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Ruggedized Connectors: Protecting Power and Data in Adverse Conditions (.PDF Download)

March 30, 2018
Ruggedized Connectors: Protecting Power and Data in Adverse Conditions (.PDF Download)

Harsh environments can be found in nearly every industry—aerospace, military, medical, agriculture, automotive, and so on. While each has unique characteristics of its own, they all share one thing in common: Volatile environments can wreak havoc with equipment and their connections.

Companies that manufacture equipment for use in these environments routinely ruggedize their designs, limiting the potential for failure. The same must be done for connectors, as vibration, temperature extremes/radiation, abrasive/corrosive chemicals, and fluids can render any equipment or power and data flows uselessly if the connection is compromised.

1. Connectors developed by TE Connectivity. (Source: TE Connectivity)

Understanding the various conditions will help you determine the type of connector that’s required to maintain electrical continuity, thereby ensuring the uninterrupted flow of data and power.

In a perfect world, all ruggedized connectors would be universal, compact, hermetically sealed, easy to use, and inexpensive to manufacture. Unfortunately, no one design fits all. There are almost as many different types of connectors as there are harsh environments.

What Makes Them Rugged?

Ruggedized connectors have several features incorporated into their designs to protect against environmental challenges. Most notably, contacts, connector styles, seals, casings, and locking mechanisms. One of the most critical parts of any design is the contacts, as they’re designed to carry signals, making them a vital part of the connection. If that continuity of signal is lost or interrupted, applications and systems can fail.

To ensure connectors meet the varied requirements across different applications, manufacturers employ a wide range of materials depending on the environments they’re designed to work in.


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