Enhancing connector resilience in harsh environments

Connectors are essential components in a wide range of applications, from consumer electronics to aerospace and defence. In harsh environments, such as those found in military vehicles, industrial equipment, and outdoor applications, connectors must be able to withstand extreme conditions, including exposure to moisture, salt, chemicals and extreme temperatures. Here, Dawn Rogers, senior product manager at cables and connectors specialist PEI-Genesis, discusses the benefits of Tin Zinc J plating for harsh environments.

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


This plating was developed to be 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.

Benefits of Tin Zinc J plating for harsh environment connectors

Tin Zinc J plating offers a comprehensive set of advantages, making it an ideal choice for connectors exposed to harsh environments. Its exceptional 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, connectors plated with Tin Zinc J maintain reliable electrical performance, crucial in applications like military vehicles and railway projects. This plating also boasts a wide operating temperature range, accommodating environments with significant temperature fluctuations.

Applications for Tin Zinc J plated connectors

Connectors plated with Tin Zinc J are versatile and highly suitable for a wide range of harsh environment applications, such as heavy earth-moving equipment. They find extensive use in military and aerospace contexts, where they play a crucial role in connecting electrical systems within 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 are ideal for many outdoor applications, such as heavy-off road vehicles and traffic control systems, where they are relied upon to connect electrical systems in challenging applications subjected to moisture exposure, salt and other environmental factors.

Tin Zinc J plated connectors offer compelling benefits that set them apart as a superior choice for applications in harsh environments. Their exceptional corrosion resistance and high conductivity ensure long-lasting, reliable electrical performance.

Nevertheless, it is important to purchase Tin Zinc J plated connectors from a reputable manufacturer that uses high-quality materials and processes. PEI-Gensis is a leading provider of connectors, with 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-AirLB:VG95234, VG95328, VG96912, VG95319-1016A & VG95319-1011A and ITT Cannon VG95234.

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