AVX Corp. (Myrtle Beach, SC) recently introduced PolyTect Soft Molding, an engineering-grade polymer for overmolding fully-populated printed circuit boards. AVX claims that PolyTect allows for a one-step process that molds a single piece, replacing the typical application consisting of a two-piece plastic housing and conventional potting.
PolyTect Soft Molding can be used to protect fully-populated PCBs without degrading components. Additionally, it can be molded into intricate shapes with screw holes and mounting bosses. It has a molding temperature and internal mold pressure of 150 degrees C per 600psi. The finished molding unit can withstand 185 degrees C. PolyTect Soft Molding is tamper-proof and compatible with all solder joints, including SMT. AVX maintains that it provides good chemical resistance and a high degree of environmental integrity. It is suitable for high-volume production and is in the process of being approved for automotive-grade applications.
“Our new technology will eliminate as many as 15 steps in the production process, resulting in dramatically lower applied cost, providing tremendous savings to our customers,” said John Ashman, AVX’s director of engineering. “We anticipate the PolyTect process to be extremely popular.”
Parts using the PolyTect process can be easily prototyped in as little as 10 to 12 weeks at a cost as low as $10,000. Currently, the overmolding is limited in size to 3″ x 3″ printed circuit boards.