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Potting and encapsulating compounds are used to protect electrical components and applications from external threats, such as water, moisture, chemicals, shock, and vibrations. Potting and encapsulating compounds are liquid epoxy resins, urethanes, or silicones made from two compounds to fill voids and protect fragile electrical components, devices, and circuitry from exposure to harmful elements.
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Potting compounds and encapsulating compounds are often used interchangeably. However, while both serve the same purpose, they differ in their application. Here’s how:
Using a potting or encapsulating compound, such as a two-part polyurethane potting compound, is relatively simple. AeroMarine Products’ encapsulating and electrical potting compounds have a 1:1 mix ratio, low viscosity, minimal shrinkage, and a long, stable working life.
To begin your potting or encapsulating project, follow these steps:
Step 1: Gather all necessary equipment, including mixing cups, a metal or plastic stirring utensil, nitrile gloves, potting compound, breathing apparatus or respirator, and your components that will be coated.
Step 2: Measure out by volume equal parts A and B into separate clean plastic containers and pour into a third mixing container. Stir with a metal or plastic stirring utensil.
Step 3: Pour the mixed potting compound into a second mixing cup and mix again to ensure the chemicals are fully combined. (This step can be skipped when using the Urethane Potting Compound)
Step 4: Slowly pour your potting compound into one corner of the mold or case of your electrical components. The product will spread on its own which will help prevent air bubbles.
Step 5: Allow your circuit board potting compound to cure, typically 24 hours, although the cure time can be longer if only a small amount of material was used.
Most potting compounds and encapsulating compounds are extremely durable and almost impossible to remove. Their structure creates an almost unbreakable bond, which is what makes these compounds suitable for protecting fragile electrical equipment and devices. However, “de-potting” isn’t entirely impossible.
The best way to remove an electronic potting compound is by using a solvent which will slowly soften the potting compound and picking away at it with a sharp tool such as a putty knife or file. Work in a well-ventilated area with a breathing apparatus or respirator and carefully pick away at the potting compound without accidentally cutting wires or other pieces of your electrical equipment. It is very difficult to remove cured epoxy and urethane potting compound without damaging the items underneath so make sure your parts are finalized before applying these products.
Safety Note: Use potting and encapsulating compounds safely. Always wear a respirator or self-contained breathing apparatus and gloves when handling these products.
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Call us at 1-877-342-8860 If you need help choosing the right potting and encapsulating products for your application or determining the right amount to get, we offer free technical advice for all products! Browse AeroMarine Products’ collection of offerings, including 2 part marine epoxy, food-grade RTV mold-making silicone, and silicone potting compounds.