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Optical Silicones for use in Harsh Operating Environments
Keywords: Fluorosilicones, Encapsulants, Phenylsilicones
The electronic packaging industry already widely uses silicones for various potting applications and light emitting diode protection. Optics manufacturers know traditional silicone elastomers, gels, thixotropic gels, and fluids not only perform extremely well in high temperature applications, but also offer refractive index matching so that silicones can transmit light with admirable efficiency. However, in the case of a sensor, environmental conditions may affect a material’s performance over time, and one must also consider the conditions the device operates in to ensure long-term reliability. External environments may include exposure to a combination of UV light and temperature, while other environments may expose devices to hydrocarbon based fuels. This paper will delve into the chemistry of silicones and functional groups that lend themselves to properties such as fuel and radiation resistance to show why silicone is the material of choice for sensor applications under normally harmful forms of exposure. Data will be presented to examine silicone’s performance in fuel environments in comparison to other materials. Keywords: Fluorosilicones, Phenylsilicones, Gels, Encapsulants, Elastomers
Jeff Caruso, Senior Technical Sales
NuSil Technology LLC
Toms River, NJ

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