How to Waterproof Electronics?


Waterproof Electronics

In warm and humid conditions, waterproofing materials with a higher temperature resistance are required.

Everyone knows that electronics and water don’t mix well in our tech-obsessed society. The effects can be anything from annoying to catastrophic. Anyone who has ever dropped a phone in the pool or knocked a mug of coffee upon their keyboard or laptop will likely have a story to tell. Unfortunately, reports of electronics failing as a result of contact with fluids are prevalent. Therefore we must need waterproof electronics to prevent its wastage.

What is the importance of waterproofing electronics?

  • In dry conditions, electricity flows through the circuit as it should. The presence of water, on the other hand, alters the connectivity of numerous Circuits. Water generates electronic short circuits, which nearly always result in long-term damage.
  • The effects of water exposure to electronics isn’t often as noticeable as slipping a phone in a pool. Many business installations take place in humidified conditions. Moisture from the air gathers on the PCB in some circumstances, forming short circuits across many conductors over time.
  • The significance of water resistance a PCB should be acknowledged in any situation, especially, use of electronics in critical applications.

What are the types of waterproofing electronics?

  • Epoxy
  • Silicone
  • Para-xylylene
  • Fluoropolymer
  • Urethane
  • Acrylic

Epoxy

  • Epoxy is used as an electronic potting material commonly. The entire PCB is encased in the material in epoxy potting. This technology ensures that the electronics are both watertight and mechanically robust.

Silicone

  • Silicone is applied as a conformal covering or in potting. It doesn’t have the same mechanical strength as epoxy, but it’s a lot more flexible.

Para-xylylene

  • Once applied, para-xylylene develops a very thin layer that provides good moisture prevention. However, because applying para-xylylene to a PCB is expensive and complicated, it may not suit all designs.

Fluoropolymer

  • Fluoropolymer is a nano-coat that has a similar thickness to para-xylylene but is less costly.

Urethane

  • If you need a waterproofing substance with a good balance of mechanical flexibility and strength, go for urethane.

Acrylic

  • Acrylic is a beautiful way to waterproof PCBs since it dries quickly and is easy to repair. It also has a high level of humidity resistance.

Comparison of waterproofing material

  • Acrylic is suitable for a wide range of applications due to its low cost and ease of reparability. Silicone, on the other hand, is an excellent alternative if you require something more flexible.
  • Finally, when it comes to PCB protection, water isn’t the only factor to consider. When deployed, the PCB may tolerate high temperatures or chemicals. Acrylic is not a suitable choice in these situations since it does not sustain high temperatures well.
  • Para-xylylene is needed under severe temperatures. A valuable option when absolute protection is required. The disadvantage is that it is an expensive solution.

The procedure of waterproofing

The steps of waterproofing are given below

  1. Preparation
  2. Application
  3. Drying
  4. Finishing touches

Step 01: Preparation

Silicone Conformal Coating from MG Chemicals is required. One of the ideals for DIYers who want to add extra levels of safety to their work. It has a long shelf life, and a single bottle can last you a long time.

Make sure your application surface is spotless and free of any dirt or filth. Cleaning PCBs with isopropyl alcohol and a soft cloth or brush is a fantastic way to go.

(Pro Tip: To clear flux residue on PCBs, use isopropyl alcohol.) It leaves no residue and dries quickly. Keep an eye out for sensitive electronic components like barometers and temperature sensors, as they can cause problems.

Step 02: Application

With the brush, take a tiny bit of the solution from the container and apply it to the board carefully. Begin in the middle and work your way out to the edges. Consider it like painting a nail. When applying this, don’t go too fast and make sure the first coat is thick enough. Paint should not use to cover any ports because it will inhibit good electrical connection.

Step 03: Drying

To be on the safe side, You let the first coat dry for around 10 minutes in a bit of breeze. Don’t fiddle about on the coating during this period if you want it to adhere. When the coating dries, it shrinks slightly. You will tell when the coating has dried after a few uses, but do not attempt this if this is your first time using this product.

Step 04: Finishing Touches

You’ll feel much more confident utilizing your devices in or near the water now they are covered. Remember that you can add more coating if you want, but don’t make it too thick. Because the coating is of silicon, it is simple to fix. Although this product is resistant to high heat, you can easily solder through the coating and reapply a fresh one.

Have fun with your new waterproof electronic device.

Understand that this is merely a coating, and I would still avoid immersing devices in water, even though they will be much safer now that they are covered.

Traditional and conformal coated waterproofing

You may surprise to know that water is found in unexpected locations. Liquid can get into electronics in more ways than we can see, and what you think is a “secure location” to put your phone down might not be that safe after all. Companies from all over the world have recently attempted to address this issue. Everywhere you look, a new phone, camera, or iPad with “waterproof” safety should announce.

Traditional Device waterproofing

  • For a telephone, earphones, tablet, or wearable to be considered waterproof, it must be fixed against water. Most organizations add this assurance by either “ruggedizing” the item, Which by and large makes it massive, or by adding unique rubber seals or gaskets within the item that go about as a boundary against the fluid entrance. Real barrier sounds like a good thought until you consider how these seals are handily harmed or unstuck.
  • When your item is fallen, the temperature of the environment becomes too hot or cold, or when the seal is not placed correctly, the seal allows water to come inside the product.  
  • Even a tiny amount of fluid can create excessive rusting and short-circuiting problems that aren’t discovered until it’s too late. Wave farewell to all of the photos you took last Christmas, as well as all of the photos of Sprinkles, your favorite cat.

Conformal coating waterproofing

  • Here is where we come in now that you know these “waterproof” items are only as watertight as the rubber seals within. If you haven’t already figured it out, HZO provides the world with an alternative to internal rubber seals and large, unattractive cases. Water leaking into your device is not something we cover.
  • You keep your gadget safe from water. For truly waterproof electrical, HZO develops an internal seal around the critical electronic components that power your device, establishing a barrier between them and any moisture that could potentially cause harm.
  • HZO keeps the lousy effect of fluids away from any part of matter that is already inside it.
  • This is a modern way of looking at an old problem, and it’s a technology that’s altered not only the consumer electronics business but also the commercial, clinical, automotive, and outside leisure companies.

Do you know the tips for waterproofing electronics

  • Cover the item with a plastic bag is one of the primary methods of waterproof anything, whether it is electronics.
  • Seal the device in the bag. Even with the cover on, it should still be helpful. You can also protect devices from water and salt air by wrapping them in balloons, which may sound funny. The same effect can be achieved by wrapping Saran wrap in a twist tie. Electrical tape applied to sensitive or exposed locations will protect them from water damage to a limited extent.
  • If you’d instead buy your waterproof equipment, many companies sell bags specifically made for this purpose. These have the added benefit of being made of buoyant materials, so you won’t have to worry about fishing your phone up from the bottom of the ocean. There are also phone cases that make them easier to use while also protecting them from the outdoors. Unlike bags, cases have a maximum depth beyond which they will fail and allow water to seep through.

Conclusion

Love your products and protect them from damage. Best wishes. 😊

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