Electronics industry

A rugged design and being “water proof” are gaining greater importance for electronic devices like smart phones, action cameras or smart watches.

Smart watch
Smart watch

Action camera
Action camera

The grade of water resistance in this field is most often defined in IP (Ingress Protection) Classes – e.g. IP68. While the first figure defines the protection against dust, the second number gives an indication about the protection against water.

IP protection classes

Key challenges in the industry

Most of the electronic devices are equipped with a so called ePTFE (Expanded Polytetrafluoroethylene) membrane. This allows the device on hand to make barometric pressure equalization and also protects “open” areas like microphones and speakers. Therefore, a potential leak test must ensure that pressure equalization as well as the function of speakers and microphones can operate properly (air can pass) but also that the electronics are protected from water ingress.

  • Ensure protection against water ingress – sensitive leak testing
  • Precise flow testing to ensure air flow for proper operation
  • Fast and reliable testing for high volume production – speed and reliability

Pfeiffer Vacuum solutions

Our most often used solution for smaller devices like phones or watches is our Mass Extraction equipment. By default, we thereby work with a pressurized chamber and connect our instrument to the adaption port of the membrane. In cases in which we cannot directly connect to the part we can also use the Mass Extraction approach in connection with a customized chamber. Please contact our leak detection experts for further explanations on this topic.

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Mass Extraction (vacuum testing)

Larger devices like outdoor electronics, which can resist higher pressures, can sometimes also be tested with our Micro Flow solutions. In this case, the part is pressurized and the escaping flow through a potential leak is measured.

Read more:
Micro-Flow air leak testing

For cases in which particularly high protection against water, respectively very low leak rates are required, helium leak detection can be a solution. In case of sealed devices the so called helium bombing method is used.

Read more:
Tracer gas leak detection with helium and hydrogen

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