Contributed by Derek Hunt, Application Specialist at Omnetics Connector Corp.
In the world of circular connectors, thousands of styles, sizes, configurations and functionality types are available. IP67–rated connectors in particular are becoming more and more common in both standard and custom configurations. These assemblies focus around a watertight seal and are specifically designed to withstand shock, vibration, and corrosion in some of the world’s harshest environments.
What is ingress? Well, for us non-English majors, this essentially means access.
Now on to the numbers: what do they stand for?
The numbers themselves correspond to a level of protection. Keep in mind, they’re separate, so it’s technically a ‘6’ and a ‘7’, as opposed to ‘67’. The ‘6’ means that the connector won’t allow dust to enter it and in turn offers complete protection to it; meanwhile, the ‘7’ signifies that the connector won’t be harmed if it is immersed in water up to one meter deep (This distance is measured from the bottom of the device) for 30 minutes or less. You should keep in mind that this does not mean that the connector can operate underwater; it merely promises that the connector will work once it is removed.
Since their inception, IP67 type connectors have found themselves used within a number of applications such as: Future Soldier systems, GPS related equipment as well as many hand-held military tactical radios. These types of applications require a high level of protection from the elements.
Omnetics Connector Corp. has been manufacturing circular connector configurations for nearly 30 years, and in order to make these already robust connectors even more rugged and watertight, the process of injection over-molding was added to the internal process. Generally within this process a shielded polyurethane cable is used with a single shot overmold consisting of a polyurethane material. Polyurethane in particular was chosen due to its track record of overall ruggedness, durability, flexibility, and overall sealing properties. This material is also a halogenated flame retardant compound per UL 94 V0.
Omnetics’ patented flex-pin gold plated contacts are polarized and shrouded by a unique liquid crystal polymer insulator. The over-molded shells were specifically designed to ensure a watertight seal. The cable jackets, strain relief system and cable surfaces are also specifically designed to have a good tactile feel and maintain flexibility while providing a secure grip.
Connector insulator sizes of 6, 11, 16 and 28 positions are available within Omnetics’ nano line (0.025 in./0.64 mm). Individual housing formats include in-line versions, as well as front, rear and protruding panel mount configurations. Meanwhile, three distinct locking options allow users to choose between a standard threaded, a quarter-turn twist lock option, as well as a breakaway version ensuring the connection type matches your preference. Custom wire or cable designs are available as well as custom cable harnesses.