Electronic handheld device to be used in potentially explosive atmospheres

The application was for an enclosure to house a handheld electronic device to be used in potentially explosive atmospheres such as those found in the petrochemical industries and underground mining. Along with conforming to ATEX standards, the housing must accommodate a large display screen, be suitably impact resistance and have an easy-to-grip shock-absorbing outer skin. The parts must also be fitted with the necessary fixing inserts to allow assembly and ensure an air-tight seal.

Trials were carried out to ascertain the perfect materials. Cranfield Solutions have an excellent relationship with specialist material suppliers and were able to source a range of material samples and produce trial parts. These were tested thoroughly to ensure the best solution was chosen.

For the main body it was essential to find a material that would pass stringent strength tests, be conductive and allow colouring to the match the client’s branding.  The display had to pass clarity standards, as well as the same ATEX tests as the main body.  Both parts also had to accept and chemically bond with an over moulded rubberised coating.  This over moulded material must also pass the client’s rigorous tests and be equally anti-static.

Parts are now produced conforming to ISO 9001 and the required ATEX standard.  They have crystal clear screens, pass drop tests, and all surfaces are electrically conductive to ensure they are anti-static.  Substrates are moulded with threaded inserts, parts are specially coated where necessary, then over moulded and finally printed.