Acoustic vent designed for immersion down to 30m

Paul Boughton

The GORE Portable Electronic Vent GAW331 is a new acoustic vent designed for immersion down to 30m for portable electronic devices, including wearables, action cameras and smartphones.

GORE Acoustic Vent GAW331 is engineered specifically to maintain a device’s sound quality even after immersion in 30m (3bar) of water for 10 minutes.

Product Specialist for W L Gore & Associates, Shigeharu Murayama, says: “The new GAW331 protects devices against liquid ingress and maintains high-performance acoustics at levels not previously achieved. It does so by minimising attenuation and holding transmission loss below 2dB at 1 kHz with a 3mm vent diameter.”

The vent complies with ISO 22810, the standard that defines water resistance for watches, meaning the GAW331 vents withstand immersion at 30mfor 10 minutes without leaking. It also complies with standards relevant to smartphone applications, such as IEC 60529 for Ingress Protection (IP).

Under this standard, the GAW331 qualifies for both the IP67 rating (temporary immersion in 1 meter of water for 30 minutes) and IP68 rating (continuous immersion in 10 meters of water for 60 minutes and 30m submersion for 10 minutes). In addition, the new Acoustic Vent GAW331 has been engineered to deliver a typical airflow of 285ml/min/cm2 (dp = 70mbar). This provides the optimal balance of two critical – and competing – performance requirements:

* A highly-protected housing that meets ISO and IEC standards;

* A highly-breathable housing that reduces transducer bias and delivers high-quality acoustics.

The GAW331 uses a oleophobic ePTFE (expanded polytetrafluoroethylene) membrane to deliver high performance in very small electronic devices.

With a typical part thickness of just 0.28 mm, this extremely thin black membrane with adhesive attachment is ideal for applications where housing space is limited. The membrane’s node-and-fibril construction permits gas molecules (air) to pass through easily, while effectively blocking the entry of water and solid particles, regardless of size or shape. This structure is also highly responsive to sound waves, so as they pass through this membrane, acoustic integrity is maintained. The result is high-quality sound – with exceptional waterproof protection against anything from light rain to complete immersion.