Electronic – Removable/soluble potting compound


Are there removable/soluble potting compounds that are moisture-proof yet removable without damaging electronic components? I've been able to plunge-mill potted devices to get near enough to components or test points to take measurements. A potting compound that is soluble in some sort of solvent would make failure analysis and rework easier.

Best Answer

The ability of a material to mechanically protect components, keep water out, and withstand environmental conditions is in direct opposition to being able to easily remove it. Ultimately every compound is soluble in something (water, alcohol, acetone, benzene, piranha bath, aqua regia, HF...), but the problem is that components are too.

Depending on your application, you may consider a thin conformal coating, potting with a low melting point compound such as paraffin wax, or placing the circuit in an environmentally sealed enclosure. You may also redesign the circuit itself to have self-test capability, bring test points out to a connector, fail less often, or be cheap enough to throw away when it breaks.