Pressure Compensation Seals – Small but Nice (Part 1)

Pressure Compensation Seals: nondescript and versatile.

Annette Barth

This is the first part of a blog series about Pressure Compensation Seals, in short: “PCS.” Under this new heading I would like to show you the enormous potential these small, nondescript labels hold. My name is Annette Barth. I am the Product Manager responsible for Pressure Compensation Seals at Schreiner ProTech, a division of Schreiner Group.

Air can circulate, liquids stay outside.

The mostly round Pressure Compensation Seals have a diameter of 3 to 30 mm and either feature an outer, self-adhesive ring or are suitable for ultrasonic welding. What makes this product really special is the membrane in the inner circle, which ensures pressure compensation by ventilating electronic housings.

This might not sound very spectacular. However, these little components are extremely useful – and they are everywhere. From solar sockets to avalanche beacons and on to electric toothbrushes – in many cases, electrical components would not function without Pressure Compensation Seals. The example of a car clearly shows the wide variety of applications for Pressure Compensation Seals.

Without pressure compensation, pressure differences build up between housing and environment.

Why apply PCSs? Usually, electronics are not installed in a vacuum, but rather in a component surrounded by air. The operation of electronics generates heat. The surrounding air heats up and expands, thus creating overpressure. The opposite can also happen: Components that are colder than their surroundings create negative pressure. Pressure differences put great stress on the components and their individual parts. Possible damage includes deformation as well as leakage in joints, adhesive bonds, seals, and connectors. If, for instance, a component becomes leaky, water can penetrate into it, which will quickly destroy electronics.

The Pressure Compensation Seal ensures pressure compensation, as it consists of a breathable membrane which is adhered over a small opening in the component. The membrane is air-permeable. Air circulates between the component and its environment, thus compensating pressure. In addition, the membrane is waterproof, thus preventing the entry of liquids. Any kind of liquid, including gas or oil, simply beads off. Dirt cannot stick to the membrane or enter into the inside of the housing. The housing’s sensitive interior is therefore optimally and reliably protected.

Pressure Compensation Seals come in many variants. I will give you an impression of the wide range of products here in part 2 of our series, which will appear in two weeks.

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