliable, then it needs to use low-pressure injection molding.