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Creating High-Reliability Contacts
New integraMate hyperboloid contact uses a precision, deep-drawn tubular sleeve to house the contact wires.

Manufacturers of connectors for high reliability electronic applications are frequently confronted with the reality that their products can become the cause for the failure of a high-value piece of equipment — usually at the most inopportune time. The challenge is to design connectors that resist the environment, make consistent, reliable electrical connection, allow for high mating/un-mating frequency, fit in an ever shrinking package, and most of all, are cost effective. Typical applications are medical and dental equipment, scientific and portable instruments, industrial equipment, transportation, ATE interfaces, military and aerospace electronics, and telecommunications.
X-ray of integraMate wire cage socket.

Hyperboloid wire cage sockets have been around for over 50 years, and are recognized as having superior performance when compared to traditional stamped or machined spring sockets. With this system, a gold-plated, solid round pin is inserted within a cage formed of compliant contact wires (also gold plated) arranged within the tubular socket to form a hyperboloid cage. Contact between the pin and the contact wires takes place around the full 360° of the pin's diameter. This eliminates discontinuities brought about by shock and vibration while providing superior "wiping action" that guarantees contact between the surface of the pin and the socket spring members. Because of the advantages the geometry of this system provides, high spring forces are not required, minimizing insertion force and reducing wear.

Advantages of hyperboloid wire cage contacts compared to traditional pin and socket contacts:

Low and uniform insertion and extraction forces. Enables high pin count connectors to be plugged together by hand without the need for additional hardware. The hyperboloid wire cage geometry exhibits unilateral forces.

Self cleaning. Smooth wiping action of the wires on the pin removes any surface contaminants and oxides which would appear as high or irregular contact resistance.

Long cycle life (Durability). Smooth tangential mating of the pin with the contact wires shows minimal wear of the gold plated surfaces. Hyperboloid contacts have been tested to 100,000 cycles with negligible changes in contact resistance.

Minimal power loss (Current Rating).Low electrical resistance with the circumference of the mating pin increases the current carrying capacity relative to the size of the mating pin.

Resistance to shock and vibration.Low inertia of the contact wires in contact with the mating pin prevents circuit discontinuities under the stress of mechanical shock and vibration.

Resistance to fretting corrosion. Random vibration can induce several million cycles of micro-motion which can rapidly wear the plating at the contact points (fretting corrosion). Temperature cycling and differential thermal expansion can also produce micro-motion and induce fretting. The localized heat generated by friction during random vibration will often oxidize the metal substrate followed by an increase in contact resistance and even contact failure (open circuit). QA's integraMate contacts have endured 19.64Grms random vibration and 250 thermal cycles (0 to 100°C) with no change in contact resistance greater than 2 milliohms. A new generation of hyperboloid contacts has been introduced by QA Technology. The company is well known as a manufacturer of spring-loaded test probes used by the printed circuit and electronics industries worldwide. The company has drawn on its 27 years of experience designing and automating the assembly of long-life electronic interconnects to develop this new generation of hyperboloid socket contacts.

The family of integraMate® hyperboloid contacts use a precision, deep-drawn tubular sleeve to house the contact wires. The tubular entrance of the sleeve also protects the contact wires from damage and guides the mating pins. This design allows for significant reduction in the diameter of the hyperboloid contact system offering the potential for doubling the connector pin density. Cost advantages are also realized because of the fewer components involved, and utilizing computer controlled, vision inspected, high-speed automated equipment.

The integraMate family of contacts accept a wide range of pin diameters including 0.40, 0.45, 0.5, 0.6, 1.3 and 1.5mm and are intermateable with other pins in the industry. Rear-loaded removable contacts, as well as a front loaded press-fit contact are also available to fit specific application needs. The company's flexible production equipment permits the automatic assembly of contacts with a wide variety of termination options for each contact size.

Contact: QA Technology Co., Inc., 110 Towle Farm Rd., Hampton, NH 03842 603-926-1193 fax: 603-926-8701 E-mail: Web:

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