Rugged Interconnects for Harsh Environments eBook

possible, so that these ruggedized connectors can be used in similar spaces as the standard versions. 3. Choose materials that are suitable for harsh environments in contrast to those used in non- ruggedized counterparts. 4. Ensure they are completely sealed and adhere to IP6X ingress protection ratings for dust and moisture compliance. 5. Make them as versatile and easy to use as standard connectors by offering multiple mounting and termination styles, and other valuable features such as LEDs and high- performance capability.

to play as well. These provide the mounting substrate for the electrical contacts and must be capable of withstanding temperature extremes. While many IP20 versions have a typical operating temperature range of -20ºC to +85ºC, their ruggedized counterparts may need to function in temperatures within -40ºC to +105ºC, and sometimes even more extreme ranges. This requires the use of engineering thermoplastics with higher heat deflection characteristics. Another critical aspect of the plastic components used in sealing applications is their ability to prevent any moisture penetration and transfer through the component. Many molded thermoplastics have some level of porosity, causing them to absorb

In order to achieve the mechanical “platform” for the ruggedized variants, the typical stamped and formed metal shell and shield is replaced with a single-piece metal alloy die-cast component. The cast metal, typically a zinc alloy, is structurally strong and well suited to maintaining the dimensional integrity of internal and external

moisture in high humidity environments or upon direct exposure to liquid water. Water absorption can not only affect the appearance of molded plastic components, but also result in deformations, which can impact the structural integrity of the component, affecting its sealing ability. Plastic components used in harsh environment connectors


features, necessary for the design to work with the other parts. The zinc alloy is usually plated with nickel or another protective metal to prevent any type of corrosion, and tight dimensional tolerances maintain mounting and mating standards.

are often impregnated with sealing compounds to fill in any microscopic pores, voids, and leak paths and displace any resident moisture. This ensures that water, solvents, fluxes, or other corrosive agents cannot penetrate through the plastic insulators of the connector to reach the sensitive internal areas of the equipment.

The molded plastic insulators have an important role


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