The coating of printed circuit boards is an essential part of the product manufacturing process – it is integral to product performance and reliability. There are a number of PCB protective technologies available, including potting.
The choice of PCB protective system is important – which one you need depends on a number of manufacturing and market-use factors. The decision you make will have a direct impact on product quality and brand reputation.
To help you select the right circuitry coating and get the PCB protective technology best suited to your needs, we have put together this short guide to potting in PCB assembly. You can also read our guides to certonal coating and conformal coating.
What is potting of a printed circuit board?
Potting is a widely used method of protecting circuit boards and components. It works as follows: the circuit board is placed inside a pot and a liquid compound is poured into the pot, filling it and covering the PCB and the structure completely.
The liquid solidifies and the circuit board is encased inside the pot. The pot and the hardened compound become part of the end product. The solid coating helps protect the circuit board and ensure the quality of the product of which the board is a part.
The pros and cons of potting in PCB assembly
PCB potting is fast and easy to carry out and, as such, this PCB protective system is well suited to use on assembly lines and in high-volume manufacturing environments. It is effective and efficient.
The robust, solid nature of potting makes it a good choice for products that require a significant degree of impact resistance – it will protect PCBs and products against mechanical shock and damage, delivering greater longevity.
Potting should also be considered if you are looking to prioritise vibration dampening, heat dissipation and privacy and security. With regard to privacy and security, the nature of potting makes accessing your PCB and reverse engineering your product very difficult.
With regard to types of PCB assembly to which potting is not well suited, owing to its structure and composition, it is not a good choice if there are any thickness, weight or size restrictions connected to your product. For the same reasons, repair work is very difficult to carry out on potted circuit boards.
PCB potting and your electronics manufacturing partner
PCB potting requires dedicated expertise and specific machinery and, as such, it is a manufacturing process that not every electronics company can carry out in-house. This is one reason why more and more companies are outsourcing electronic manufacturing.
Given the importance of choosing the right PCB protective systems and the impact it has on end product performance, it is crucial that you choose the right contract manufacturing partner.
Your outsourcing partner should have the know-how, capacity and technology to meet your needs, whether you require PCB coating and potting as a stand-alone service or as part of a turnkey PCB assembly package. Make the right choice and your product will be better for it.
To find out how MPE Electronics PCB manufacturing and assembly services can benefit your business, contact us on +44 (0)1825 764822 or email@example.com.