Surprising Facts About Harsh Environment Connectors Engineers Should Know

Surprising Facts About Harsh Environment Connectors Engineers Should Know
Surprising Facts About Harsh Environment Connectors Engineers Should Know

It doesn’t matter how good your cables are if you don’t use high-quality cable connectors. This is always going to be the weak spot in installation. Connectors allow moisture which can damage the connector and create a problem with the current being carried by the cables.

Temperature can also affect the ability of a cable to do its job. But, again, the weak spot isn’t the cable, it’s the connector.

You need to choose industry-leading cable fittings for your applications, or you’re setting yourself up to fail.

Check out these surprising facts about harsh-environment connectors and make the right decision next time you’re choosing connectors:

Physics Wins Every Time

Technology is relentlessly marching forwards and this means there are better products on the market all the time. However, the physics behind cables and connectors remains the same, no matter how small data units become or the speed of the cable.

You need to know the ampacity calculations for every connector you use. This will ensure you have the number of connectors and contacts you need to get the job done properly.

Customization Options

There is more than one type of harsh environment connector, you can customize the one you need to suit the environment it will be operating in.

It doesn’t matter if you’re dealing with extreme heat, extreme cold, abrasion, water submersion, or even UV exposure. You can get the right cable and connector customized for the job.

It’s worth taking the time to get this right.

Getting High-Quality Harsh Environment Connectors

You can purchase connectors off the shelf, they will tell you exactly what environments they are capable of working in. If this is enough for what you need then this is probably the most affordable way to get connectors.

However, you can also order brand new connectors that are made to your custom specification. This gives you a better comeback if there is an issue with the connectors in the future. It also ensures they are made for the job in hand.

The alternative is to take existing connectors and modify them for your own purposes. This is generally a cheaper option than custom-built although it may be harder to confirm their long-term viability.

The Basics

When looking at harsh environment connectors it is important not to forget the basic principles. There are 3 important factors involved in any connector:


  • Contact Material


If you want durability you need to Beryllium copper connectors, it can withstand extremes of any environment. However, it is expensive. You’ll find phosphor bronze or brass is cheaper options but not quite as good at handling harsh environments.


  • Insulation


Rubber, glass insulating, and thermoplastic are the best materials for harsh environment connectors. They can deal with extreme temperatures and stay reliable.


  • Plating


Gold is the best as it doesn’t oxidize. Of course, it is also the most expensive which is why many people opt for gold-tin or even tin-lead.

Don’t forget, circular connectors are generally a better fit and stronger, making them the obvious choice for your harsh environment.

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