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Plastic insulator for laptop hard drive (preventing short circuits on hard drive caddy)

Hi,

I need to replace a hard drive in a laptop. The hard drive is mounted
in a metal caddy. There's a brown plastic insulator glued to the metal
caddy to prevent the circuit board of the original hard drive touching
the metal and cause a short circuit. The plastic is custom-cut for the
original hard drive (the circuit board doesn't cover the entire hard
drive top surface). The new hard drive has a circuit board covering
the whole hard drive top surface. So there's an area where the circuit
board touches the metal of the caddy.

The question is : Where can we buy some plastic insulator sheets?

It doesn't seem available anywhere...

What I've used, while finding a better answer here, is a 3M Colour
Copier Transparency Film. They're supposed to be more resistant to
heat since they're made for Colour Copiers. I've cut a rectangle out
of one sheet and fitted it between the hard drive and the top of the
caddy.

What do you guys think? Any ideas of where to buy the real stuff?

3M CG5000 Dual-Purpose Transparency Film
http://tiny.cc/yqqwF

MSDS (PDF)
http://tiny.cc/4Ocs4


I've made my own tests and here are the results :

-The transparency and the original brown plastic both burn at
approximately the same pace when lighted with fire.
-I've put the transparency on a space heater. At 75 deg Celsius, the
transparency did not change in shape. At 95 deg Celcius, the
transparency curved a little bit. Typically hard drives are not
getting that hot, right? Normally they run at about 35-55 deg Celcius,
right?
0
neilsanner
11/23/2008 8:21:46 PM
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Previously neilsanner <neilsanner@yahoo.com> wrote:
> Hi,

> I need to replace a hard drive in a laptop. The hard drive is mounted
> in a metal caddy. There's a brown plastic insulator glued to the metal
> caddy to prevent the circuit board of the original hard drive touching
> the metal and cause a short circuit. The plastic is custom-cut for the
> original hard drive (the circuit board doesn't cover the entire hard
> drive top surface). The new hard drive has a circuit board covering
> the whole hard drive top surface. So there's an area where the circuit
> board touches the metal of the caddy.

> The question is : Where can we buy some plastic insulator sheets?

> It doesn't seem available anywhere...

> What I've used, while finding a better answer here, is a 3M Colour
> Copier Transparency Film. They're supposed to be more resistant to
> heat since they're made for Colour Copiers. I've cut a rectangle out
> of one sheet and fitted it between the hard drive and the top of the
> caddy.

Sounds fine to me.


> What do you guys think? Any ideas of where to buy the real stuff?

What "real stuff"? Best you can do is possibly transformer 
insulation film, but that is hard to get. You can also try for
heat resistant insulation tape, typically also for transformer
use. 

> 3M CG5000 Dual-Purpose Transparency Film
> http://tiny.cc/yqqwF

> MSDS (PDF)
> http://tiny.cc/4Ocs4


> I've made my own tests and here are the results :

> -The transparency and the original brown plastic both burn at
> approximately the same pace when lighted with fire.

Sounds good.

> -I've put the transparency on a space heater. At 75 deg Celsius, the
> transparency did not change in shape. At 95 deg Celcius, the
> transparency curved a little bit. Typically hard drives are not
> getting that hot, right? Normally they run at about 35-55 deg Celcius,
> right?

Indeed. They also typically fail in the 65C-70C range.

If you are concerned about melting, you can also use several layers
of high-quality paper. It is all low-voltage (5V), so paper is
a perfectly adequate insulator. But I think the laser transparency 
film is a fine choice.

Arno
0
Arno
11/24/2008 12:12:18 AM
On Nov 23, 8:12 pm, Arno Wagner <m...@privacy.net> wrote:
> Previously neilsanner <neilsan...@yahoo.com> wrote:
> > Hi,
> > I need to replace a hard drive in a laptop. The hard drive is mounted
> > in a metal caddy. There's a brown plastic insulator glued to the metal
> > caddy to prevent the circuit board of the original hard drive touching
> > the metal and cause a short circuit. The plastic is custom-cut for the
> > original hard drive (the circuit board doesn't cover the entire hard
> > drive top surface). The new hard drive has a circuit board covering
> > the whole hard drive top surface. So there's an area where the circuit
> > board touches the metal of the caddy.
> > The question is : Where can we buy some plastic insulator sheets?
> > It doesn't seem available anywhere...
> > What I've used, while finding a better answer here, is a 3M Colour
> > Copier Transparency Film. They're supposed to be more resistant to
> > heat since they're made for Colour Copiers. I've cut a rectangle out
> > of one sheet and fitted it between the hard drive and the top of the
> > caddy.
>
> Sounds fine to me.
>
> > What do you guys think? Any ideas of where to buy the real stuff?
>
> What "real stuff"? Best you can do is possibly transformer
> insulation film, but that is hard to get. You can also try for
> heat resistant insulation tape, typically also for transformer
> use.
>
> > 3M CG5000 Dual-Purpose Transparency Film
> >http://tiny.cc/yqqwF
> > MSDS (PDF)
> >http://tiny.cc/4Ocs4
> > I've made my own tests and here are the results :
> > -The transparency and the original brown plastic both burn at
> > approximately the same pace when lighted with fire.
>
> Sounds good.
>
> > -I've put the transparency on a space heater. At 75 deg Celsius, the
> > transparency did not change in shape. At 95 deg Celcius, the
> > transparency curved a little bit. Typically hard drives are not
> > getting that hot, right? Normally they run at about 35-55 deg Celcius,
> > right?
>
> Indeed. They also typically fail in the 65C-70C range.
>
> If you are concerned about melting, you can also use several layers
> of high-quality paper. It is all low-voltage (5V), so paper is
> a perfectly adequate insulator. But I think the laser transparency
> film is a fine choice.
>
> Arno

OK,

So I guess the transparency would be just find. So any kind of paper
could be used to serve as insulator between the hard drive and the
metal caddy? The more heavy the paper the better I guess?

I've found different types of tapes and stuff over the net. Maybe not
all suitable, hey?:
MYLAR=AE TAPE : http://tinyurl.com/6rko95
Kapton Polyimide Film Tape : http://tinyurl.com/5z4n54
Scapa 571 Silicone Splicing Tape : http://tinyurl.com/6d73jb
Scotch=AE 27 Glass Cloth Tape : http://tinyurl.com/5knyfr   and
http://tinyurl.com/68hzaw
Bondable PTFE sheet : http://tinyurl.com/6lwk57

What do you think?
0
neilsanner
11/24/2008 11:38:23 PM
Previously neilsanner <neilsanner@yahoo.com> wrote:
[...]
> OK,

> So I guess the transparency would be just find. So any kind of paper
> could be used to serve as insulator between the hard drive and the
> metal caddy? The more heavy the paper the better I guess?

It is 5V, so the only concern is mechanical strenght and durability.
Your laser-transparency should be far better for either.

> I've found different types of tapes and stuff over the net. Maybe not
> all suitable, hey?:
> MYLAR� TAPE : http://tinyurl.com/6rko95
> Kapton Polyimide Film Tape : http://tinyurl.com/5z4n54

Thet is what I was thinking of. 

> Scapa 571 Silicone Splicing Tape : http://tinyurl.com/6d73jb
> Scotch� 27 Glass Cloth Tape : http://tinyurl.com/5knyfr   and
> http://tinyurl.com/68hzaw
> Bondable PTFE sheet : http://tinyurl.com/6lwk57

Should all work, but I think it would just be a waste of money.

> What do you think?

Stay with the transparency film.

Arno
0
Arno
11/25/2008 8:02:40 AM
On Nov 25, 4:02=A0am, Arno Wagner <m...@privacy.net> wrote:
> Previously neilsanner <neilsan...@yahoo.com> wrote:
>
> [...]
>
> > OK,
> > So I guess the transparency would be just find. So any kind of paper
> > could be used to serve as insulator between the hard drive and the
> > metal caddy? The more heavy the paper the better I guess?
>
> It is 5V, so the only concern is mechanical strenght and durability.
> Your laser-transparency should be far better for either.
>
> > I've found different types of tapes and stuff over the net. Maybe not
> > all suitable, hey?:
> > MYLAR=AE TAPE :http://tinyurl.com/6rko95
> > Kapton Polyimide Film Tape :http://tinyurl.com/5z4n54
>
> Thet is what I was thinking of.
>
> > Scapa 571 Silicone Splicing Tape :http://tinyurl.com/6d73jb
> > Scotch=AE 27 Glass Cloth Tape :http://tinyurl.com/5knyfr=A0 and
> >http://tinyurl.com/68hzaw
> > Bondable PTFE sheet :http://tinyurl.com/6lwk57
>
> Should all work, but I think it would just be a waste of money.
>
> > What do you think?
>
> Stay with the transparency film.
>
> Arno

During the last days, the hard drive ran in the laptop at no more than
52 degrees Celcius. I've took the hard drive out to check the piece of
transparency. It's was in perfect shape!

Thanks a lot Arno for your help and ideas!!! I appreciate it.

Take care,
NeilSanner
0
neilsanner
11/26/2008 11:43:45 PM
Reply:

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