Accessories used in Potting
When potting devices you need more than the potting compound and the dispensing equipment. This page discussed other items that may be needed in a potting operation.
1. Potting Shells
To make the potting operation go quickly, less messy and lowest cost, potting
shells are used. They hold the device and the potting compound which is poured in
to the shell and becomes part of the finished unit. Other terms used for
potting shells are trays, cases
If plastic shells are used we would suggest the use of ABS, Nylon, PVC with or without fiber glass filler in them so that a good bond is developed. Glass filled polyester, PPO and polycarbonate are used when high temperature is required. Polyethylene or polypropylene are difficult to get a good bond and are not recommended.
If you have a low volume of parts to make or you are in the prototype phase see shortcuts for potting shells.
II. Molding the unit - Encapsulation
When molding or encapsulating a device you will need a molds designed and made and use mold release agents so the hardened unit can be removed from the mold. The design of the mold with the proper draft angles is best left to the experts, see mold suppliers. If high volume of encapsulated parts will be made it is recommended that the molds be TeflonŽ coated for easier release of the part. Here a an picture of an aluminum two part mold. Note that there is a channel where the potting compound is poured in from the top. When hardened the mold is taken apart and the channel (sprue) is cut off the molded unit as a finishing step.
III. Protective Gloves and Glasses
Protective gloves are suggested when handling potting compounds to keep you hands from getting rashes from the chemicals. Heavy rubber gloves give the best protection but you can not feel the parts because the rubber is so thick. Therefore, many people use the disposable Nitrile or Latex gloves. Nitrile is suggest when using epoxy hardeners since the Nitrile is more resistant to the amine hardeners. Latex gloves are the preferred because they can be purchased with no powder in them. Click to see some suppliers.
The use of glasses to protect your eyes are also recommended when ever you use potting materials as a general safety precaution.