0
$\begingroup$

I am going to diagnose/repair a speaker issue with a GoPro Hero5 action camera. This camera is waterproof to 10m depth without any separate case, per the manufacturer.

The repair requires removing the front of the camera housing, which is adhered by some sort of adhesive as can be seen here as a residue in this image of the camera with the front exterior housing removed. It surrounds the LCD display on the left, and appears to also be used below the lens on the right: Front of camera with exterior housing removed Image credit: Copyright iFixit/Christopher Adams , CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 license

What type of adhesive (or brand of adhesive) is appropriate for reinstating the 10m waterproof capability if applied correctly? And what is the correct way to apply it? (removing all of the existing adhesive residue is clearly important). The adhesive appears to be integral to the waterproof capabilities of the device.

I have read this other question, however my question is specific to the constraints of my situation and thus exclusively about adhesives (or other types of sealants applied in fluid form) and how they can be used to prevent water ingress at this type of moderate depth. I am finding it difficult to determine how to evaluate potential adhesive types because I don't know the correct terminology to find one with specifications that would meet my needs.

I believe what I need is something capable of handling ~100 kPa/1 atm/15 psi, but wouldn't this ability often depend on the thickness of application and also the adhesion level of the substance to the substrate? And it would need to be resistant to loss of seal from water and/or seawater.

I am unable to use a separate dive case accessory due to size constraints.

$\endgroup$
2
  • $\begingroup$ It is surprising that iFixit did not mention the adhesive during the reassembly procedure. $\endgroup$
    – Solar Mike
    Jan 24 at 7:09
  • $\begingroup$ @SolarMike, agreed. Although since GoPro does not ever do camera repairs and this adhesive is critical, the iFixit guide writer probably didn't have the engineering expertise to recommend something with confidence. If they did do repairs or have service partners, the knowledge would likely be more readily available. $\endgroup$
    – scooter
    Jan 24 at 7:22

1 Answer 1

0
$\begingroup$

Person who repaired for that article likely did not need to use under water.

My general suggestion on adhesive for water is silicone RTV. For best use, you do need it under compression which may involve filling a gap without fully tightening some bolts, and finishing it off after it has hardened into a squishy rubber. (You can probably slip in a few sheets of taped paper, and pull them out before fully snapping parts back together). High purity silicone RTV with no additives can produce clearer results, letting you inspect it easier, not that your case allows any inspection of the result.

The stuff pictured looks like foam. Unfortunately foam is extremely versatile and can be made to different densities, and can have a final density that differs greatly due to post processing. Think heated styrofoam. Original may have been at a much greater volume, and melted with a small amount of heat (exothermic glue?). It'd be hard to tell the entirety of the process and materials from just the end result. For cost, it was likely just an adhesive backed foam gasket, where the adhesive was not something friendly (think pvc pipe glue). Given the lack of a pristine surface from the nature of repair, I wouldn't be confident in the seal, even if you had the OEM gasket. With a new foam gasket, and the old one cleaned out, I'd use a thin layer of 2-part epoxy, splitting the parts on each of the surfaces and let the foam's pressure handle the mixing over a cure time ten times longer than the epoxy spec.

Silicone can be used in a similar melting manner, but against metal due to the large amount of heat and high temperatures needed- not for your plastic camera. For a one-off you'd just have to let the silicone RTV set and hope for adhesion and sufficient quantity.

$\endgroup$

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.