Custom Hermetic Connectors

How to Choose the Right Hermetically Sealed Connectors

Extremely harsh environments call for extra protection to ensure the integrity of a system. Hermetically sealed connectors provide such protection by keeping all air, moisture and contaminants out. If you’re looking for the right connectors for your application, consider these tips to begin your search.

  1. Select the Shell

There are two major types of connector shell shapes: circular and rectangular. Sizes typically range from 0.25 inches to 3.0 inches in diameter. Connectors can be made from a variety of materials such as:

  • 300 Series Stainless Steel
  • Cold Rolled Steels
  • Kovar
  • Inconel
  • Titanium
  • Aluminum

Kovar is a nickel- and cobalt-based alloy that contains iron, and Inconel is a nickel-based alloy that contains iron and chromium. Titanium and aluminum hermetically sealed connectors are lightweight but still provide the same quality of seal as heavier materials.

  1. Select the Pins

To select the correct pin configuration, determine how many pins you need and how they need to be oriented. Pin end shapes usually include rounded, eyelet and hook types and range from 4 AWG to 16 AWG in size. Typical pin materials are:

  • Kovar and Copper Cored Kovar
  • Alloy 52
  • Inconel
  • Molybdenum
  • Stainless Steel

Alloy 52 is composed of nickel and iron and works well for sealing glass to metal, while molybdenum is known for reducing wear and friction.

  1. Select the Finish

The finish is important because it protects hermetically sealed connectors from the environment. Standard finishes include:

  • Bright Tin Plating
  • Electroless/Electrolytic Nickel Plating
  • Copper Plating
  • Gold Plating
  • Silver Plating

Though the finish primarily protects the connector against corrosion, it is also a considered design element that makes your system look sharp. For instance, bright tin plating creates a shiny exterior, while gold plating can make the connectors stand out.

Ask the Pros

If you’re having trouble deciding which hermetically sealed connectors are right for your application, call your dealer for help. The experts can help you select the right size, shape and finish to ensure the integrity of your system.

Hermetically Sealed Connectors

What Are Hermetically Sealed Connectors?

Hermetically sealed connectors are commonly used when machines or equipment will be exposed to harsh environments. Some items, such as photographic and surveillance equipment mounted on unmanned vehicles, are exposed to severe weather, fluctuating atmospheric conditions, and high altitudes. Hermetically sealed connectors are chosen to connect vacuum-sealed boxes and equipment because they can maintain the airtight condition even under severe flight conditions. It’s also common to find a hermetically sealed connector in use on submarines and satellites in orbit. Although the connectors are exposed to very different environments, their ability to withstand pressure differences and prevent moisture seepage into machinery is consistent.

A Vital Component of Protection From Moisture

In these, and other conditions, packaging technology is used to prevent gases from moving through barriers because of the connector. When a high-pressure differential barrier is built to allow for the passage of electric currents, there’s a potential for gases or moisture to also penetrate the barrier. Appropriately-constructed, hermetically sealed connectors will be effective against those environmental exposures and should be unaffected by moisture as well as resistant to corrosion. Ultimately, the purpose of the hermetically sealed connectors isn’t just to prevent gas and moisture to get beyond the barrier, but to protect sensitive electronic systems from malfunctions related to moisture.