Overmolding vs. Potting
Most electronics today contain fragile parts that require protection from moisture, chemical exposure, high temperature, etc. Protected electronic devices can be used in several applications since they’re reliable and deliver long-term performance.
There several methods of protecting delicate electronic parts. But the two most common methods include potting aLGS Overmolding (Low-Pressure Molding and High-Pressure Molding).
However, low-pressure molding (LPM) has become an increasingly popular alternative to the traditional potting process. Mostly because of its many benefits. Currently, LPM is used to protect different electronic components found in medical, lighting, military, and domestic appliances.
What is Potting?
Potting is a traditional method used by manufacturers to encapsulate and protect electrical components. In this method, the liquid resin gets poured over an electrical part and then cured to form a hard protective casing. The casing insulates and protects the electrical device from moisture, shock, chemical corrosion, etc.
Although it’s effective, the process comes with many downsides. Potting involves many steps (7-8 steps), including long curing periods. Longer curing time increases the risk of the resin shrinking and eventually damaging the components. Potting can also be expensive, especially vacuum potting.
What is Low-Pressure Molding?
Low pressure molding is an overmolding process. It’s ideal for protecting delicate electrical parts like cable assemblies, PCBs, and connectors.
The process involves placing the electronic component in an aluminum mold set filled with low-pressure molding material. The material surrounds the electrical component in the desired shape to form a protective barrier. Technicians can immediately handle and test the protective casing.
The LPM process is ideal for replacing potting process because it delivers increased protection and has cleaner and faster production time. Furthermore, it helps improve the costs and quality of the device.
Why Low Pressure Injection Molding?
Regular injection molding materials often need pressures and temperatures that can destroy the printed circuit board and other electrical components. However, LPM utilizes thermoplastic polyamide material that contains low viscosity. As a result, encapsulation aLGS Overmolding of the most delicate electrical parts become easier and safer.
The used materials are naturally adhesive. So, the method is perfect for protecting circuity against moisture, dust, dirt, flame, high temperatures, etc.
The Benefits of Low-Pressure Molding Process
Reduced Development Cycle
Unlike potting, which involves many steps, low-pressure injection modeling consists only of three steps.
In the first step, heat gets applied to thermoplastic polyamide materials or hot melts until they turn into liquid. The second step involves injecting the liquefied materials into a mold. The electrical part gets encapsulated with the material and then left to cool and solidify into the desired shape.
This method allows the encapsulating process to occur without damaging the delicate electrical components it’s designed to protect.
The LPM method helps manufacturers to minimize the number of resources and time required to produce an electrical device. It significantly reduces the materials and labor, as well as the ownership cost.
Because of the lower injection pressure and low temperatures required for LPM, manufacturers can design mold sets from aluminum. This material is affordable and features impressive thermal conductivity.
Environmentally Friendly Business Practice
The thermoplastic hot melts used for LPM are sourced from natural ingredients, and they’re non-toxic and non-hazardous. Also, the process uses less material to develop solvent and temperature-resistant protective barriers for delicate circuits.
The waste products are biodegradable or renewable, hence reducing environmental pollution. Compared to traditional potting, low-pressure molding requires less energy for the production process.
Excellent Resistance and Protection
Besides reducing the time, cost and materials, LPM provides excellent protection from environmental elements. It creates a watertight barrier and allows room for customs designs, such as adding logos, numbers, and color-coding.
Because LPM requires no curing period, the time required to complete the encapsulation process is less compared to traditional techniques like potting.
Low-pressure modeling is the ideal alternative to potting process. Manufacturers can use this process to create exceptional protective barriers for their electronic components, connectors, and PCBs.
Adopting this method will also reduce the cost of materials and save time and energy used for production.