Unique wearable technologies are rapidly gaining significant interest due to the amazing achievements in advanced materials and mobile technology.   Such technologies are going to provide us with a plethora of unique user experiences we've only dreamed of. Innovative products such as watches powered by solar energy, sunglasses that change color and tint, and fabrics that generate electrical energy are just the beginning of an exciting time ahead for all of us.  The integration of these new materials and complex electronic devices such as circuit boards and light emitting diodes (LED's) into wearable technology is starting to provide unique user experiences when implemented into different user interfaces from everyday life use to mobile health diagnostics.  However, in most situations and cases, minimizing the exposure to heat and moisture is crucial to minimizing corrosion and failure of components.  Constant exposure to moisture and water (from sweat, swimming, washing clothes, etc) in wearable textiles is one of the leading causes to electronic failure in these wearable devices.

There's a crazy array of the manufacturing approaches for reducing the exposure of wearable devices to moisture and water, but we at Beyond 5 Industries wanted to share an approach with the Instructables community that the everyday hackers, tinkers, and craft hobbists alike could reasonably start using today!  In this tutorial, we will show you one solution to waterproofing your electronic components by encapsulating them with a liquid silicone solution that when mixed with a curing agent can provide longer term water protection for your electronic components allowing you enhanced possiblities for designing wearables exposed to lots of moisture.  

Step 1: Materials Checklist

Below are a list of supplies that are the recommended for this instructable.
Of course certain items can be completely eliminated or substituted with others.

In order to for us to focus on teaching you the encapsulation technique and to easily demonstrate the waterproofing performance, we be creating a simple electronic device soldering a simple wearable component (LilyPad LED) and attaching it to a power source with alligator clips.  Once you've gotten down the encapsulation technique, go buck wild with testing different or similar simple or complex electronic devices and their performance in different water-based environments! 

Here's what you're going to need:

- Corning Sylgard 184 Kit (PDMS) . This can be purchased online from a variety of locations including:
  Ellsworth Adhesives
  Galco Industrial Electronics
  or purchased from eBay (search "Sylgard 184").
  Specifications on the Sylgard 184 can be found here . Other varieties of PDMS are available.
  Sylgard 184 is chosen for its transparency, waterproofing and room temperature curing properties.

- Plastic disposable containers as molds (2 are used, one to mix in and the other as the mold).
  For our instructable we used small petri dishes.

- Disposable spoons (2 spoons used, one for the elastomer base and the other for the curing agent).
  The spoons are used to as a measuring (scoop out the sylgard 184) and mixing tool.

- Standard solder (rosin core 60/40 lead/tin)

- 30W soldering iron (with stand)

- Desoldering pump (for any mistakes)

- The third helping hand, 3-arm holder (used as a third hand to help hold items into place)

- 6" red and black stranded wires

- Red and black insulated alligator clips

- Wire cutter and stripper (separate or combined)

- Diagonal cutters and needle nose pliers

- Scissors/knife/blade

- Batteries (used here 2 AA batteries connected in series to power LEDs)

- Battery holder with wires or snap connectors (used to house the batteries; power supply to LED)

- LEDs (used here is Lilypad LED). The specific LED's used can be found here .

- Water/clear cup or any container (used to test waterproofing of the LED immersed under water)

<p>Wow!, I'll note this one, Thanks man!</p>

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More by Beyond 5 Industries:Waterproof your Wearables 
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