Esterline Connection Technologies offers interconnect solutions designed to withstand environmental conditions with strong corrosion exposure. Our corrosion-resistant connectors - which include the M series, U series, TP series, MSH & MPH series, 851 series - are able to withstand more than 500 hours of salt spray exposure, from immersion to surface marine environments.
Originally, corrosion resistance capabilities required by standards defining critical connectors set the limit at 48 hours of salt spray exposure. Gradually the demand evolved to 96 hours and today is typically 500 hours of salt spray resistance. In order to qualify for these standards, the connectors are exposed to continuous salt spray, with some interruptions planned in order to introduce some mating cycles on the samples.
Connectors requiring to meet marine requirements may sometimes be subject to another corrosion resistance testing method. The connector samples are exposed to salt spray for 24 hours, then removed from the enclosure and placed in normal conditions for 24 hours before starting a new cycle. This cycle is repeated 20 times for connectors that are used on the outside of a vessel and 6 times for connectors that are used on the inside of a vessel.
Certain ranges of connectors, the material of the connector body allows the withstanding of the most extreme salt spray conditions without any sacrifice, specifically bronze and titanium. In most cases the base material of the body (aluminum) requires a coating we call protection. Today the most powerful deposits are based on cadmium, but also nickel zinc.
Other components sensitive to corrosion on the inside of the connector are the contacts. They must be protected in order to ensure continuous proper flow of current. A passivated contact surface is a poor conductor. That is why gold is the preferred coating on our contacts. It has the ability to withstand corrosion and maintain excellent conductivity. Silver is the best conductive material and for some industrial power applications, we will choose a silver coating.