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COST AND SPACE-SAVING BENEFITS OF PRESS-FIT During PCB product development, installation space and costs quickly reveal strict limitations. Cost-saving and space-saving solutions become critical to the feasibility of the design for both the product’s performance and long-term manufacturing viability. When installation space is a limited commodity, press-fit technology is an appealing solution. The press-fit mechanism requires only one component, meaning no additional spacers are required for a secure connection. Just one component creates both a mechanical and an electrical connection, not only saving space on the circuit board, but also reducing costs. In a press-fit configuration, cost-efficient components should bring additional functionality as well as conserve resources. Press-fit often offers the best possible benefit-cost ratio of an assembly – with press-fit connections, component processing is fast and simple. Printed circuit boards can successfully be electrically and mechanically connected with only a single-step process, while

controlled force that allows for consistent quality and fast, problem-free processing. In order to accomplish a connection between the pin and the board, the pins of the press-fit system have to be slightly larger than the diameter of the metalized hole in the PCB. The holes in the PCB wall should only deform minimally, while the flexible interior of the connector’s terminals absorb the force and deforms at a specifically engineered point. This results in a cold welding connection between the press-fit pin and PCB hole. Cold welding joins the outer metal atoms of the PCB hole and press-fit pin, creating a stable atomic lattice that allows electricity to pass through. This type of connection comes very close to thermal welding, but with the added benefit of not introducing any heat that could potentially cause damage to the PCB or any neighboring electronics. By using only force, press-fit technology provides a connection that eliminates the need for high heat. Press-fit also offers minimal deformation of the hole wall. The final result is a gas-tight and mechanically resilient connection that conducts electricity with great reliability, even in demanding electrical environments.

The key components of a press-fit connection


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