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Kirt Blattenberger - RF Cafe Webmaster

Copyright: 1996 - 2024

Webmaster:

    Kirt Blattenberger,

    BSEE - KB3UON

RF Cafe began life in 1996 as "RF Tools" in an AOL screen name web space totaling 2 MB. Its primary purpose was to provide me with ready access to commonly needed formulas and reference material while performing my work as an RF system and circuit design engineer. The World Wide Web (Internet) was largely an unknown entity at the time and bandwidth was a scarce commodity. Dial-up modems blazed along at 14.4 kbps while typing up your telephone line, and a nice lady's voice announced "You've Got Mail" when a new message arrived...

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Rubberized Circuits for Guided Missiles
February 1957 Radio & Television News Article

February 1957 Radio & TV News
February 1957 Radio & Television News Cover - RF Cafe[Table of Contents]

Wax nostalgic about and learn from the history of early electronics. See articles from Radio & Television News, published 1919-1959. All copyrights hereby acknowledged.

You can go to just about any store these days and buy a tube of RTV (room temperature vulcanizing) rubber caulk. That was not the case as recently as the 1960s and 1970s. Here is a short news item about how Dow Corning Corporation's breakthrough new compound was set to revolutionize hermetic sealing of critical electronic assemblies. It shows entire subassemblies of connectors, wires, and discrete components (no ICs at the time) completely encapsulated in the stuff. I remember at Westinghouse Electric, where I worked as a technician after a tour in the USAF, we used RTV for sealing bulkhead-mounted connectors on torpedo heads and towed sonar arrays. We also used massive quantities of it to seal off machined metal molds for ceramic transducer element arrays prior to potting them with a polyurethane compound. That was cool work. The heavy aluminum molds, about 6-feet long, were placed in a huge, thick-walled aluminum tube and a vacuum was pulled while the compound was curing in order to eliminate trapped bubbles. After about 6 hours of non-stop, tedious labor, it was as close as a male can come to experiencing the miracle of birth when removing the arrays from the molds and seeing the perfect newborn sonar array with an equivalent Apgar score of 10.

Rubberized Circuits for Guided Missiles

U. S. Air Force Snark, a guided missile, roars from its launching cradle - RF Cafe

U.S. Air Force Snark, a guided missile, roars from its launching cradle with its rocket boosters flaming. The Snark couples intercontinental range with the ability to carry a first-priority warhead.

The silicone rubber material is applied with an air-pressure gun - RF Cafe

The silicone rubber material is applied with an air-pressure gun to many electrical components of the Snark missile. Here is a filter assembly during and after potting.

New silicone rubber that cures at room temperature provides a protective coating for vital circuits.

Using a new silicone rubber that cures at room temperature, engineers at Northrop Aircraft, Inc., have developed a quick, easy, and almost foolproof guarantee of top performance for vital high impedance circuits in the Snark guided missile, the F-89 interceptor, and other projects.

After electronic panels in the circuits are packed with resistors, capacitors, transistors, and other gear designed to record or transmit information during flight, the panels are coated with Silastic RTV, the room temperature curing silicone rubber developed by Dow Corning Corp. According to Northrop designers a single coating of the silicone rubber cushions vibration, provides moisture resistance, improves surface resistivity of the panels, and protects the assemblies from rough handling. Individual components may be inspected after assembly by simply slitting open the silicone rubber to expose the unit. Slit is then patched with the same rubber.

Among the electronic components which Northrop Aircraft protects with the new silicone rubber - RF Cafe 

Among the electronic components which Northrop Aircraft protects with the new silicone rubber are these junction boxes, shown here before and after the potting.

 

 

Posted March 5, 2021(original 7/19/2013)

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Innovative Power Products Passive RF Products - RF Cafe
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