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It's rock solid, not like the cables glue.
What is it ?
What is it for ?
How do I remove it ?
How do I put it back ?

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  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ You accepted the answer too quickly (which is probably 100% wrong). Wait a day or two, and you should get real answers \$\endgroup\$ – TFD Sep 25 '12 at 11:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ possible duplicate of How to remove "glue block" from PCB? \$\endgroup\$ – Toby Jaffey Sep 25 '12 at 14:01
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This is known as "Potting."

From pottingsolutions:

Potting (embedment) is the covering of an electronic or electrical device to protect it from the surrounding environment. Most of the time it is for protection from water or moisture and /or to electrically insulate it so that it will operate as designed. This can be done by several methods: potting, casting and encapsulation. Many names have been used interchangeably so there is some confusion of the terms. The most commonly used term is encapsulation or potting.

I have removed it in the past from a PFC module by scraping it slowly out with a screwdriver. This is normally only done to figure out what is in the module, or to determine a failing component. I have never attempted to reverse the procedure, but I assume it would be possible if damage is not done to the components during removal.

Potting Solutions also discusses the removal of the potting:

There are two ways to remove potting compound either physically or chemically remove it. To physically remove the potting compound it is common to heat the part until the potting compound becomes soft and it can be torn off. If it is a high Tg potting compound it could be cooled and then hit to shatter the resin since it is brittle at low (-40C) temperatures. Chemical removal of the potting compound is done by soaking in solvents to soften the resin so it can be torn off. The solvents are toxic so care must be used.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I tried the hot air gun but it's not localized as was said, there's no way it can avoid components (a capacitor exploded) and it's only effective at maximum heat (600°C). I tried drilling, it makes a lot of dust and you don't see what you drill. I tried hammering but it breaks the board with it. I tried a soldering iron but it's too much work, maybe with a large tip. I don't have liquid nitrogen at home and I bet that would break everything with it. So I want to try the chemical way, what solvents must I use ? \$\endgroup\$ – WaterBearer Oct 14 '12 at 13:21

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