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58 The PCB Design Magazine • March 2017 by Alistair Little ELECTROLUBE Casting a Spotlight on Resin Applications SENSIBLE DESIGN Over the last few columns, I've given read- ers pointers on virtually every aspect of potting and encapsulation resins, ranging from their formulations and special properties to their ap- plications, benefits and limitations. It's prob- ably high time, therefore, to take a step back from the dos and don'ts and focus instead on how these resins are bringing very real benefits to practical electronic and electrical engineering applications. A good starting point is to look at the special requirements of an industry that is enjoying explosive growth: LED lighting. With this rapid growth, has come a press- ing need among LED lighting manufacturers to make the right selections where potting and encapsulation are concerned, to maximise the life and performance of LED lighting units. In short, this comes down to two things: recognis- ing the importance of proper thermal manage- ment—including measures to ensure maximum heat dissipation from LED luminaires and light- ing assemblies—and understanding how cor- rect resin product selection can have significant impacts upon the aesthetics, ambience, lighting qualities and long-term environmental protec- tion of LED lighting assemblies. Offering a more efficient and longer-life al- ternative to halogen, incandescent and fluores- cent lighting systems for both interior and ex- terior applications, as well as providing greater freedom of expression in terms of product de- sign and installation, LED lighting has become a market phenomenon. Expected to grow into a $70 billion industry by 2020, and due to turn its market share from a current 18% to 70% in a little over five years, the LED industry is increas- ingly turning to companies like mine for solu- tions to the sorts of problem areas I've outlined above. And we have not been slow in respond- ing, as I hope to demonstrate with some recent

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