Ever drop your phone into the water by mistake? If so, then you probably wished your phone was water-proof. Phones with water-resistant or water-proof functionality are making a big splash these days but they can present unique challenges to the folks who design them. Designers must ensure that all points of water ingress are properly sealed while balancing multiple design requirements like thinner profiles, sleek designs, and a growing myriad of functions and gadgets. One design team was struggling with all these challenges. For their latest water- proof phone model, they needed a very thin, narrow gasket for their board-to-board (BTB) design, but the material they had chosen was not doing its job. Not only did it fail to seal out water reliably, it was also very difficult to process as it was too soft and flimsy at the required thickness and size. They needed to find a more robust material that could deliver reliable water sealing in the narrow profile of the design.
To meet the challenge, Rogers quickly provided the customers with samples of PORON® AquaPro™ 4701-37 Thin polyurethane foam material, specifically developed to provide long-lasting sealing and protection for sensitive electronics and enclosed devices. With standard available thicknesses ranging from 0.50 mm to 1.0m m, AquaPro™ 37 Thin material would meet the thin profile requirements. Enabled by proprietary hydrophobic raw materials, it could deliver superior water-sealing performance and reliability even with narrow gasket width. The fact that this material is highly resistant to stress relaxation and compression set over a wide temperature range (-40°C and 90°C for constant use and up to 120°C for intermittent use) meant that the customer could be assured of long-term durability and sealing performance. In addition, although AquaPro™ 37 Thin material is extremely soft and compressible, it handles easily and processes well consistently.
The PORON® AquaPro™ 4701-37 Thin polyurethane foam met the required sealing functionality for the BTB component inside the water-proof smart phone. From converting the material into narrow-width gaskets to assembly operations to final use, the material processed well and performed reliably. With its high compression set resistance, it was able to pass testing and trial production runs with flying colors and was quickly designed in for production. So, does this mean you can now drop your phone in the pool without having a heart attack? Probably yes, if it is sealed with PORON® AquaPro™ foam.