Rugged Interconnects for Harsh Environments eBook

such as beryllium copper

• HPHT applications - Up to 232°C (450°F) and up to 35,000 psi, and with specialized advanced cross-linked PEEK thermoplastic, up to 260°C (500°F) and 45,000 psi. Resilience to rapid and extreme pressure and temperature cycling • Chemical resilience - Hydrogen sulfide, methanol, drilling fluids, well product, etc. • Mechanical strength - Resilience to shock and vibration without loss of continuity • Durability - Less sensitive to damage from mishandling THERMOPLASTICS OUTPERFORM GLASS PEEK and PEK overcome the limitations of glass to provide superior performance under the most demanding operating conditions. The material properties of thermoplastics overcome the rigidity and brittleness of glass to provide far greater resilience to mechanical stresses of pressure, shock, and vibration. The manufacturing process of thermoplastic connectors allows for the use of metals with low electrical resistance for significantly better power and signal transmission performance. Engineers and researchers continue to develop innovative elastomeric and thermoplastic materials to enhance reliability and performance. In addition to unfilled PEEK, electrical connectors are available in unfilled PEK for improved thermophysical properties, as well as in filled grades of PEEK and PEK for improved mechanical strength. For extreme conditions, cross-linked PEEK, such as Arlon 3000XT, can perform in temperatures up to 500 °F, pressures of 45,000 psi, and has proven to be 30% stronger than other materials used in oil and gas exploration.

Arlon PEEK allows for smaller pin diameters and high- density pin patterns.

An important difference between PEEK and glass is the geometry of the internal seal, where the insulative material encapsulates each metal pin. PEEK connectors are manufactured through an injection molding process where PEEK is overmolded onto the pin. Through this method, the seal extends along the length of the metal pin. Therefore, the bond is more durable than rigid glass seals. Internal stresses in glass seals or uneven thermal expansion of the metal contact can cause cracks in the sealing surface, which lead to premature part failure. PEEK’s lower glass transition temperature allows for slight deformation while under pressure load or vibration. By overmolding the metal contacts, the connector is tolerant of slight mating misalignment and is less sensitive to mishandling during installation and damage due to mechanical shock. Bent pins can be realigned without the need to discard the part. MOST DEMANDING APPLICATIONS In applications where reliability and consistent performance are critical, such as aircraft engines and deep downhole drilling operations, PEEK and PEK electrical connectors offer several important benefits: • Reliable power and signal transmission - Compatibility with optimal metal pin material,

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