The Effects of Humidity on Electronic Devices
Humidity can be a nightmare for many different reasons. It can impact almost everything if exposed to it for a long period of time. For some things, it is more important to find ways to stop humidity from reaching them, such as electronic devices. But how does humidity actually cause damage to an electronic device? Well, this article will show you exactly that. (Related: moisture barrier bags, protective packaging)
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Generally, electronic devices are very sensitive to certain variables like temperature, moisture, and humidity and, as they are so sensitive to these different variables, they are usually protected by the external casing to not disrupt the desired function of the device. But let’s take a look at the electronic devices which are not protected and how they are affected by humidity.
Humidity, added with heat, is a recipe for disaster in regards to electronic devices. As many parts of the components will be made from metal, the effects of humidity and heat will cause corrosion. Every electronic device will consist of multiple different components and, with added corrosion, it can completely disrupt the entire operation of the device ruining the whole component board.
The process of corrosion tends to rapidly speed up when the humidity levels rise to 60% or above. So, for electronic devices that are likely to be exposed to areas which exceed this percentage of humidity, it is vital that there is suitable protection.
The process which takes place in regards to humidity is called ion migration. Ion migration is when metal ions are moved from the surface and replaced by water molecules when a supply of voltage is applied. This can cause a complete failure of the circuit and it can even get burnt due to large current flows when contact is made with the conductor, causing non-regeneration. Although, most of the time, if a problem does occur and there is no lasting damage, ion migration will not re-occur if the water molecules are evaporated.
Humidity and moisture should be kept away from all electronic components or problems will occur sooner rather than later, although, as stated above, most devices will come with sufficient protection from these problems, but not all.