Traditional Waterproofing vs. Conformal Coating Waterproofing: Which is Better For Electronics

Traditional Waterproofing vs. Conformal Coating Waterproofing

These days, we take our electronic devices everywhere and expect them to be waterproof. People want to take photos at the beach and in the swimming pool, there are tweets and texts that must be delivered while in the shower, and bath time just isn’t the same without a movie on your shiny new retina display iPad.

We get it.

The problem is that water is in more places then you realize. Liquid can creep into devices in more ways than we can see, and what you may consider a “safe place” to rest your device may not really be safe at all. Lately, companies all over the world are trying to stop this problem. Everywhere you turn there is a new phone, camera, or tablet being announced with the added benefit of “waterproof” protection.

rubber seals used as waterproofing methods

Traditional Device Waterproofing

For a phone, headphones, tablet, or wearable to be deemed waterproof, it has to be completely sealed against water. Most companies add this protection by either “ruggedizing” the product, which generally makes it pretty big and bulky, or by adding seals to the inside of the product that act as a barrier against liquid ingress. Physical barriers sound like a great idea, until you consider the fact that these seals are easily damaged or dislodged.

When the product is dropped, when the temperature around the product becomes too hot or cold, or when the seal is not placed properly to begin with, the seal can allow water and moisture inside the product. Even a tiny amount of liquid can cause long-term problems with corrosion and short-circuiting that won’t be noticed until it’s too late. Say goodbye to all of the pictures you took last Christmas, plus all of those shots of your favorite cat, Sprinkles. They are gone for good.

a PCB being held

Waterproofing with Conformal Coatings

Now that you know that these “waterproof” products are only as waterproof as the rubber seals inside of them, this is where we come in. If you haven’t figured it out by now, we here at HZO offer the world an alternative to internal rubber seals and bulky, ugly cases. We don’t protect against water leaking into your device. We protect against water in your device. HZO creates an internal seal around the important electronic components that run your product, creating a barrier between them and any liquid that could potentially cause harm for a completely waterproof electronic.

To learn more, contact us today.

Mallory McGuinness

As a veteran writer with over a decade of writing experience, Mallory McGuinness has spent the last two years at HZO learning about coating technology from the best minds in the industry. Professionally, Mallory is especially interested in the process of problem-solving and watching how the engineering team develops solutions that ensure business requirements are met. In her free time, you can find Mallory walking her dog Ebbie, fueling up on coffee, watching the Simpsons, and referencing the Simpsons.

All of Mallory’s blogs are reviewed for accuracy before publication.

Discover how HZO can protect your product