Rugged Interconnects for Harsh Environments eBook

or THR (through-hole reflow) process. This allows the PCB to be built by an electronic manufacturing services partner, while the connector housing is attached to the enclosure at the final point of assembly. What’s the result? Speed, manufacturing efficiency, and cost savings. The confluence of sensor-to-cloud, remote monitoring, and Industry 4.0 is driving devices into harsh environments. Connection integrity between the sensor and monitoring equipment is critical to plant operations. Extreme temperature deltas, UV exposure, chemical exposure, liquid, dust, gases, and EMI are all areas to consider. The most basic consideration is choosing the proper IP rating for connectors. Several levels are suitable for use in harsh environments: • IP67: Dustproof and able to withstand immersion in water up to 30 minutes. • IP68: Dustproof and able to withstand submersion deeper than 1 m, up to a specified pressure. • IP69K: Protected against close-range, high- pressure, high-temperature spray-downs and steam. This test is identified as IPx9 in IEC 60529.

In most circumstances, IP67-rated connectors can serve most harsh environment applications.

If your device experiences extreme cold, choosing a connector with sealing elements, like O-rings made from Viton, helps connectors operate reliably in temperatures as low as -40⁰C. If corrosive chemicals are abundant, stainless or nylon connectors perform better than a zinc-plated option.


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