What is the difference between potting, casting and encapsulating in electronics processing?
An encapsulate or potting compound is a liquid resin system comprised of either one or two components that is poured over electrical and electronic components or circuit boards.
These encapsulating resins are designed for a variety of applications to protect the product including electrical insulation, environmental protection from moisture, water and chemicals and mechanical attack from thermal shock and vibration. This protection allows these electronics to be used in many more applications ensuring reliable, long-term performance.
This process can be done by several methods: potting, casting and encapsulation. Many names have been used interchangeably so there is some confusion of the terms. The most commonly used term is encapsulation or potting. The definitions mostly used in the industry is as follows:
The potting method uses a “pot” or case or shell to put the device in and then pour the liquid potting compound to the top of the case covering the device and completely encasing it. The case becomes part of the finished unit. This is the most common method used, especially for high speed and many-units-per-hour production-line conditions.
The casting method is the same idea but instead of a case that stays apart of the unit a mold is use and removed after the potting compound has hardened. Sometimes this is also referred to as encapsulation. This is used when a molded unit is desired.
The encapsulation method is also referred to when a device is dipped into a resin system and a thick coating completely surrounds the unit. Sometimes this is just called a “dip coating”. Molded device is a normally described as an encapsulated unit.
MG Chemicals Range of Epoxy Potting Compounds
SCH Technologies distribute the MG Chemicals range of epoxy potting compounds. These epoxies includes protection of sensitive electronic components from impact, shock, vibration, heat, conductivity, moisture, chemicals and include flame retardant materials qualified to UL, thermally conductively epoxies designed to release heat from a circuit board and a high temperature compound which ensures products can be protected where temperature is critical.
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