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What Are Connectors?

What Are Connectors?

  • Tuesday, 16 April 2024
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What Are Connectors?

Connectors play a key role routing signals and power between electronic systems in all areas such as industrial machines, aircraft, medical equipment, robotics, communications and test and measurement. They also enable devices and printed circuit boards (PCBs) to be manufactured separately and then assembled together, reducing manufacturing cost and lead time. Connectors also provide a robust interface between equipment and the outside world and protect internal components from harsh environments.

There are many different types of connectors available, each with its own unique structure and parts. However, they all consist of at least two mating sections, electrical contacts and a housing. Some have additional features such as a sealing ring to protect against water ingress or a locking mechanism. These extra features make the connector a specific style of connector and offer enhanced performance such as a higher level of waterproofing or more robustness.

The electrical connections within a connector are called ‘terminations’, and these are attached to the contact pins on the male part of the connector which insert into the female part to make an electrical connection. There are several termination methods used including crimping and soldering. Crimping uses a tool to mechanically compress the contact section onto the wire which then makes an electrical connection. Soldering uses a solder bucket on each contact and the wire from the electronics is melted into this, creating a strong and reliable electrical connection.

Many of the connectors used in the electronics industry have special features to enhance their performance in harsh environments such as high temperatures, vibration and shock. They are also required to operate in a wide range of environmental conditions such as humidity, mud and dust. Connectors for these applications often have a sealing ring to prevent water ingress, a locking mechanism to ensure the connector stays attached and high temperature resistance.

There is also a growing demand for connectors to be compatible between different manufacturers’ equipment which means that they must be able to accept the same type of mating connections. This requires a standardisation of connectors and a method for identifying the correct mating connections. This is achieved by using a standardised colour coding system and printed markings to identify the appropriate positions of the plug, socket and terminals on each connector.

Learners can use a range of simple and complex linking words in their writing to add more flow, clarity and structure to their work. Using these correctly can help them score well in the lexical resource and cohesion parameters of the IELTS writing test. Examples of these include: but/yet, as/if, since/though, subsequently/in addition, and more.

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