5 Tips for Waterproofing Electronic Enclosures

Estimated reading time: 3 mins

When you need to protect sensitive electronic equipment, it may not be as easy as ordering a waterproof or weatherproof case from your favorite supplier. When you’re dealing with unique equipment, you’ll often be left creating your own solutions to protect your devices from the elements. Forgoing waterproofing can have devastating consequences.

Luckily, if you know what you’re doing, it isn’t all that difficult to create your very own, custom waterproof electronic enclosures. Keep reading to learn five tips that will help do just that.

1. Avoid Sharp Edges

Creating a water-tight container that can stand up to pressure and prolonged exposure isn’t necessarily easy. But even if you have the right materials for the job, trying to apply them to a container that’s full of sharp edges can be a challenge.

Seals are tough to apply to squared corners. They won’t create the same air-tight seal as a rounded edge. To avoid this problem, simply avoid sharp edges.

2. Stick to Circles

Rather than trying seal sharp edges and odd shapes, stick to circles. A rounded container will be far easier to make water-tight. Circles are also a good choice for your enclosure’s openings. You’ll find a variety of rubber seals and o-rings to choose from, most of which will be circles anyway. Research these seals ahead of time to make sure that you are creating openings that are of uniform size to fit a standard o-ring.

3. Create a Vacuum Seal

Even if you don’t plan on having an electronic enclosure submerged in water, you should still aim to make it water-tight rather than just water-resistant. Flooding or accidents, or simply more water than expected could flood an enclosure, rendering your water-resistant enclosure useless.

Instead, it’s best to opt for a vacuum seal that ensures water is locked out tight. Viton silicone o-rings, for instance, provide a vacuum seal that’s essential for locking out water and moisture from electronic casings.

4. Account for Shrinkage

Just as sharp corners can affect a seal’s performance, certain materials may distort or shrink under pressure. Before creating your electronic enclosure, be sure to research any materials you’re considering to use to make sure that they’ll hold up over time, regardless of the conditions.

5. Keep it Simple

When you’re trying to protect an expensive or important electronic device, it can be tempting to go over the top in your efforts. After all, you made a big investment, and the whole point of creating a waterproof enclosure is to keep from having to replace that investment. But getting too complicated with your design will only make it more difficult to waterproof your enclosure. If your design has too many working parts, varying shapes or complicated corners, it’ll be far more difficult to create an effective seal to lock out water and the elements.

Creating Your Own Custom Waterproof Electronic Enclosures

When it comes to creating waterproof enclosures for your electronic devices, there are a number of tips you’ll want to follow. Avoid sharp corners and stick to rounded, circular containers. Aim to create a tight vacuum seal, and don’t forget to account for shrinkage when choosing your materials. And finally, keep your design simple; the less complicated it is, the easier it will be to seal and protect your expensive, sensitive electronic investments. Don’t get caught trying to salvage damaged equipment. Put these tips to good use and start creating your waterproof enclosures today.

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