Electronic Design

New Connectors Withstand Adverse Environments

A new rack-and-panel connector design almost eliminates physical damage caused by environmental conditions, shock, and vibration. The connector provides multiple points of contact at all times, protecting the contacts against damage and improving reliability.

The Curtac connector is manufactured by Electronic Fittings Corp., a subsidiary of Curtiss-Wright Corp., Bethel, Conn. It can be used with connections using one or more wires.

The new design concept is known as Hyperboloid Contact. This utilizes a geometrical socket, consisting of line contacts with metallic wires that represent a straight generator of a hyperbola of revolution. Used with a solid-pin entry, this socket results in a positive linear electrical contact through the elastic wrapping of the pin by each line-wire contact.

When the pins are inserted in the socket, the wire contact members are under tension and the arrangement assures a low spring rate with adequate wear allowance. There are no sharp discontinuities in slope on the sliding surfaces; the insertion and withdrawal forces are consequently even and smooth. Each "floating" pin receptacle allows enough lateral and angular freedom to compensate for misaligned pins during insertion. (Electronic Design, Dec. 6, 1961, p. 54)

The contact members are beryllium copper, silver and gold plated. The solid-entry pin insertion has a burnishing action, which results in improvement of the Curtac connectors with repeated use.

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