Potting Compounds Review

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Potting compounds are used in electrical and electronics applications to capture or encapsulate the associated device or assembly. Potting compounds maybe used to provide an environmental barrier, dielectric protection and characteristics, thermal conduction path, and structurally enhance a assembly or component. A majority of potting compounds are epoxies, available in single and multi-part chemical systems. These epoxies come in a variety of types, flexible, rigid, colored or clear. Other products, such as Silicone, and polyurethane's are also available. Most potting compounds will cure at ambient temperatures, however many will cure faster at specified elevated temperatures. Potting compounds may also be referred to as encapsulants.

Engineering and design considerations for potting compounds are: dielectric strength, thermal, mechanical, vibration, rigidity, flexibility, time for processing, material compatibility, out gassing, resistivity and coefficient of expansion. Other consideration are potting compound viscosity, application temperature, handling and storage, curing temperature, curing time requirements, post cure requirements, standards compliance, and maximum handling time or pot duration.

Potting compound enclosure requirement should also be considered during the mechanical design phase to ensure proper access, potting compound flow, and compound setup and handling.

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