What’s the right sealing approach for my specifications?

Test d'étanchéité

Sealing tests in APEM's laboratory
Demanding the highest possible sealing level has two major disadvantages: high component prices and more complex assembly processes.

Switches can be sealed in a combination of ways with each approach having advantages in certain applications.
Selecting a higher sealing level than required to ensure performance to specification is costly: increased levels of protection means higher component costs and a more complicated assembly process.

Christophe, APEM Switch Product Manager, gives you advice on how to select the most relevant sealing level for your project.

Christophe Moreau Christophe
Switch Product Manager

Christophe joined APEM in 1996.
After deepening his product knowledge within the design department, he has been our Switch Product Manager and a member of the marketing team since 2011.

Nicknamed “Switch Doctor”, he is APEM’s living encyclopedia.

Integrated seal on the switch

Integrated seal on the switch

This option provides excellent sealing.

Switches can be independently sealed above and beneath to practically any standard, including IP69K. Since the switching mechanism is fully sealed, this is a good choice for standalone applications where the switch itself is exposed to a harsh environment. Tractor, crane and heavy industry switches, and other applications where the switch is directly mounted are typical examples. It is also really the only option when safety is a prime consideration and there is concern about the sealing integrity of a box the switch will be housed in.

Most APEM switches are available in fully sealed options.

APEM switch series that can be independently sealed to IP69K and include PBA (in illuminated or non-illuminated versions), the 3500 series, the IP series (non-illuminated version), AV9S and AV3S.

2 Front panel sealing

Front panel sealing

Good at preventing fluids and particles from entering into or behind the box or panel.

Used primarily when the switch is part of a larger, more sophisticated product where additional, potentially fragile components may be housed in with the switch.
The switch itself can be sealed or unsealed, depending on the required use. If the box housing the switch is fully sealed, it is often not necessary to incur the additional expense of a fully sealed switch.

Note that when a fully sealed switch is housed in a sealed front panel, requirement testing must be conducted separately on the switch and then on the switch housed in the panel.

Most APEM switches can be front panel sealed.

3 Sealing boots

Sealing boots

A relatively low tech option that does the same job as a font panel sealing and is a good choice when budget is an issue.

It is also useful as a retrofit on an existing product experiencing sealing issues. APEM sealing boots can be used with most APEM switches. (Note that sealing boots are susceptible to cuts from sharp objects, making them an inappropriate choice in some environments).

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