Enhancing connector resilience in harsh environments

PEI Genesis’ senior product manager, Dawn Rogers, discusses the benefits of Tin Zinc J plating for connectors used in harsh environments, such as military vehicles, industrial equipment and outdoor applications, connectors must withstand extreme conditions, including exposure to moisture, salt, chemicals and extreme temperatures.

Tin Zinc J plating was introduced in countries that use VG spec connectors in extreme military conditions. It was designed and developed as a full replacement for cadmium plated VG connectors, which were phased out of new designs since 2018 due to environmental concerns. As a full replacement, it has plating compatibility with cadmium-plated versions, thus suiting maintenance, repair projects and new designs.

The plating was developed as a Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) and Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) standards compliant alternative to cadmium- plated versions currently used in extreme harsh environments. These regulations control the use of hazardous substances in manufactured equipment, making connectors more environmentally friendly.

Tin Zinc J plating offers advantages for connectors exposed to harsh environments. Its corrosion resistance ensures longevity, even in extreme conditions, such as off-road vehicles or industrial settings. It has been shown to withstand over 500-hours of static salt spray testing and over five-days of cyclic salt spray testing.

With high conductivity and shielding capabilities, plated connectors maintain reliable electrical performance, crucial in applications like military vehicles and railway projects. The plating also boasts a wide operating temperature range. Tin Zinc J plated connectors are found in applications ranging from heavy earth-moving equipment to military and aerospace contexts, including aircraft and ground support equipment.

In the harsh environmental industrial sector, including oil and gas, mining and manufacturing, Tin Zinc J plated connectors are employed to link sensors, actuators and various electronic devices in environments characterised by extreme conditions, such as exposure to chemicals, dust and rugged terrain.

Furthermore, these connectors suit outdoor applications such as traffic control systems, where they connect electrical systems in challenging applications subjected to moisture exposure, salt and other environmental factors.

It is important to purchase Tin Zinc J plated connectors from a reputable manufacturer that uses high-quality materials and processes. PEI-Genesis has extensive expertise in delivering reliable solutions for harsh environments. In 2024, PEI-Genesis will extend its assembly line range with the full Tin Zinc J plating solution. This will include the following VG spec products from Amphenol-Air LB:VG95234, VG95328, VG96912, VG95319- 1016A & VG95319-1011A and ITT Cannon VG95234.