Technology has come such a long way that it has become standard for many electronic devices we’re accustomed to using to have some sort of water resistance—from watches and phones to tablets and other touch screens. In specific industrial applications where the environment’s temperatures can range from hot to freezing, or moist to dehydrating, it makes sense for touch panel PCs to be able to withstand such factors.
It’s All About the Environment: Applications
If your product will be exposed to these environments, you will need an extremely durable, rugged and waterproof panel PC: saunas and steam rooms, car washes, marine applications, manufacturing environments where there is exposure to liquids, agriculture, field surveying, mining and food processing.
Enclosure and System Designs to Address High Temperature and Moisture
Optical Bonding: Optical bonding involves attaching a protective layer directly to the surface of a display panel. This process enhances visibility, reduces glare, and provides increased durability. When it comes to moisture resistance, optical bonding can help seal the display panel, reducing the possibility of moisture or liquids seeping between the layers and causing damage. The elimination of the air gap minimizes the chances of condensation forming within the display.
IP Ratings: An IP rating is a standardized measure that indicates how well an electronic device or equipment is protected against solids and liquids. The rating consists of two digits: the first one assesses resistance to solids like dust, while the second one evaluates resistance to liquids like water. The higher the numbers, the greater the protection. Higher IP ratings, such as IP68, indicate stronger protection against water immersion and dust. An IP68-rated device is typically well-sealed against moisture and dust, making it suitable for environments with moisture exposure.
Gaskets and Seals: Proper gaskets and seals are essential to prevent moisture from entering the device through gaps or openings. These components ensure that the internal electronics remain protected even in damp or wet conditions.
Materials Selection: Using moisture-resistant materials for both the enclosure and internal components is essential. This includes materials that are not prone to corrosion or degradation due to moisture exposure or ones with special coatings and components potted with moisture-resistant silicone compounds.
Fanless Cooling: Fanless designs are often preferred in waterproof systems to prevent the circulation of dust and moisture through the system, ensuring longevity and reliability.
Conformal coating: A protective process in which a thin layer of specialized material is applied to the circuit board’s surface to safeguard it against environmental factors such as moisture, dust, chemicals, and temperature fluctuations. This coating helps extend the lifespan and reliability of electronic components, especially in challenging environments
Touch Screen Features in Wet Environments
When using a touch screen panel in environments where hands might be wet, gloves are worn, or water splashes are common, it’s important to consider touch screen technologies that can reliably register touch inputs even under these conditions. Here are some touch screen technologies and strategies that are suitable for such scenarios:
Customized Touch Algorithms:Touch screen systems can be customized to adapt to specific environmental conditions. This might involve adjusting touch sensitivity, touch area size, or multi-touch gestures to ensure accurate and reliable operation under wet, gloved conditions or water splashes.
Glove Compatibility: Customization can enhance touch recognition for gloved hands, which might otherwise result in reduced sensitivity.
Water Rejection: Algorithms can be optimized to handle water droplets or moisture on the screen’s surface, preventing false touch inputs.
Water-Repellent or Oleophobic Coatings: Applying special coatings on touch screens that repel water (hydrophobic) or oil (oleophobic)can help prevent water droplets or moisture from interfering with touch detection.
Industry Example: Car Wash
Car wash environments involve exposure to water, cleaning chemicals, and high temperature which means moisture resistant panel PCs are obviously a must. Some of the features that should be considered for a touch panel PC in this environment include:
- Water and Chemical Resistance
- IP68 or Higher Rating
- Stainless Steel Enclosure
- Fanless Cooling
- High Brightness Display
- Wide Temperature Range
Which Industrial Panel PCs are Rugged Enough for Extreme Temperatures and Moisture?
Designing and producing displays for environments with moisture can be challenging. Based on many of our industrial Panel PC reference designs, we can guide you in selecting the right materials, executing proper sealing techniques, and ensuring that your display panels are both optically enhanced, withstand high temperature and resistant to moisture-related issues.
As an ODM with over a decade of experience, our engineers are here to help bring your concept to life. You will find our products in digital signage, outdoor LED billboards, gas station TVs, retail POS systems, kiosks and paging systems in retail stores, control panels in RVs and watercrafts, network security equipment, industrial and building automation control systems, and many other embedded computer application areas. Contact us to get started.