The use of overmoulding technology for electronic components and assemblies offers a number of substantial performance benefits. In addition to the ability to customise the final product form, overmoulding can also incorporate branding into the finished product design.
Overmoulding is the obvious choice for products that will be used in harsh environments as they are able to withstand extreme temperatures, shock and vibration, abrasion and corrosion, moisture ingress and high pull forces. The electronics market is well used to seeing overmoulded cable assemblies in the computer and consumer electronics markets.
“Overmoulding is generally considered a mature technology.” says Ross Taylor, Business Manager for Manufacturing Solutions, GTK. “However, the process is continually being refined to improve both the mechanical performance and the aesthetics of electronic products and it is very cost-effective. Many different materials are available, including standard and high-temperature PVC compounds, nylon, PE, PU, Macromelt and TPE."
GTK utilise a variety of techniques to manufacture bespoke products for their customers. The traditional technique of using an inner and outer mould is still very popular, and, in the case of PCB assemblies, an encapsulation process is deployed, utilising a pre-made box to protect the PCB prior to the outer moulding being applied.
Taylor added: “Component selection is critical and we are experienced in helping customers with this and a low pressure moulding process can be used where temperature or pressure sensitive components are required. We are seeing an increasing number of applications where cable assemblies and PCBs are permanently bonded together using overmoulding technology: the customer may start with a cable assembly that requires a PCB or vice versa; either way the end result is a very durable, tamper proof, one-piece assembly.”