Waterproof vs. Water Resistant

Posted by Advanced Coating on Nov 15, 2022 1:57:01 PM

The need for water protection in products is growing, and while manufacturers are trying to meet that demand, there may be some confusion around the terms, “waterproof” and “water resistant”, and how they apply to certain devices.

In general, conformal coatings have been proven to be effective for protecting devices against liquids and water damage, but it is important to understand which coatings can be used according to the material and the level of water protection that they require.

In this blog, we will discuss the difference between “waterproof” and “water resistant”, and then we will explain how conformal coatings can protect your device effectively.

The Difference Between Waterproof and Water Resistant

Water resistant means the device can resist water penetration to a certain level or degree. However, this resistance does not last long, and therefore, a water-resistant product has the least protection. The water resistance level works for phones, watches, or small devices. If you were to wash your hands, for example, and a little bit of water spilled on your watch, the device would not be immediately destroyed.

Waterproof means a product will keep working even if the device gets completely submerged in water. However, there are still other levels under this term that vary in terms of protection. For example, some waterproof devices can only survive for a few seconds if they get briefly dunked in water.

IP Codes

This is why products have Ingress Protection (IP) Codes to indicate their durability. Devices such as cell phones and smart watches display an IP code ranking according to how much they can resist dust particles and water.

The IP Code system shows the level of protection by a rating of 0 to 8. The higher the number, the more protection the device will have. The number starts with “IPX” followed by the protection number. It is recommended to have an IPX7, as this is the first fully waterproof rating, and devices can be submerged in water up to one meter and for 30 minutes maximum.

Why Conformal Coating Works

Conformal coatings have proven to be effective for water protection as opposed to bulky enclosures. They are not only a lightweight solution, but they also protect against several types of substances, such as dust, chemicals, water, and other liquids.

Parylene conformal coating, specifically, can achieve an IPX7+ rating, and therefore, parylene waterproofs a device effectively from the inside out. Parylene also has a thin coating, engineered through a vapor form, and it provides enough coverage for your electronics or printed circuit board.

Parylene has a unique Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) coating method that creates dense layers that limit the penetration of water, sweat, and other liquids. Additionally, parylene is less bulky, lighter in weight, and it is easier to repair.

If you were to choose a conformal coating for your products, parylene is the best choice for water protection. Would you like to learn more about waterproofing your devices? Contact us today!