Market trends in handheld devices require thin/soft options

Seidel, Fred
December 2005
Portable Design;Dec2005, Vol. 11 Issue 12, p22
This article presents information on the recent market trends in the designing and manufacturing of hand-held electronic devices. According to this study, with the increasing compactness in the consumer hand-held electronic devices the design engineers are requiring thinner, lighter, softer and more compressible foam materials to solve their gasketing and cushioning challenges. These materials are required to be able to withstand the effects of compression and extreme temperatures and also be able to seal out dust and moisture. The author of this article opines that designers should consider two important attributes when looking for the optimum foam for their requirements. The first is compressive stress relaxation. The other attribute, compression-set resistance is a material's ability to return to its original shape or resist collapsing during compression. This compressibility feature provides a significant advantage in applications that require low closure force such as in dust sealing. Highlighting the requirement of compressibility it states that compressibility is important for good mechanical sealing where irregularities exist in the sealing surfaces of the device. In thin plastic enclosures, highly compressible materials are ideal to prevent deformation of the surrounding structure. Thus, soft gaskets provide a distinct advantage.


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