A dummies guide to the application of electronic grade silicone sealantElectronic Adhesive Manufacturer
A dummies guide to the application of electronic grade silicone sealant
The Electronic grade silicone sealant is an important adhesive that plays a central role in product assembly in the electrical/electronics industry.
What is an electronic grade silicone sealant?
The Electronic grade silicone sealant is a type of industrial adhesive that is used in the electrical/electronic industry to seal vulnerable components. A silicone electronic-grade sealant is used as a shield for sensitive and delicate electronic materials. The adhesive usually has a liquid-like consistency when applied. When it cures, it leaves a robust and stronger rubber-like material after it dries under the right humidity and temperature. Once fully dry, the silicone sealant usually achieves the feel of a flexible and durable solid rubber.
The importance of silicone in the electronics/electrical industry
Silicone compounds play a very important role in various industrial applications. In the electronics industry, they are applied in numerous electronic systems for coating, encapsulating, bonding, and sealing various components. This way, the components can perform optimally in challenging environments. Industry formulators know that silicones are very exceptional compounds with various valuable properties. This is why they continue to improve silicone-based adhesives for wider industrial applications.
The role of silicone adhesives in electronic product assembly
Silicone-based adhesives often play a major role when it comes to the production and assembly of electronic components. They are used to coat and seal sensitive electronic components. The electronic/electrical industry depends on silicones to shield electronic parts from accidental damage, contamination, moisture, and heat. Over the years, the number of electrical components that have benefited from the use of silicones has simply increased. This is because electrical components placed in various devices and gadgets face higher temperatures. Consequently, there is a need for an elaborate shielding material. Silicone-based adhesives have the combination of properties to shield electronic systems from various harsh environments.
Electronic-grade silicone sealants: The chemistry behind the adhesive
Silicones are a special type of industrial glue that are known to adhere to various surfaces. In addition, they also have various chemical and mechanical properties. Silicones are characterized by the following properties:
- Minimal dielectric constant
- Minimal dissipation factors
- Excellent dielectric strength
- Excellent electrical insulators
Curing of silicone sealants
There is a wide range of silicone sealants that are used for various manufacturing processes. Each silicone sealant comes with specific compounds and materials, which affect their curing and drying times. Another important factor that affects the drying and curing duration is the humidity and temperatures of the location. In addition, if there is residual moisture on the substrate being sealed, this will sufficiently affect the total time it takes the material to cure. For instance, surfaces that have plasters that have been applied more recently will have prolonged drying and curing times. Usually, a majority of silicone sealants get dry in about 1 to 3 hours. Then again, the curing seal must be exposed to regular environmental conditions 24 hours after application. Many silicone sealants usually need one full day to cure completely.
Varieties of silicone sealants in the market
Electric-grade silicone sealants are a part of the available adhesives in the market. Silicone sealants come in numerous colors. But the most common options are the clear and white varieties. Industrial sealant manufacturers have continued to add more colors to the collection. This means that you can simply find various shades and colors of silicone sealants that are used in various fixtures and fittings. These days, there are many silicone colors such as black, brown, cream, red, and Grey that you can find from a supplier or brand. There are also transparent or translucent silicone sealants, which are applied in places where a more versatile or neutral appearance is desired. Many electronic silicone sealants have distinct chemical formulas that make them more suitable for specific applications. Popular types of electronic silicone sealants include high elongation, quick-drying, and waterproof silicone-based sealants. These sealants may also feature several additional properties such as:
- Low modulus
- Low shrinkage
- High temperature
- High strength
- High elasticity
- Mildew/fungus-resistant silicone
Silicone products for specific applications
Silicone-based sealants can be in the form of a one- or two-part solution. The one-part solutions do not need any mixing and can cure at ordinary temperatures when they react with the water present in the air. The two-component silicone sealants cure using a polymerization reaction which is started with the addition of a curing agent. The two-part systems can cure around thicker areas in comparison to the one-component systems. The one- and the two-part silicon sealants can easily adhere to a wide range of surfaces such as rubbers, metals, plastics, glass, and different other substrates. There are some other surfaces where you may need sufficient preparation for bonding. Silicone-based adhesives and sealants are the only industrial glue that can bond sufficiently with silicone substrates.
Producing engineered silicone sealants for specific applications
Since the electrical/electronic industry is made up of numerous products, there is a need for distinct adhesives and sealants to meet various product requirements. These silicone systems have mechanical properties that manufacturers engineer to meet specific application conditions. One example is in the making of electronic grade silicone sealants thermally conductive. Although silicone sealants are non-thermal insulators, the addition of special fillers makes them thermally conductive. In addition, with these fillers, you can make silicone sealants conduct electricity. Since silicones are naturally translucent, their properties can be adjusted to make them opaque or clear, especially when used for optoelectronic or optical applications. Another important property of silicones that increases their applicability is their flame retardancy. This means that the adhesive can be applied in the transportation of electronic, electro-optical systems, and other appliances.
Specific use of silicone sealants in the electrical/electronic industry
Silicone-based adhesives are used to protect vulnerable electronic components due to the special properties that they have. They have excellent electrical properties, good flexibility, a large working temperature range, and the capability to shield electronic components from various contaminants. This is why they are used in the form of:
- Potting compounds