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Science Technology

Ion-Mask Coating Could Make Waterproofing Electronics Easy 99

Engadget is reporting that a new chemical coating, originally designed to repel toxic vapors and liquids from soldiers' uniforms, may be the solution to small waterproof electronics. "The Ion-Mask is a special invisible coating that is chemically bonded to the device and repels water. It should allow waterproofing to make it into devices that are too small for the seals that are usually used to do the trick. Devices can have joins and gaps coated for a general level of water repellence, or have individual components treated for even more protection."
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Ion-Mask Coating Could Make Waterproofing Electronics Easy

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  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Monday December 31, 2007 @11:08PM (#21871836) Homepage

    There are conformal coatings [thermospray.com] for waterproofing. They're routinely used in automotive and military applications. The main limits on conformal coating come from components that interact with the outside world - connectors, microphones, speakers, displays, and switches. All those parts are available in waterproof forms.

    The ruggedized forms of those components tend to be a bit larger. But not by much any more. Check out the Motorola i580 [motorola.com] ruggedized cell phone. Note how the speaker and microphone take up more case space than on non-ruggedized phones, and the keyboard is thicker. But most of the extra bulk of the device comes from wrapping the whole thing in about 4mm of rubber for drop resistance.

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