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Let Your Enclosures Breathe Easy
Changing temperatures, humidity and other environmental conditions can have a negative impact on electronic equipment. Rain may cause the temperature to drop quickly within a junction box, or weight indicator or controller enclosure, creating a vacuum. Air and moisture are then pulled in through the seal and form condensation on the enclosure’s inside walls. When enough moisture is drawn in, water droplets form which can corrode the circuit board.
Even if the enclosure has a seal installed, temperature fluctuations can create considerable stress on the seal, leading to moisture being drawn in through gaps. The corrosive moisture builds up inside the enclosure, eventually causing complete equipment failure. Preventing moisture from collecting within a junction box, or weight indicator or controller enclosure is paramount to ensuring your equipment’s long life and reliable performance.
Membrane vents protect against these negative effects caused by environmental changes. A vent’s membrane eliminates leakage by continually balancing the pressure inside and outside the enclosure. This equalization of pressure reduces stress on the seal and minimizes condensation within the enclosure.
By selecting an enclosure that utilizes a membrane vent, electronics (and ultimately your scale system) will be more reliable. Incorporating a membrane vent is important for enclosures in any application; however, it is crucial for harsh environments where exposure to the elements, humidity or extreme temperature swings are customary.
Rice Lake’s junction box and instrumentation enclosures use the Gore® PreVent™ breather vent to equalize pressure and protect against moisture buildup. This proven solution allows a controlled amount of air to flow between the enclosure and environment, while simultaneously blocking water and dust.
With any membrane vent, regular checkups are required. Dirt and other materials in the air may become trapped within the vents as air is pulled back and forth to equalize pressure. Eventually, this material clogs the vent and causes a vacuum inside the enclosure, subjecting the enclosure to potential moisture damage. To protect against this, vents should be replaced on a regular basis. At a minimum, they should be examined every six months and replaced every year; however especially demanding environments will require more frequent attention.
In addition to membrane vents, desiccant packs can also safeguard sensitive electronics from moisture. Desiccant packs should be placed within enclosures to absorb any trapped moisture and should be changed every time the membrane vent is replaced.
If you are not sure when to replace the breather vents in your electronic equipment, please contact Rice Lake’s service department for a consultation at 800-472-6703.