New white paper: A comprehensive guide to preventing voids in electronics potting & encapsulating

22 March 2021

Intertronics_Moisture on the surface of the PCB assembly caused CO2 bubbles to form in the polyurethane potting compound
Intertronics_Moisture on the surface of the PCB assembly caused CO2 bubbles to form in the polyurethane potting compound

To help electronics manufacturers looking to prevent voids when potting & encapsulating, adhesives specialist, Intertronics has produced a white paper. Covering causes, storage, air removal methods, application methods, contamination & shrinkage, the comprehensive guide discusses all the common causes for voids and explains how they can be avoided or dealt with during the process.

The white paper can be downloaded from the Intertronics website at: https://www.intertronics.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/wp21-1-Potting-and-encapsulating-avoiding-voids.pdf

Trapped air, or voids (which may not actually contain air), can cause failure in electronics assemblies, whether they be micro-encapsulated wire bonds or large potted power supplies. Voids can subvert the very purpose of the encapsulating polymer, by compromising thermal conductivity or electrical insulation. Voids and delamination provide pathways for moisture or other contaminants, which can lead to short circuits or chemical damage. Bubbles in the polymer weaken its physical structure, allowing greater susceptibility to damage or cracking from physical or thermal shock.

Formulators of multi-component adhesives, potting and encapsulation materials are careful not to supply products with entrapped air,” said Paul Whitehead, Strategic Accounts Manager at Intertronics. “Entrapped air in a mixed material is usually a processing issue. Voids can be caused by incorrect storage of materials, hand mixing of resin and hardener, not degassing a compound correctly, improper application, air saturation from pressurised feed systems, reaction with contaminants or shrinkage of the compound during cure.

Intertronics_The 2-K-DOS metering, mixing and dispensing system
Intertronics_The 2-K-DOS metering, mixing and dispensing system

To help manufacturers identify and address these causes, the white paper discusses each step in detail, explaining what manufacturers can do to mitigate the risks. For example, if a process friendly viscosity can be specified, it can simplify potting and encapsulating processes and allow easier mixing, self-levelling and self-degassing. It also discusses the benefits of different mixing equipment, such as planetary centrifugal mixers and the 2-K-DOS Metering, Mixing and Dispensing System.

Intertronics supplies a range of potting and encapsulating materials and supported mixing and dispensing equipment to electronics manufacturers across the UK. It recognises that every adhesives process is different and works with individual customers to come up with the most appropriate solution for their application.

To speak to an expert about your process, call 01865 842 842. To download the white paper, please visit: https://www.intertronics.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/wp21-1-Potting-and-encapsulating-avoiding-voids.pdf


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