Customer Problem:  An Engineering Design firm was developing a tablet computer for avionics maintenance. Being used outside, the tablet’s case required a lid seal capable of effectively sealing the device from inclement weather conditions. A custom molded elastomer gasket design proved too costly, so an equally effective but more budget conscious option was needed.

Customer requirements:

-Protect internal electronics from harsh weather conditions, water splash, dirt, and other contaminants

-Withstand temperatures of -50°F to 200°F

-Be secure enough to remain in place if the unit is dropped

-A soft, conformable, and durable material providing an effective seal

-Ease of assembly in production

-Economical enough to meet cost targets

Solution: Based on the design goals, a die-cut gasket from Bisco HT-800 silicone foam with an adhesive backer was recommended. The unique chemistry and cell structure of HT-800 medium-firm silicone foam allows it to exhibit enhanced sealing capabilities while providing the lightness of a foam allowing for good sealability, including water sealing, under low compression. Silicone is effective in a wide range of temperatures, and its natural UV/Ozone resistance provides for extended life in outdoor applications.

Conclusion: Die-cut, closed-cell foam gaskets are an effective, cost-competitive option for sealing handheld electronic devices. Using Bisco HT-800 Silicone foam provided a gasket with excellent temperature and weather resistance that could easily be incorporated into the design with the addition of an adhesive and minimal hardware changes. Additionally, the use of foam gaskets help lighten mobile devices as they are easily compressible, allowing for thinner enclosure walls and fewer fasteners.

Our extensive inventory of leading sealing materials and flexible manufacturing capabilities supports multiple customer requests. Along with long term experience with various OEM customers in multiple markets, our skilled Applications Engineering Dept. and the Sealing Devices Team can provide innovative, timely, and cost-effective seal and gasket solutions for a wide variety of applications.