Safety First: Environmental Considerations When Selecting A Connector

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Safety first. This is a term that is often used for just about every facet of life you can think about. And when it comes to Flux Connectivity’s manufacturing solutions, the same thing rings true. It’s so important to consider the harsh environments within which many electrical connections are used. With a “safety first” mentality in place, strict attention must be paid to the ways in which connectors are customized.

It’s important to consider the many common environmental issues that connectors may endure. They include being submerged in water, experiencing corrosion from water or chemicals, extreme temperatures, tiny particulates, harsh materials that come into contact with the connections and even bending and flexing.

Your top-choice connectors are the ones with the highest IP ratings.

As explained by Code Corporation, “the IP (International Protection) Rating of a product is represented by two numbers. The first digit is the protection rating against solid foreign objects (i.e. dust) and the second digit represents the protection against the ingress of water.”

The higher the numbers, the more protection the connector provides. For example, a rating can get no lower than IP 00, which essentially provides no protection at all. A rating of IP 68, however, is considered the highest of its kind, offering total protection against dust and continuous submersion in water.

There are several factors to consider when selecting connectors for harsh environments.

Water and dust are not the only environmental concerns to consider when it comes to your connectors. Is your connector being using in an explosive environment? Is there flammable gas or vapours present? This is often the case with oil and gas applications. Is there a combustible dust present? This is generally a concern with grain bin and other agriculture applications as forestry and wood processing create combustible dust.

As Amphenol ICC points out, harsh environment connectors should also be able to protect the components from electromagnetic interference (EMI) radiations. “EMI radiation can either enter the box and interfere with the functionality of the device or exit the box and interfere with other devices,” their site explains, “To help ensure harsh environment connectors provide the best possible EMI performance, select connectors with plated metal shells and a conductive gasket.”

At Flux Connectivity, we consider all environmental factors when manufacturing our cable assemblies.

As we pointed out in our “What Is A Cable Assembly?” blog, a cable assembly is a group of wires or cables that are encased in a singular tube of material which is usually composed of rubber, vinyl or pressure extruded thermoplastics such as polyurethane. We always ensure that our materials secure the highest of IP ratings.

“The changing trends in technology are demanding applications that can withstand a harsh environment that involves exposure to dust, splashing water or cleaning solutions over the course of their lifetime,” notes Amphenol ICC, “They usually come with enclosures that protect the inner components from the risks… Designers must consider many factors like the influence of temperature, moisture, solvents, icing, corrosion, fungus, salt exposure, etc. while choosing the connectors.”

For more information about how our manufacturing solutions address the environmental considerations when selecting a connector, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 1-800-557-FLUX or email us at connect@fluxconnectivity.com.


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