Illuminating Concepts in LED and LCD Protection

Dan Barber, ESRDan Barber
Engineering Sales Representative
Ellsworth Adhesives

Kevin Zoeller, ESRKevin Zoeller
Engineering Sales Representative
Ellsworth Adhesives


LED and LCD display technologies have become less expensive, easier to produce, and more energy efficient. As a result, these types of displays have taken the place of signs and placards, offering a more vibrant, noticeable, and modern design for communicating information to passersby. What do LED and LCD signs have in common? The majority are placed in locations where they must withstand a variety of environmental stress:

LED Lighting

  • UV rays
  • Moisture
  • Wind-driven debris
  • Temperature extremes
  • Fluctuations in atmospheric pressure
  • Finger smudges
  • Vibration and shock
  • Stray currents
  • Vandalism

Manufacturers use potting compounds, thermal compounds, and conformal coatings to ensure displays are protected in extreme environments. These materials are integral to all aspects of LED or LCD panel manufacturing, from the electronics, to the optical lens, to the housing or casing of the display.

LED Adhesive and Thermal Compounds

LED manufacturing relies heavily on adhesives and thermal compounds to help prevent hot energy output from damaging circuit boards.

  • Thermal interface materials (TIMs): Thermally conductive potting compounds provide protection while removing excess thermal energy.
  • Liquid optically clear adhesives (LOCAs): Materials like uv-curing urethane acrylic compounds and silicone adhesives are used to provide protection while maintaining or improving LED visual clarity.

The roles of adhesive compounds go beyond thermal management or electronic protection techniques: they are also crucial to the assembly process. Common applications include:

  • Transparent casting resins for enhanced optical quality
  • Bonding and sealing LED lenses or domes
  • Threadlockers to keep LEDs secure
  • Liquid or tape adhesives for sealing LED display cases

Personal Devices

LCDs Adhesive and Thermal Compounds

Adhesives used in LCD assemblies must be optically clear, as they adhere a cover window or lens to a touch panel or LCD panel, as well as the touch panel to the LCD module. LOCAs play an important role in the optical clarity of LCD screens by protecting the more sensitive LCD module and touch panel from damage. They also eliminate air gaps between the sandwiched layers of a touchscreen display to improve contrast. With the proper choice of LOCA, in combination with a cover window of anti-reflective, anti-glare, and anti-smudge glass, the touchscreen remains vibrant and crystal clear in any scenario. A vivid display reduces device brightness requirements, in turn reducing power requirements and extending device longevity. LOCAs also have a high degree of reworkability, allowing lenses or touch panels to be repositioned before final curing. Some LOCAs can be easily peeled off once dried.

Most LED and LCD processing doesn’t require an advanced or complex solution. Ellsworth Adhesives can apply progressive adhesive solutions to any display application at any scale. A dedicated engineered sales representative can evaluate your needs on-site, provide you with the best LED solutions available, and help you integrate the solutions into your manufacturing process.

To learn more about LED and LCD protection, download the white paper:


For help selecting the right adhesive or thermal compound to use in your LED or LCD assembly, contact the Ellsworth Adhesives team.

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