Gore: Teflon-based waterproof, dustproof and breathable solution

[Source: "Engineering LED- Technology and Application" 12 issue of reporter / Long Zong-hui]
In recent years, outdoor LED lamps have become more and more widely used, and heat dissipation, waterproof, dustproof and ventilating solutions have become an important part of outdoor LED lighting products.
“Gore waterproof and dustproof products can prolong the service life of outdoor lighting products by balancing pressure and solving the problem of failure of sensitive components caused by condensation, pressure changes and harsh environments.” Gore Lighting Products (hereinafter referred to as “ "Gore") Global Business Director Zhao Yong said.
As a multinational company with more than 50 years of history, Gore has used patented technologies for expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) to produce electronic signal transmission, textile product lamination, medical implants and other fields. A wide range of products, as well as film, filtration, sealing and fiber technology for a variety of industries.
“Gore has been developing waterproof, dustproof and breathable products for more than 18 years, and currently has more than 200 million installations worldwide.” Zhao Yong said that all waterproof, dustproof and breathable products developed by the company are based on its core technical materials. Polytetrafluoroethylene.
Expanded PTFE is known as “Plastic King”. This new material has excellent chemical inertness, biocompatibility, high heat resistance, high chemical resistance under high temperature and harsh environment, low flammability and low friction coefficient. The low dielectric constant, low water absorption rate and good weather resistance make the respirator products developed on the basis of it very suitable for helping outdoor lighting products to improve the waterproof and dustproof effect.
Teflon-based respirator
Outdoor lighting enclosures must withstand temperature fluctuations as well as wind, rain and solar radiation. Depending on the size of the housing, fluctuations in outdoor air temperature can cause a vacuum of 200mBar (3psi) or higher inside the housing, which means that the sealing strip of the lampshade will be subjected to large stresses, resulting in gaps.
If the pressure inside the lampshade is unbalanced, dirt, water, oil, etc. will be sucked into the inside of the lampshade along the gap between the vacuum and the sealing strip. Over time, the possibility of condensation is increasing, the most common phenomenon is the appearance of fog or seal ringing on the glass. Once combined with dust, it not only affects its aesthetics, reduces the level of waterproofing, but ultimately leads to overall failure of the luminaire.
“The use of respirators will increase the cost, but it can still save customers a lot of maintenance costs for outdoor lighting.” Zhao Yong said that all of Gore's respirator products have passed UL certification in the US, and customers do not have to pay at all. Additional certification fees.
In the past, many engineers in the industry used thicker seals, increased wall thickness of the casing or casing, and more screws to make the casing look thicker. But this still does not prevent the leak from happening again, because these methods can not solve the problem of pressure difference fundamentally.
It is understood that there are currently more commonly used ventilation products on the market with labyrinth channels and sintered or felt filter elements.
The labyrinth channel effectively balances the pressure, reducing the risk of moisture entering the seal. However, it does not effectively block the invasion of dust, impurities and foreign matter. In the windy and windy environment, the labyrinth channel cannot play a dustproof role. Moreover, such a labyrinth channel needs to occupy a certain space. In today's lighting design increasingly pursuing the trend of miniaturization, finding additional design space itself is an arduous project. In addition, this labyrinth channel increases the cost of the mold design, which increases the cost of the entire casing.
Felt filters are widely used in luminaires at low cost. In this way, the felt core can play a certain balance pressure in the initial stage of installation. However, it does not completely block dust, and even small particles of small diameter can pass through the felt filter element into the outer casing. Over time, the felt filter element will clog and lose gas permeability. Moreover, the waterproof function is the biggest deficiency of the felt filter.
Gore waterproof and dustproof products are made of breathable hydrophobic expansive polytetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE). Through professional technical treatment, the film has both oil repellency, which greatly enhances the durability of the gas permeable membrane. Even with long-term exposure to outdoor and industrial environments, repeated exposure to oils, chemicals, detergents and other low surface tension liquids maintains the superior performance of the product's waterproof, dustproof and breathable products.
"From the perspective of material performance parameters, the air permeability and water pressure resistance are inherently contradictory values. Finding the best balance point is the advantage of Gore's high-performance products." Zhao Yong said. According to the reporter's understanding, there are also some manufacturers of gas permeable membranes in China, but everyone generally pursues high water pressure resistance and neglects gas permeability, or high gas permeability and neglects waterproofing, which causes the internal stress of the shell to still not be released, or water from the film and respirator. The body joint leaks into the lamp housing.

For more information, please refer to "High - tech LED - Technology and Applications" 1 February issue

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