Surmoulage de circuits imprimés : une solution puissante pour améliorer les performances des circuits imprimés

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What is PCB Overmolding?

Printed circuit boards, or PCBs, are the building blocks of modern devices. Nevertheless, the exposed PCB is vulnerable to damage from temperature variations, moisture, mechanical pressure, and a host of other factors. At that point, PCB Over-Molding plays a crucial role. PCB over-molding is a typical method for protecting printed circuit boards with a coating of plastic or epoxy. This protective layer guards against both mechanical damage and environmental factors.

Pcb overmolding
Figure 1: PCB Overmolding

Why Do We Use PCB Overmolding?

The following are some important justifications for PCB overmolding:.
PCB Environmental Protection:
The printed circuit board is protected from moisture, residue, dirt, and substance exposure by the plastic covering. Due to its excellent resistance quality, the PCB can function consistently even in harsh environments with extreme temperature variations, constant vibration, and exposure to water and artificial substances.
Withstands Mechanical Stress:
Ordinary shocks, drops, and vibrations have the potential to destroy printed circuit boards and joints. To prevent failures, the overmolded casing bears these loads. Because of their durability, over-formed devices may thrive in high-vibration environments like automobiles, airplanes, and modern applications. Over embellishment prolongs the life of PCBs by protecting them against regular mechanical pressures and keeps them well away from premature failures.
Improved PCB Mounting and Handling:
The printed circuit board overmolded offers the following features:
Connector portions provide interaction with connections, cables, and other devices. They have mounting points for attaching the PCB to a larger area or nook, and handles for easier handling during gatherings and assistance. This facilitates integration into the final product and simplifies product assembly.

Enhances aesthetics and PCB branding:
With over-molding, manufacturers can add color, textures, and glossy finishes for visual attraction and by using company logos, branding, part numbers, ratings, and other markings. This allows for unique product styling and global branding. The over-molded housing becomes an extension of the brand.
Improved Product Life and Warranties:
Fort Assemblage de PCB can meet higher durability standards. This allows manufacturers to provide longer warranties – a key competitive advantage. Overmolding enables products to comply with the IP ratings for protection from water and particulates and Militaire and aviation standards for shock, vibration, and temperature range. The extended product lifespan provides greater customer satisfaction and brand loyalty.

Printed Circuit Board Overmolding Advantages:

It provides mechanical assistance and construction to the PCB, protects against shock and vibration, and protects against moisture, residue, and synthetic compounds. It includes additional mounting highlights that need to be considered. Printed circuit board overmolding manufacturers and designers can enhance the life cycle, durability of electronic devices by applying these features of over decoration and over molding. Furthermore, the electronic device assembly is simplified by the over-molded casing.

PCB Overmolding Techniques and Types:

Printed circuit board over-molding involves enclosing the populated board inside a molded plastic or epoxy housing. This is achieved using various molding techniques:
Transfer Molding
This uses two steel mold halves to form the plastic enclosure around the PCB. Liquid thermoset plastic is injected into the mold cavity under high pressure. The mold halves join to contain the material as it flows over the board and cures. It is suitable for medium to high production. It runs once the initial mold tooling cost is justified.
Compression Molding
It uses pre-formed plastic pellets that are melted and compressed around the PCB using mold halves. Much lower pressure than transfer molding, often done at < 100 psi. Compression molding generates less stress on components.

Liquid Molding
Liquid thermoset materials like epoxy are flowed or distributed over the PCB and cured in an open mold. Does not require high-pressure or fully enclosed mold tooling. The epoxy adapts to the board profile as it hardens. It is suitable for lower-volume production.
A heated thermoplastic sheet is vacuum formed over a PCB loaded into a mold cavity. The plastic is stretched and pushed downward over the board by vacuum pressure. Thermoforming has lower tooling costs than machined molds. It is easy to sample but used primarily for simple enclosures.

PCB Protection from Overmolding

The Overmolding process must avoid damaging the sensitive Composants du PCB for a strong and reliable product. Several strategies are utilized:
● Lower pressure – Compression molding uses less pressure than transfer molding.
● Board preparation – Apply high-temperature masking tapes around components.
● Pre-heating – Warms the PCB to reduce thermal shock from hot resin.
● Precise process control – Prevents overheating and excess resin bleed onto circuits.
● Gate and vent optimization – Careful placement to avoid component damage.
Skilled operators take precautions to protect the PCB during Overmolding for maximum reliability.

Figure 2: Printed Circuit Board Overmolding

Materials Used in PCB Overmolding

Choosing the optimal material for printed circuit board Overmolding is important for gaining maximum protection benefits. Common options include:
● ABS – Alloy of acrylonitrile, butadiene, and styrene. Offers strength, durability, and UV resistance.
● Nylon -Withstands flexing and shocks and provides protection against cuts.
● Polycarbonate -Excellent impact resistance even at low temperatures.
● Polypropylene – Chemically inactive and strong Low moisture absorption.
Plastics combine lightweight, easy moldability, and excellent protective properties.
● Liquid silicone rubbers (LSR) – Cure rapidly with excellent closure.
● High consistency rubber (HCR)- Strong silicone ideal for automated molding.
Silicones offer wide temperature range flexibility and water resistance.
Thermoset Resins
● Epoxy – Bears prolonged environmental exposure and industrial fluids.
● Polyurethane – Tough material with high abrasion and chemical resistance.
Material choice depends on dielectric requirements, mechanical characteristics, expected field conditions, and other specifications.

Best Practices for Over molded PCBs Design

Proper design is vital for an over-molded PCB that performs reliably:
● Minimize component height to allow thinner wall sections that cool quickly.
● Place connectors, indicators, and buttons at the periphery for easy access through the housing.
● Include generous corner radius and corner angles for easy demolding of the plastic or epoxy.
● Add mold interlocking features like undercuts, holes, and anchor details to improve the mechanical lock.
● Specify tight component spacing rules to limit movement and board flexion during molding.
● Indicate buildup areas needing blocking paste to block plastic invasion onto the board.
Involving an experienced industrial designer ensures the PCB assembly arrangements with the molded enclosure for maximum reliability and manufacturability.

Benefits of Hiring a Professional PCB Over molder

While conceptually simple, PCB Overmolding requires experience and specialized equipment to perform correctly:
Materials expertise helps him to select optimal plastic, silicone, or epoxy suited for the product requirements, and this person has In-depth knowledge of suitable molding processes – transfer, compression, liquid, thermoforming, etc.
Applies Advanced simulation, prototyping, and testing capabilities to verify the design. He uses precision tools and process control for molding without damaging Composants du PCB. By involving an expert overmolding partner, companies can enhance time-to-market and avoid costly rework.

Applications of Overmolded PCBs

Printed circuit board overmolding now has comprehensive use across industries where electronics must survive challenging conditions:
Industrial Equipment
Factory automation systems bear mechanical shocks, debris, and acidic fluids: Stable over-molded enclosures protect sensitive PCB assemblies from the harsh industrial environment.
Field-installed telecom apparatus faces humidity, solar radiation, wind loads, and temperature variations in Base stations, remote radio heads, Wi-Fi access points, and mesh networks. Overmolding protects these outdoor electronics throughout years of 24/7 exposure to the elements.
Medical devices like patient monitors, imaging equipment, and mobile tools operate in hospitals and ambulances like Defibrillators Infusion pumps, etc.
Their life-saving PCBs stay protected against drops and routine disinfection.
Stable over-molded assemblies bear shock, vibration, altitude, and extreme temperatures experienced by aviation computers and Naval electronics.
Meeting essential and difficult military specifications for uncompromising reliability
Électronique grand public
Recreational electronics for marine, adventure, fitness, and other applications based on over-molded cases to survive regular exposure to Moisture and Dust or sand
And many more applications – any environment where electronics must operate reliably despite mechanical or environmental dangers.

Overmolding Provides Optimal Balance of Cost and Protection

While corresponding coatings provide vital circuit protection, overmolding provides far better mechanical support, sealing, and ease of assembly at a moderate increase in cost over “board-only” designs. Compared to CNC machined metal enclosures, over-molding reduces piece count, assembly labor, and overall system cost. The molded plastic or epoxy housing integrates sealing, mounting features, and aesthetic details into a single part.
Thermal Considerations for Overmolded PCBs
With power electronics handling higher currents in smaller packages, careful gestion thermique is crucial for over-molded boards.
Several techniques help dissipate heat:
● High-thermal conductivity plastics like PPS draw heat into the enclosure walls.
● Metal core PCBs spread heat laterally to the over-molding.
● Fins, pins, and other heat-releasing features are molded into the housing.
● Fans and active cooling are integrated into the over-molded pcb assembly.
● Direct putting of high-power components for enhanced conduction.


With its unique balance of economy, design flexibility, and protective qualities, pcb over-molding will continue seeing expanded acceptance across industrial, automotive, medical, and mil-spec applications. As PCBs become more packed with delicate components, board-level reliability is increasingly dependent on overmolding. Tight component spacing leaves little margin – the conformal plastic or epoxy housing provides a literal safety net against contamination, shock, and vibration.

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