Rugged Interconnects for Harsh Environments eBook

STRENGTH MEMBER PERFORMANCE Strengthening materials are added to improve pull strength, push strength, mechanical strength, or rigidity. Common strength members are fiberglass rods, steel, and aramid fibers. What to ask when choosing strength members: • What types of strength are required? • Does this cable need to be rigid or flexible? • What is the plan for connectorization and termination? MULTI-FUNCTIONAL TUBING Breather tubes are necessary for maintaining functionality in certain extreme environments, offering enhanced protection against heat, abrasion, pressure, water, oil, chemicals, and flame. Breather tubes can be used to bundle inner components in wiring harness applications for protection and abrasion resistance, gas and fluid transfer, and for dissipating heat, pressure, or steam. What to ask when selecting tubing: • What is the primary purpose of the tube? • What secondary functions for the tube are desired? • Will the cable be in high heat or wet environments? • What material will best meet the needs of the application (polyethylene, nylon, polyvinyl chloride, polyurethane, or fluoropolymers)? WATER-BLOCKING MATERIALS Water-blocking agents react quickly to seal off any leaks and prevent liquid from migrating. Newer solutions allow for ease of installation and termination. They include dry yarns and tapes impregnated with water-blocking chemicals that activate when they come in contact with moisture

to produce water-blocking gels and successfully trap and seal the leak.

What to ask when selecting water-blocking materials: • Will the cable be partially or fully submerged? • Are there moving parts or high flex requirements for the cable system? • What types of liquid will the cable encounter? FILLERS FOR FORM AND FUNCTION The primary function of filler material is to fill the space between components to create the desired form, but they can also be used to enhance functionality or add strength and protection against harsh environment conditions. Fillers are typically made of polypropylene, polyester, nylon, cotton, and paper that can be bundled, twisted, or layered. Each material offers specific benefits. For example, polypropylene rods add push and pull strength, polyester provides insulation, nylon resists heat, cotton will not melt in high temperatures, and paper has options for flame and moisture resistance. What to ask when selecting filler materials: • What is the desired form? • How can filler enhance the cable’s function? • What gaps could various filler materials address for this application? BARRIERS: TAPES, WRAPS, AND SEPARATORS Barriers are mainly used to prevent the cable’s core components and the outer jacket material from bonding together. Configurations to isolate and separate internal components are highly customizable. Additionally, coverage can range from full to minimal depending on needs.


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