Tips for Waterproofing Electronic Enclosures

    Electricity and liquids are not compatible. A lot of electronic products need waterproofing, from drones that need to be protected from the elements to smart speakers for swimming pools. And this is not only to protect the product but also to protect you. Here are some tips to help you with waterproofing electronic enclosures and devices.

    Use IP Code Testing

    Waterproofing is measured on a scale of 0 to 9 by the ingress protection (IP) ratings. A 1 on the scale indicates waterproof against water that is dripping, an 8 on the scale implies proofs against constant immersion and a rating of 9 on the scale implies waterproof against forceful water jets with high temperature. There is also a rating for protection against solid objects which goes on a scale of 0 (no protection) to 6 (no ingress of dust). Together, these two numbers form the IP code for a given enclosure.

    Avoid Complex Seals

    As an electronic enclosure gets more complex, it becomes more cumbersome to keep it sealed. By avoiding overcomplicated seal designs, it makes it easier to determine the source of a leak in case a leak does occur. Circular seals are a good example of seals that are simple in design but very efficient. They exert a uniform force around the circumference of the opening in your waterproof enclosures. Plus, there is a vast range of o-rings and radial-type seals that you can take advantage of.

    Establish a Vacuum Seal

    You should use a vacuum seal before immersing your electrical enclosure in water for tests. The reason for this is, if the vacuum seal becomes wetter, your electrical enclosure will be protected inside. To be on the safer side, instead of water resistant, you can choose water tight. You don’t want to think your electrical enclosure is water resistant when it is not. You could damage the product while trying to confirm its water resistance.

    Choose the Right Materials 

    If materials are not appropriate, even the best design will eventually be damaged. You can pick from various o-rings and rubber seals to design your enclosure. Fluorocarbon o-rings are a great choice for sealing your electronic devices if submerged in water because of its wide range of temperature resistance.

    Be Constantly Aware of Weak Spots

    You need to know that not all elements of seemingly appropriate materials will be flawless. Some will have flaws despite using the most suitable materials. You should pay additional attention to edges and thin corners because they are susceptible to alternate compositions.

    Think About What Might Distort and Shrink 

    When creating your electrical enclosure, you should take note of materials that can distort or shrink when under pressure. The materials you plan on using should be the ones that will hold up for a very long time regardless of the conditions they are exposed to. It is worth noting that stiffer parts are easier to deal with.

    Use Gaskets With Enough Support

    Ensure that you use gaskets that have adequate support on the entire side. You should use sealants and parts that are of good quality. In cases where pressure is involved, to prevent full failure of seal or leaking, stand-alone gaskets require all the help they can get.

    As more and more consumers begin to demand a wider range of features on devices and tools, something as simple as advertising your product as waterproof can be all it takes to beat the competition. Keep these tips in mind when you start the process of waterproofing your electronics.

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