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Do You Need a Bigger Boot?

The circuitry with electronic equipment can be extremely fragile, especially when exposed to environmental substances like water, salt, dirt, and chemicals. Even small amounts of these contaminants can damage electronics easily. This damage usually leads to unplanned downtime, profit loss, and a jump in equipment repair and replacement costs.

The risk lies in the gaps between switches and other parts. Even tight-fitting assemblies typically have minor gaps in areas where there are movable parts like switches—otherwise, friction would prevent the parts from moving—and any connection point could conceivably let foreign material seep into the machinery. This is a significant problem in many industries—but in marine environments especially.

Sealing boots offer a solution to protect electronics exposed by switches. These boots are typically made of rubber and act as flexible covers that seal—hence the name—the gaps around a switch,  or a circuit breaker, while still allowing them to move and actuate freely. These boots are a necessary form of protection for sensitive electronics and form a strong barrier between those circuits and potentially damaging contaminants.


Our eBook explores sealing boots and their importance when protecting electronic control systems in marine vessels.


Protecting Marine Electronics

Marine ElectronicsModern marine vessels rely on high-tech electrical and electronic systems for everything ranging from simple lighting to critical operations such as navigation and communication. However, the very nature of the environment the ships are in—wet, salty, and windy, as well as overly hot or cold and potentially polluted—places this equipment at risk. Sealing boots allow manufacturers or end users to protect equipment from corrosion and contamination that could lead to overloads and short circuits.

This protection extends beyond the acute. Gradual corrosion and contamination can lead to shortened equipment life and notable drops in system security. By excluding contaminants, you can extend the life of electronics and circuits on board keep them operating at an optimal level.

Sealing Boot Types

APM Hexseal offers a variety of boot types specifically designed to protect switches and other components in marine systems. These boots all allow the part to operate without restriction. Sealing boot options include:

  • Toggle boots: Cover toggle switches completely with rubber covers that screw onto the base of the switch.
  • Circuit breaker boots: Ensure the circuit breaker stays operational and actuates freely.
  • Push button boots: Flexible domes allow you to operate push buttons with ease while preventing contaminants from touching the button.

Industries That Benefit From Sealing Boots

Sealing boots are appropriate in any situation in which electronic equipment must be protected from contaminants that can seep in around switches and buttons. APM Hexseal’s sealing boots are used in a broad range of industries:

  • Military: For over 70 years, our sealing boots have protected sensitive military equipment that needed tough coverage.
  • Research: Risks to sensitive equipment are especially great on research vessels from scientific organizations, government agencies, and other research units that not only spend extended time on the water, but also use deep-sea submergence vehicles (DSVs). These institutions often have offices and labs close to shore that also need protection from salty and humid air.
  • Weather and marine data-gathering equipment: Marine buoys need to sit in or near the water to collect long-term data on currents, atmospheric conditions, and other weather patterns, so onboard electronics require secure protection that keeps water and salt out.
  • Commercial and recreational vessels: From harbor tours and cruise ships to private boats, these vessels need protection for sensitive systems to ensure consistent and long-term operation.

Sealing Boots

Sealing Boots Seal In and Seal Out

Sealing in a pristine operating environment isn’t the only function of a sealing boot. It also helps protect ecosystems by preventing pollutants from seeping out of machinery and into the environment.

Marine ecosystems are increasingly fragile. Both point source pollution (pollution stemming from one single source or incident) and nonpoint source pollution (pollution stemming from smaller sources where no one point of origin is to blame) pose risks to these ecosystems, and sealing boots help lock in those pollutants and protect the environment around the machinery.

Sealing Boot Solutions with APM Hexseal

Want to learn more about sealing boots and their applications? To find out more about our durable sealing boots and how they can protect the equipment in your operation, check out our eBook, “You’re Gonna Need a Bigger Boot,” or ask the experts at APM Hexseal today.

Ever better.