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96 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I SEPTEMBER 2020 Encapsulation resins are available in many forms, with numerous properties that would challenge even the most diligent chemist. While we appreciate that most manufactur- ers simply want a resin to do the job without wading through all the subtleties a resin has to offer, we also understand how critical it is to get the product detail right in order to make product selection as painless as possible. With so many varying options to protect elec- tronic circuitry, there's a lot of ground to cover. Depending on the application, sometimes a conformal coating may be more suitable, par- ticularly with the two-part coating series that performs like a resin. In this month's column, I'm going to focus on the benefits of using a thermally conduc- tive encapsulation resin and compare the dif- ference between using a resin and a confor- mal coating. I will also look more closely at the best way to mix a resin pack and what to Key Benefits of Resins and Differences From Coatings be wary of if air bubbles get trapped in the cured resin. Without further ado, let's explore these frequently asked questions in our five- point format. 1. What are the benefits of a thermally conductive encapsulation resin? As electronics have become smaller and more powerful over the years, the amount of heat gen- erated per unit area on a PCB has increased as well, and it is well known that electronics will perform much better at low temperatures. Used for encapsulating PCBs or devices requiring effective thermal dissipation, thermally conduc- tive resins are designed to allow heat to be dis- sipated away from sensitive components. The typical thermal conductivity of an unfilled resin is 0.20–0.35 W/mK. Whereas for a resin to be classified as being thermally conductive, it must have a thermal conductivity of >0.8W/mK. This is usually accomplished by using selected Sensible Design by Alistair Little, ELECTROLUBE

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