11 Advantages of Spring Loaded Contacts
Before you consider using spring loaded contacts, make sure you have all of the information you need. Click here for the six key advantages.
Spring loaded contacts
If you’re not using spring-loaded contacts, you’re missing out on one of the best inter-connect components out there. With such a wide variety of interconnect components to choose from, there are plenty of reasons to love this particular component.
Spring-loaded contacts, or SLC’s, consist of a body, plunger, end cap, and a spring. These form what is one of the most popular inter-connect components available today. The diversity of available designs and the opportunities for its application make this component stand out from the rest.
SLC’s have become a favorite amongst engineers because they offer many advantages. And you could be benefiting from them, too. Below, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about SLC’s and what their advantages are.
The Advantages of Spring-Loaded Contacts
1. Solderless Inter-Connections
Spring-loaded contacts are ideal for solderless inter-connections between mating modules. Cutting out the process of soldering helps to reduce assembly cost.
Taking this route still provides a high-grade innovative solution that meets your design requirements without sacrificing quality.
2. Easy Integration into Systems
Regardless of which industry you’re working in, whether it’s aerospace, telecommunications, medical, high-tech electronics, automation, or otherwise, spring-loaded contacts work wonders to meet your needs.
The versatility of SLC’s mean that they can integrate into any system as needed.
3. Designed for Durability
SLC’s are designed with constant use in mind. Unlike most other contacts, these are able to withstand above and beyond 10,000 mating cycles.
Because of their durability, this makes them the perfect choice for use as test points on boards. This is an environment where they can endure frequent application. SLC’s continue to thrive long after most other contacts give out from the constant use.
4. Misalignment Accommodation
As movement occurs in the system, contacts often develop connectivity issues. This is due to misalignment as boards shift at different angles, and contacts can no longer reach the mating surface.
Spring-loaded contacts have the ability to maintain contact between boards despite becoming misaligned. Since SLC’s can reach variable distances, they are able to keep a reliable connection even when the mating boards are not parallel to each other.
5. Consistent Contact
Because SLC’s have the benefit of being spring-loaded, this allows them to work well when mated with an uneven surface. SLC’s maintain a firm and consistent contact across varying degrees of distance.
Even in cases where other contacts are able to maintain some sort of connection despite misalignment, the connectivity suffers. This issue is resolved completely with SLC’s.
There is still an optimal distance for maintaining a consistent connection when using SLC’s. But even when performing with an undesirable connection, it still outperforms comparable components.
6. High Vibration Tolerance
A typical connector will lose connectivity over time or even become damaged because of shock and vibration to the system. Spring-loaded contacts have a much higher vibration tolerance.
This is because they don’t need insertion when connecting between mating modules. They only need to make contact with a gold plated surface. The springs absorb the shock and vibration and adjust for any misalignment that occurs in the system.
With other inter-connectors, the shock and vibration to the system would cause damage to contacts. They would break, bend, become misaligned, and lose connections altogether.
7. Easy Mating with Other Components
Mating using an SLC is much easier when compared to using other contacts. That’s because the mating surface is usually larger than the plunger of the SLC. This helps to avoid potential component damage and gets rid of misalignment issues.
In cases where the SLC is unable to maintain an optimal distance of contact with the mating surface, another gold-plated mating surface can be added to reduce the interconnection distance for optimal connectivity. This is not an option that is achievable with another kind of inter-connect component.
8. Perfect for Blind Mating
SLC’s only need to be in contact with a gold-plated mating surface for a connection to occur. This makes blind mating a very easy process.
Because of the visual restrictions of blind mating, pins often become broken, bent, or damaged. This results from misalignment with the receptacle. SLC’s eliminate these issues because you don’t need to see exactly where the pin connects to the receptacle to form a connection.
9. Self-Cleaning Components
The movement of the spring-loaded contact means that it is also self-cleaning. As the component moves due to shock and vibration, it dislodges and removes any buildup that may have developed on the connection.
This helps to reduce or eliminate any connectivity issues that generally develop with contacts due to buildup over time.
10. Excellent for Cable Termination
Are traditional cable connections just not making the cut? Then cut the cables and switch to spring-loaded contacts! Ending cables into an SLC gets rid of all the hassle of a cable connection and gives you all the benefits of SLC’s.
This is especially ideal for applications that require a quick connection and blind mating situations. The durability of the connection is also better able to hold up to the shock and vibration that often results from handling cables.
11. Diversity of Design
The two main designs of SLC’s are a through-hole design, and a surface mounted design. But the design options for these contacts extends far beyond just that.
Our team of engineers offer more than a hundred years of experience. They can provide you with a wide range of solutions to meet your specific design requirements for spring-loaded contacts.
We’ve Got You Covered
Every design has its own specific requirements, and we can craft the SLC’s that you need to make your design come to life.
We know spring-loaded contacts better than anyone in the business because we specialize in precision machined components. We provide you with the products you need for your specific design requirements.
Whether you need high volume production, need proto-typing, or have another need, we are the industry leading experts who you can trust to give you exactly what you’re looking for.
Get in touch with us to find out more about how we can provide you with the components you need.