How To Protect Your Electronic Components From Moisture
Think back to the times you spent hours working on a school project or typing a term paper before it was due. The hard work and meticulous planning was worth the perfected final result. Now imagine it being the due date and right before you submit it you close out of the document without saving any of the work or drop the 3D model you crafted on the floor, smashing it to pieces. You can probably imagine that feeling of devastation you would have felt when you realized the project you spent so long on is now suddenly useless.
Why waste hours of your life working on your electronic components if you’re going to expose them to moisture and meet the same fate as that school project? If you’re storing your electronics in damp, dark or humid environments, you just might end up with a final result that is just as useless. There are ways to avoid this, though, and there are products that you can buy that will ensure your components stay in top condition.
Here are a few of our recommendations:
- Moisture Barrier Bags
Moisture barrier bags are comprised of multiple layers of plastic and aluminum that are designed to keep out moisture. They are one of the most effective packing solutions for sensitive components and protect against humidity, moisture, oxygen, grease or other airborne contaminants that could cause damage. The bags feature a vacuum seal that also protect against damage due to other events such as ESD (Electrostatic Discharge) and EMI (Electromagnetic Interference). Check out the moisture barrier bags that GoKimco offers here.
2. Humidity Indicator Cards
Humidity Indicator Cards, or HIC’s, are cards that indicate humidity levels inside sealed packaging. They contain a moisture-sensitive chemical that will change color if a great enough humidity level is detected. The SCS 6HIC200 6-Spot Humidity Cards respond to various levels of humidity with a visible color change from blue to pink. Each can contains 200 cards, which is a great value for your purchase. Pair these with your moisture barrier bags to provide the best protection for moisture sensitive items.
3. Desiccant Packs
Desiccant packs are used alongside humidity indicator cards and placed inside moisture barrier bags to absorb moisture. Packs come in many different sizes and in addition to absorbing moisture, can also absorb gas, vapor or odor. The porous pouch allows moisture to seep through and be absorbed by the desiccant inside. The Desco 13844 Desiccant Packs are reusable and can be reactivated by oven drying. Even when saturated by moisture, the desiccant pack remains dry. Together, the moisture barrier bags, humidity indicator cards and desiccant packs make up what’s known as a “dry package”.
Conformal coating is a protective chemical that can protect sensitive electronics from moist environments and electrical shorts by creating a barrier of insulation. Although not designed to be a total sealant, conformal coatings will also allow moisture trapped in PCBs to escape. There are different ways to apply a conformal coating including dipping, spraying and brushing. The ACL 8690 Acrylic Conformal Coating Spray is applied by spraying and has an operating temperature of -75 degrees F to 270 degrees F, so check it out.
Those are our most recommended products for moisture control for your sensitive electronic components so you can rest assured knowing that your best work will be preserved and protected against any sort of environment. Have questions? Contact us here.