Just recently, Henkel has released an update on sealing and protecting automotive electronics with high performance resins. Polymer-based products are designed to protect wide-ranging vehicle electrical, electronic components, and systems.
A number of countless safety systems in cars and trucks now depend on the constant high-level functionality of interconnected electronic components, often positioned in areas that are exposed to wide temperature variations, to moisture, to oils and greases, vibrations, and stone impacts. These are the reasons why wherever possible, electronic and electrical components are securely safeguarded from environment. Included in the options are thermally conductive potting resins for electric propulsion components, Loctite acrylic impregnation resins for sealing microscopic gaps in plastic/metal hybrid components, technomelt low-pressure moldable hot-melt polyamides for encapsulation of sockets, plugs, and sensors.
In the low-pressure hot-melt moulding technique, resin is injected around components fixed in a closed mould. The hot-melt acts as an encapsulant and also as a housing, so a separate shell is no longer required to protect the components. When the hot-melt material has cooled and solidified, the components are ready for further processing.
Resins for hot-melt moulding are single-component polyamide systems that can be utilized in simple and clean production processes. The beauty of these processes is that they take up little floor space, are fast and energy-efficient.
Technomelt hot-melt moulding materials offer temperature resistance up to 150°C, high humidity resistance, and impact resistance down to -50°C. The company claims that other polyamide hot-melts can often be utilized in environments of up to only 120°C and are more predisposed to hydrolysis.
The newly developed materials from Henkel give new opportunities for higher temperature applications in humid environments, such as sensors in rear view cameras, door handles, tire pressure monitoring systems, batteries or for sealing aluminum cables.
Acrylic impregnation products such as Loctite IS 5100 give a sealing solution for electrical and electronic components. Microscopic voids are innate in a number of electronic assemblies that merge plastic and metal elements. Over time in the field, these voids can lead to product failures, so it is essential that they are filled before the parts are fitted to vehicles.
Henkel provides an impregnation service, either on-site or at its own service centers, for permanent sealing parts such as connectors, sensors, coils, and electronic housings. When impregnated, these components are shielded from solvents, fluxes, moisture, and other corrosive agents.
The impregnation process entails putting parts into a vacuum chamber, which is then filled with the acrylic resin. Once this has filled the gaps in the parts, excess resin is eliminated by a centrifuge and parts are thoroughly washed and rinsed before the remaining resin is enabled to cure. All parts also undergo a leak test to ensure that the process has sealed the parts.
The great thing about impregnation is that it is a quick, high quality, and cost-effective sealing solution that can be utilized on existing parts without the need for design changes. Once treated, parts have the same dimensions and surface aspect as untreated parts, but their long-term reliability and durability is significantly enhanced. The specially developed acrylic resin guards against chemicals, moisture and dust, and remains flexible, retaining its sealing properties, throughout a number of thermal cycles. Given that it is offered as a service, customers do not have to invest in any capital equipment.
Henkel also offers thermally conductive potting materials designed for electric automobile propulsion components that need support in dissipating generated heat. The compact high-performance electric propulsion components of today come with a high power density. This unavoidably results in heat generation, which must be discharged to the cooling system on the outside if reliability is not to be compromised. Henkel provides various thermally conductive and electrically insulating potting materials that meet the technical and processing requirements of this application.
Hamid Moaref has always been fascinated by cars and the automotive industry. His family has a longstanding association with the industry and has been in the tire business for the past 35 years. Raised in Dubai, Hamid attended Capilano University in Vancouver where he graduated with a BBA in marketing before attending an intensive course in magazine publishing in 2005. He has been the publisher and chief editor of Tires & Parts magazine for the past ten years.
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