Using standard electrical systems in extreme applications is like driving a race car over 200 mph in the dead of summer without a roll cage, seat belt, cool suit or helmet. All this safety equipment is designed to keep the precious cargo inside (i.e., the driver) protected from internal and external dangers. Likewise, electrical components that operate in extreme environments need extra layers of protection, such as overmolding.
Before we discuss the many benefits of overmolding, let’s revisit why cables fail in the first place. Most failures can be sourced back to three issues:
- Sheath or jacket damage
- Insulation damage
- Conductor damage
Fortifying the Outermost Layer of a Cable is Your Most Powerful Defense
When the outermost layer of a cable becomes damaged, moisture and dust can permeate into the insulation system, corrode shielding and conductors, disrupt the flow of electricity, and cause the cable to fail or worse—become a safety hazard. Here’s a chart to help you understand how different environmental elements can compromise the integrity of your cable jacket.
The Benefits of Overmolding
Overmolding is the process of adding a layer of protection to the outside of a cable, including sealing the cable and connector together to form one, impenetrable piece. A variety of different compounds, such as polyurethanes, polyamides, PVC and TPU can be used to create overmolding materials that are also resistant to specific environmental factors, such as exposure to extreme temperatures, chemicals and all other elements listed in the chart above. This process can:
- Increase the survivability of your cable assembly
- Save time and money otherwise spent on repairs or replacements
- Enhances cable performance
- Fortify mechanical strength
- Meet certification standards (IP-68, fire rating, temperature rating, etc.)
- Work within spatial constraints
- Color code and label cables for simple installation
- Create tamper-proof connections
- Decrease instances of human error
- Reduce safety hazards
As a business leader, you know better than most that, when deciding to invest in a product, upfront cost is second to lifetime value. Overmolded cables deliver benefits that far surpass your initial investment and will increase the overall worth of your product. For more information, including how to select the right overmolding material for your unique application, download this free guide: Everything You Need To Know About Overmolded Cables.