Advantage or Disadvantage of Silicone in Power Supplies and LED Driver
Many manufactures using silicon as an “all-healing-way” to prevent electronic components and units, like outdoor power supplies, against water to make them “IP” protected. But is that the right way?
First of all, silicone have some advantages, like sealing against water and dust, and heat dissipation.
But disadvantages prevailing, and this we will explain to you in short and understandable explanations, and instructions from component manufactures.
Why will tell you this things?, you need to know how why the “all-healing-way” is the wrong way to make quality products.
For sure, outdoor power supplies and products have be protected against wet conditions, but this have to be done by construction and not covering.
For some electronic components, like Aluminum Capacitors, so called “ALU-Cap”, it is extreme important that they can “breath”, because this are so called “wet-component’s” and have fluid inside which will be expand if the temperature in the electronic unit (power supply, ect.) rise up.
By construction of such “ALU-Cap” the inside fluid will be released by high temperature and can have corrosive effects on copper, which can finally result in total defect of the component.
What this means?, your product will not proper or only limited work, the life-time will never be reached.
Manufacture “Technical Note” (source: Nippon Chemi Con, CAT. No. E10001Q:
In short words, never sealing or cover any “ALU-Cap”, or the component can will not proper work and not reach the guarantied life-time.
“ALU-Cap’s” are life-time relevant for any electronic product!
Other point of interest is the heat dissipation by covering any electronic by silicone.
We make it easy to understand.
In the morning you switch on your water cooker and fill him full of water for you morning coffee or tea, and you wait a long time. A tiny heating element must heat up much water, which takes a lot of time.
By this experience you change you strategy to make the water cooker only half full, to have your boiling water for the coffee faster.
So, that is the same situation in silicone sealed electronic unit, like power supply. The heating from some components, which brings a lot of heating into the silicone, will stay for a long time inside of this silicone block and it takes much longer to bring this heating outside, to where it belongs.
Also important to know for you is, that in any electronic box, the hottest component will heating up all components to the same temperature level, and maybe this hurts other sensitive components inside, specially “ALU-Cap’s”.
Conclusion: To guaranty the promised lift-time, you have to bring the heating out of the “Box” as fast as you can, from the source where it’s comes from, and not cover the heating source.
SLT never use silicon in electronic units.
SLT engineering is doing the best to find solutions to make products waterproof by construction. All our electronic units, like power supplies are well designed to give you full life-time warranty without any discussion.
A lot of led manufacturers and driver manufacturers fill silicon to design led driver for the reason of waterproof IP65 or for better dissipation. While silicone is a good for heat dissipation but there are some disadvantages you don’t know:
- Silicon is good for dissipation but it takes a long time to transfer the heat out,
It means the capacitors of the led driver need to be in a hot temperature ambient for a long time and cannot breathe, the capacitor’s lifespan will be shorten down and damaged very fast within 5000hrs. That is why come electric advice not to use silicone
- It is difficult to remove and impossible to recycle, not eco-friendly
If the E27 led corn light is broken, you have no choice but to change a new E27 led corn light, cannot repair the led driver as all the IC, chips and components are covered by silicon, and European are not allowed to sell any electronics products with silicone inside because it is difficult to recycle
- Silicone influence electromagnetic interfaces (EMI) in a bad way
Electromagnetic interference (EMI) is interference signal cable and reduce the signal integrity of electronic noise, electromagnetic radiation generated by EMI usually sources such as motor and machine.
While SLT-TECH never use silicon housing, our German engineer has a new solution to make waterproof led driver instead of silicon glue, and the driver’s working temperature and lifetime is guaranteed min. 75,000 hours.
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