Louvered Contact Band – Function

Louvered Contact Band
- Function

Certain technical design provisions will need to be observed when using louvered contacts just as it is the case for any mechanical spring application. For a spring to function properly it will require a certain deflection. With no deflection there will be no spring force and no defined conduction between the two metal connector components. With over-deflection (over-compression) the contact band elements will be damaged as they are compressed into a mode of plasticity which will prevent the spring elements to return to their original uncompressed state.

The preferred method of tuning the best suited compression state of the contact elements for a certain application is to machine a groove into one of the mating metal components in which the contact band will be inserted. The depth of this groove will limit the maximum compression of the contact spring elements. It will need to be machined with very tight tolerances in order to achieve dependable repeatability of connector performance. In addition to spring tuning this groove will also provide means of holding the contact band in place when choosing certain groove geometries for certain applications.

For large socket diameters, for installations on a pin or for installation on a flat connector pair such a geometry may have the form of a dove-tail groove. For other applications it may be sufficient to use rectangular cut grooves. Although it is possible to use contact band without these grooves when taking great care to prevent uneven spring loading and over-compression during mating of the connector components this is not a recommended method for multiple mating cycles or for series applications.

With a contact band inserted and compressed between two electrically conducting components certain power transmission will be achieved.  It is safe to say that this power transmission will always be higher as compared to having a separable pin and socket connector of same size and material without using a spring element between the two. It is also safe to say that when observing best practice this level of power transmission and connector performance will be better than with most other available connector technologies.

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