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4 ways to secure your electronics underwater

There are several ways to keep industrial and technological electronics safe. It may all depend on the electronics and their materials.

iphone 11 in water
Image: KnowTechie

Electronics and water have a complicated relationship, which usually ends in a blown fuse, complete meltdown, or worse. Designers and producers of electronics need materials and mechanisms that allow their products to properly function in water.

Engineering companies continually search for ways to provide solutions through materials and mechanisms to allow important electronic devices, machinery, and systems to function safely and consistently underwater.

Here are four methods and materials used to secure electronics underwater.

1. Dip Molding and Dip Coating

Dip molding and coating offer electronics manufacturers one solution for waterproofing products. Some advantages that this technique boasts include less expensive tooling costs, speedy prototype development, and thin elastic features. Dip molding and coating are also compatible with a wide variety of polymers and coatings, such as latex, nitrile, silicone, antimicrobial, neoprene, antibacterial, epoxy, polyurethane, cellulose and hydrophilic. Some of the many items effectively protected by this process from companies like DipTech Systems include guided wires, fuel cells, implants, tubing, catheters, stents, probe covers, barrier sleeves, coated glass, and endoscopes.

2. Silicone O-Rings

Designed for flexibility and strong compression, aging, sunlight and chemical resistance, silicone o-rings from companies like Apple Rubber offer highly effective solutions for waterproofing all types of electronics. Their Viton DuPont Performance Elastomer is especially impressive, featuring high fluorine grades that offer higher resistance to swelling in high-octane and highly oxygenated fuel blends. Further, it is very effective in environments featuring Ethanol/Methanol blended gasoline.

Fluorosilicone o-rings are a combination of FKM and silicone. Together, these materials result in superior jet fuel resistance thanks to a blend of low- and high-temperature performance. These o-rings are often commonly used in aerospace, automotive, and semiconductor applications.

3. UV Curing Systems

Microwave-powered ultraviolet (UV) curing systems offer another alternative in securing electronics underwater. This method works for curing powders, liquids, adhesives, coatings, and sealants, and work with wood, plastics, glass, and other heat-sensitive materials. UV curing technology has become increasingly useful in underwater electronics, confronting challenges like conformal coating operations and in-line processing considerations.

Since UV runs cooler than some other methods, it is particularly effective for electronic components. It also eliminates volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions, reduces costs, minimizes processing time, increases throughput, and provides a quick ROI. UV curing is frequently used in printed circuit board (PCB) manufacturing for coating and adhesive applications that include computer chips, PCBs, semiconductors, electronic components, disk drives, cables, flip chips, sealing and gasketing, surface mouting, and die and pin attachments.

4. NanoProof-5.1 Hydrophobic Coating

NanoProof-5.1 hydrophobic coating is a surface treatment that allows for hydrophobicity, which means that it acts as a repellent to water. It is also oleophobicity, which means that it does not absorb any fat materials. Designed as a treatment for a variety of surfaces, this coating works on most polymers, metals, and semiconductors.

Keep Potentially Submerged Electronics Safe With These Ideas

There are several ways to keep industrial and technological electronics safe. It may all depend on the electronics and their materials, as far as what you might choose to keep your products safe in production and for your loyal customers. You may try one of the latest and specialized methods such as Nano-Proof-5.1 hydrophobic coating or UV curing systems, or go with a classic like dip molding and dip coating or silicone o-rings.

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