PHILADELPHIA—High-performance materials are needed to protect solar inverters and energy monitoring equipment from the harsh environmental conditions associated with long-term outdoor exposure. Stockwell Elastomerics, a Pennsylvania-based manufacturer of silicone rubber components, has an answer for design engineers looking to specify gasket materials for this purpose.

Stockwell employs high-performance materials from Rogers Corporation to fabricate gaskets that are used to seal inverter enclosures and related alternative energy equipment from the elements. The company recently released a tactile (touch) brochure that features physical samples of these materials, enabling design engineers to touch, feel, and evaluate them. Sample materials on the brochure include Rogers BISCO® RS-700 series closed cell silicone sponge, BISCO® HT-800 series silicone foam, Rogers PORON® microcellular urethane foam, and BISCO® EC-2130 electrically conductive silicone rubber.

“The materials from Rogers Corporation selected for this brochure cover a range of options for designers seeking sealing solutions when designing solar inverters and enclosures that protect  technology equipment from dust and water ingress,“ said Stockwell Elastomerics President Bill Stockwell, in a press release. “We frequently see requirements for gaskets that require soft closure force due to the enclosure design. Reference samples such as those on this touch brochure help the designer to narrow the options.”

BISCO RS-700 series is closed cell silicone sponge produced with a smooth, durable skin on both surfaces. The smooth surface and tight cell structure are reported to enable sealing of enclosures with less closure force. Silicone rubber provides consistent deflection properties in cold and hot climates, and silicone provides long term performance, resisting the damaging effects of UV and sunlight.

BISCO HT-800 series silicone foam (www.stockwell.com/silicone-foam.php) has been field tested for long-term outdoor enclosure applications, such as telecom base stations, for many years. HT-800 is reported to have excellent compression set resistance and a UL 94V-0 flame rating. It is also UL 50, UL 50E, UL 508, and UL 157 recognized, and is said to be well-suited for NEMA enclosures.

PORON micro-cellular polyurethane foam is widely used for indoor electrical and electronic enclosures that require protection from dust and light water exposure.  PORON foams (www.stockwell.com/poron-foam-cellular-urethane.php) are high performance materials that are said to offer excellent compression set resistance, and are UL 94HBF flame rated.

BISCO EC-2130 electrically conductive silicone is a soft, 30 durometer conductive particle filled silicone that performs a dual function of EMI shielding while also sealing out environmental conditions.

The touch brochure, developed jointly by Stockwell Elastomerics and Rogers Corporation, includes tactile buttons of 10 different materials. It can be requested online at www.stockwell.com/SolarInverterTouch.