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. They usually come with enclosures that protect the inner components from the risks. However, designing the application and choosing parts to meet these criterias are not often easy. Designers must consider many factors like the influence of temperature, moisture, solvents, icing, corrosion, fungus, salt exposure, etc. while choosing the connectors. A wrong choice can affect the integrity, performance and lifespan of the application.

Here are some of the factors to be considered when selecting connectors for harsh environments.

Communication Protocols

One of the prime considerations is to determine the type of communication or use of the application. Each connector can be used to carry different kinds of signals like RS232 or I2C serial interfaces, RF transmissions, audio and video signals, power, or high-speed data communications. Apart from that, the level of data rates and characteristics should also be considered. In some instances, a single connector may use more than one communication protocol. When it comes to power requirements, the designer will have to check on the voltage and current requirements. In addition, the chosen connectors should also meet the specific standards to ensure that it is suitable for the application needed. Amphenol ICC offers a range of harsh environment connectors that are suitable for a broad range of applications.

Space Requirements 

This is the era of miniaturization and all modern applications switching to chip and technologies that provide advanced functionalities within small form factors. Design engineers are cautious as they should opt for connectors that will fit into the required space. There are options like nesting and ganged arrangements, or they can even combine functionalities with reduced number of interfaces. They can also look for designs in which the connectors are sealed into the panels or placed in front or back of the enclosures.

Termination Style

 Once the communication protocol and the form factor of a connector are fixed, we can consider termination styles.  Harsh environment connectors provide a metallic sealing along with providing an electrical connection. This electrical connection is made with soldering the connector directly to the board or through a cable termination. If we choose to direct soldering, we can opt for vertical or right angle PCB solder termination. In case of cable termination, there are several choices like Solder cup termination which is a popular choice. Crimp termination is another choice that is generally less labor intensive. Amphenol ICC provides harsh connectors mounted on interposer cards that offer multiple termination types and great flexibility. 

EMI Protection

Apart from water and dust, the harsh environment connectors should 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. To help ensure harsh environment connectors provide the best possible EMI performance, select connectors with plated metal shells and a conductive gasket. 

Amphenol ICC’S harsh environment connectors by data rate and IP rating.

Every system has its own unique features and requirements; it is essential for the designers to identify those and choose the components appropriately to get the most out of these electronic devices. Check our broad harsh environment connector offering which meets all these requirements.