Potting Materials

Epoxy, Urethane, Silicone and Acrylic materials

Reliable, Flexible and Stable

Potting materials

Potting compounds are versatile materials designed to protect electronic assemblies from environmental hazards and mechanical stress. These compounds effectively shield circuit boards and electronic components from moisture, vibration, thermal fluctuations, and physical shocks, ensuring optimal performance under demanding conditions. By filling the spaces around electronic components and circuit boards, potting compounds ensure that the devices remain operational in harsh conditions, ranging from extreme temperatures to high-humidity environments. This encapsulation process also helps to improve the electrical insulation properties of the assembly, reducing the risk of short circuits and enhancing the overall reliability of the device.

Potting compounds provide reliable protection across various industries, from consumer electronics to industrial automotive and aerospace applications. The potting materials ensure the longevity and reliability of electronic systems in demanding conditions. Available in various formulations such as epoxy, urethane, silicone, and acrylic, potting compounds offer distinct properties tailored to specific application requirements.

Product Selector Guide

  Operating temperature (°C) Thermal conductivity (W/mk) Cure type Hardness
PM-2632 - - 24hrs (25°C) 70-75 (Shore D)

Frequently Asked Questions

Advantages of potting materials compared to Conformal coatings?

Potting compounds offer superior protection by encapsulating the entire electronic assembly, shielding it from physical shock, vibration, moisture, dust, chemicals, and contaminants. They also provide better thermal conductivity, aiding in heat dissipation and maintaining optimal operating temperatures for electronics. Additionally, potting compounds are easier to apply, especially for complex assemblies, simplifying the encapsulation process. They provide greater durability and resilience, ensuring long-term reliability in harsh operating conditions, and they bond directly to components and substrates, reducing the risk of delamination over time compared to conformal coatings.

What are the benefits of two-component potting materials?

Two-Component (2K) Potting: Similar to 1K materials, 2K potting compounds also comprise four elements, but the hardener (or its blend) is physically separated from the resin. This segregation prevents premature reaction before mixing. With 2K products, the elements must be weighed and blended, initiating the polymerization reaction upon mixing. Like 1K potting materials, 2K formulations can include various fillers and additives to achieve desired properties and performance in the cured material.


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Types of potting materials

Available in various formulations such as epoxy, urethane, silicone, and acrylic, potting compounds offer distinct properties tailored to specific application requirements. Epoxy potting compounds, renowned for their adhesive strength and high temperature resistance, provide reliable protection and adhesion across diverse substrates without the need for primers. Urethane variants offer superior flexibility, elongation, and abrasion resistance, making them ideal for applications demanding resilience and durability. Silicone potting compounds excel in extreme temperature environments, with formulations capable of operating at both extremely low and high temperatures.

Epoxy - Epoxy potting materials are widely favored for their exceptional mechanical strength and adhesion properties. They form robust bonds with various substrates, providing excellent protection against moisture, chemicals, and mechanical stresses. Epoxy-based potting compounds offer superior thermal conductivity, making them ideal for applications where heat dissipation is critical, such as power electronics. Additionally, their low coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) ensures dimensional stability under fluctuating temperatures. These characteristics, coupled with their ease of processing and versatility, make epoxy potting materials a popular choice for a wide range of electronic and industrial applications.

Silicone - Silicone-based potting materials are renowned for their outstanding flexibility and thermal stability. These materials maintain their integrity across a broad temperature range, making them suitable for extreme environmental conditions encountered in automotive, aerospace, and outdoor applications. Silicone potting compounds exhibit excellent resistance to moisture, chemicals, and UV radiation, ensuring long-term reliability in harsh environments. Their low viscosity allows for easy dispensing and complete impregnation of complex electronic assemblies, ensuring thorough encapsulation and protection against environmental contaminants. Moreover, silicone potting materials are inherently non-conductive and exhibit good dielectric properties, making them ideal for insulating sensitive electronic components.

Potting encapsulation of PCB
Potting and encapsulation for printed circuit boards

Urethane - Urethane potting materials offer a balance of mechanical strength, flexibility, and chemical resistance. These compounds provide robust protection against moisture ingress, corrosion, and mechanical impact, making them suitable for applications exposed to harsh operating conditions. Urethane potting materials cure rapidly at room temperature or with mild heat, facilitating efficient processing and shorter production cycles. Their excellent adhesion to various substrates ensures secure encapsulation of electronic components, preventing moisture-induced failures and enhancing long-term reliability. Furthermore, urethane potting materials exhibit good resistance to abrasion and thermal shock, making them suitable for demanding applications such as automotive electronics, industrial sensors, and outdoor lighting fixtures.

Acrylic - Acrylic-based potting materials offer a versatile solution for encapsulating electronic assemblies in challenging environments. These compounds feature fast curing times and simple processing, enabling high-throughput production with minimal downtime. Acrylic potting materials provide good adhesion to a wide range of substrates, ensuring secure encapsulation and protection against moisture, dust, and chemicals. Their low shrinkage during curing minimizes internal stresses, reducing the risk of delamination and cracking in encapsulated components. Acrylic potting materials also offer excellent electrical insulation properties, maintaining signal integrity and preventing electrical failures in sensitive electronic circuits. These characteristics make acrylic potting materials well-suited for applications such as consumer electronics, LED drivers, and renewable energy systems.

 

Comparing potting materials

Flexibility vs Mechnical Strength 
Performance comparison of silicones, urethanes, and epoxies in flexibility and mechanical strength

Temperature resistance
Comparison of temperature resistance of silicones, urethanes, and epoxies potting materials

Formulating 1k and 2k Potting materials

4 Major Constituents of Potting Material – 1 K and 2 K Potting

 

 

The four main elements and their role in the formulation are as follows:

Resin: A naturally occurring or synthetic compound that solidifies through treatment. Its classification varies based on chemical composition and potential applications. 

Hardener: This substance (or blend) initiates the polymerization process with the resin. During this chemical reaction, the hardener is consumed and integrates fully into the polymer structure.

Filler: Typically inert, fillers are incorporated into the resin/hardener mixture to achieve desired properties such as thermoshock resistance, density, and dielectric properties.

Additives: Various types of additives serve different functions based on requirements. Additives may include (reactive) diluents, anti-foaming agents, adhesion promoters, pigments, etc.

Single-Component (1K) Potting: 1K potting compounds consist of a blend of four elements. The primary components, Resin and Hardener, are pre-mixed, eliminating the need for additional blending. This makes 1K potting materials ready for immediate use.

Two-Component (2K) Potting: Similar to 1K materials, 2K potting compounds also comprise four elements, but the hardener (or its blend) is physically separated from the resin. This segregation prevents premature reaction before mixing. With 2K products, the elements must be weighed and blended, initiating the polymerization reaction upon mixing. Like 1K potting materials, 2K formulations can include various fillers and additives to achieve desired properties and performance in the cured material.