Potting compound removal.

Started by jvthorsley, November 06, 2012, 04:58:33 PM

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Does anyone on this forum know of a good method of removing potting compound be it the hard type or rubbery sort from printed circuit boards without damaging surface mounted components?


Usually the choices are chemical or abrasive. The abrasive methods such as the microblasters (www.ccrco.com) can take off the coatings but usually removes any stenciling or printing on SMD boards as well. This is the favored method by those working on through-hole PCBs.
Chemical removers work well but have their own set of problems such as safety and disposal. They are usually less damaging than abrasive methods and work pretty good with SMD boards.
One of our military customers has some expensive automated laser-based removal system but I haven't located much information about it online.
For the thinner coatings sometimes simple alcohol is enough to soften it so it can be probed.

Here is a reasonably informative web page that I sometimes consult:
The most important troubleshooting tool is your eyes.


We usually use a heat gun set to just soften the potting and then a dental pick or something similar to break chunks off of it.