Rugged Interconnects for Harsh Environments eBook

voltage transient during its normal operation. The electrical parameter’s attributes – how the contacts will be insulated and how the contact’s sizes should be made in reference to its electrical conductivity and to the current it is conveying — have similar requirements in most applications. However, some market segments require additional safety features. For instance, if the end product will be directly accessed by the user, an additional safety feature could add more depth to the female contact’s touch point relative to its housing surface. Doing so will ensure that the end user will not accidentally touch the live contacts with fingers or tools. The materials used in the contact housing and its backshell should be able to withstand the electricity and heat generated during the equipment’s operation. The electrical contact material will be based on the kind of electrical signal it will transmit, power or data.

not be disrupted or the contacts dislodged when subjected to impact. The geometric layout must be carefully calculated and the positioning of its features will adhere to UL and EN standards. The selection of materials will then rely on the pre- defined specification. These include how frequently it will be mated, interface keying to prevent wrong polarity linkage, and what kind of pulling and lateral force it will bear upon deployment. Though a singular material can be selected to cater to a wide range of applications, it will not be cost-effective if some of its mechanical properties will not be utilized during a particular operation or in the intended market segment. Thus, use of a material that will serve the purpose with fewer features makes more economic sense. The environmental parameters also vary depending on the product’s application. For applications in subzero or extremely high temperatures, the materials used, particularly the plastics on housing and cables, should not fail or break when subjected to dynamic operation and impact. The materials used throughout the component should preferably have similar coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) so all parts expand or shrink at the same rate. The degree of protection is therefore uncompromised, particularly regarding the connector’s ingress protection. Materials used in applications that require direct exposure to sunlight or UV must be resistant to it and be rated for outdoor use. Lastly, the chemical parameters will define the product’s material resistance to certain chemicals. The selection process of material to be used on the products’ components will rely on the chemical hazards that the product will encounter in the

In the mechanical parameters , the connector components’ construction derives from the product’s application and what kind of physical abuse it will undergo during operation. The primary consideration of the connector’s mechanical design is the integrity of the transmission of electrical signals. They should ALTW’s contacts typically utilize copper alloy with high electrical conductivity (current capacity per unit area) to optimize space, making the connector more space- diversified and occupying more electrical contacts. Due to this, heat generation during conduction is also of utmost importance in ALTW’s contact design; the current rating was derated to prevent unwanted burnouts and joule heating. For an application that required hot-plugging, a special contact design was implemented to prevent arcing during operation.


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