Hermetic Connectors

PA&E designs and manufactures a wide variety of hermetic connectors, DC & RF connectors, machined housings and integrated hermetic electronic packaging for use in extreme environments that demand superior mechanical and electrical performance.

Hermetic connectors manufactured by PA&E are essentially designed to perform two functions: to carry signal or current in and out of an electronic package and to ensure no outside elements can enter the electronic package.

In general, the degree of protection varies by connector design, construction and materials. Environmentally sealed connectors are designed to stay sealed in relatively benign surroundings such as underwater or in changing weather. The degree of protection these types of connectors offer can be defined by an Ingress Protection Rating standard. For example, an IP 68 rated connector will not allow the ingress of dust or water at 1+ meter immersion.

Defining Hermetic

Merriam-Webster defines hermetic as ‘being airtight or impervious to air’ and hermetic connectors are PA&E’s area of specialization. But even that seemingly straight forward definition is subject to interpretation, because essentially, no seal is absolutely air tight.

The common method for measuring a connector’s leak rate involves forcing helium through a connector in a vacuum environment. PA&E typically defines ‘hermetic’ as a leak rate of less than 1×10-9 (0.000000001) cc per second of helium at 1 atmospheric differential pressure. Other manufacturers consider higher leak rates as high as 1×10-5 hermetic where PA&E considers anything below 1×10-9 ‘semi-hermetic.’

Hermetic Connector Drivers

A hermetic requirement connector is typically driven by three key factors:

  1. Tolerance for risk: Repair or replacement in the field risky, difficult or impossible costly production delays or service disruptions are unacceptable, mission-critical applications that can’t fail
  2. Environmental factors: Extremely high or low temperature exposures, high pressure environments, and corrosives
  3. Susceptibility of sensitive electronics to: Pressure Temperatures and gassing
  4. Tolerance for risk: Repair or replacement in the field risky, difficult or impossible costly production delays or service disruptions are unacceptable, mission-critical applications that can’t fail

PA&E’s interconnect products are designed for use in defense, space, medical and commercial applications where environmental conditions make an extremely rugged and reliable hermetic seal an absolute requirement. They are hard at work in life-supporting medical devices, oil-drilling tools deep below the earth’s surface, stealth fighter aircraft, and in many other demanding applications.

PA&E’s approach to hermetic interconnect designs provides maximum versatility which can lower over-all product cost. PA&E utilizes unique materials in its manufacturing processes and offers a range of manufacturing capabilities – machining, plating, vacuum brazing, laser welding, and more — at a single location. This integrated manufacturing approach can reduce complexity and risk on your next project. We have a talented staff of application engineers with deep experience in developing and manufacturing custom solutions for extreme environments who are ready to assist you with your next project. Let us know how we can help.

Extreme applications require components that perform flawlessly and retain their original properties even in the harshest of environments. PA&E’s hermetic DC connectors and RF connectors can withstand mechanical and thermal stresses that far exceed the limits of most conventional interconnection solutions.

Hermetic DC Connector Configurations

SP=Std Profile LP=Low Profile Nano-D: 025″ pitch.009″ pin Ø Jr-D: 030″ pitch.010″ pin Ø Micro-D: 050″ pitch.018″ pin Ø Sub-D: 100″ pitch.040″ pin Ø Circular: 389999 Compatible
Table Compatibility Designed for aluminum, titanium or iron/nickel alloy applications.
Contact Material 303 stainless steal/InconelX-750 Beryllium copper CDA alloy 172/173
Shell Finish Options Passivated, nickel/gold plated or chromate conversion coated as applicable
Contact Finish Nickel/gold plating
Interface Per MIL-DTL-32139 Proprietary Per MIL-PRF-83513 Per MIL-DTL-24308 Per MIL-DTL-38999
# of Contacts 9, 15, 21, 25, 31, 37, 51 9, 15, 21, 25, 31, 37 9, 15, 21, 25, 31, 37, 51, 100 Per MIL-DTL-24308 Per MIL-DTL-38999
Optional Solder Cup Contact PA&E for recommended method. Accepts 24 to 30 AQG solid/stranded wire Contact PA&E for recommended method. Accepts 24 to 30 AWG solid/stranded wire
Leak Rate Less than 1X10-9 cc/sec helium at 1 atmospheric differential pressure
Dielectric Withstanding Voltage Connectors exhibit no evidence of breakdown or flashover when tested inIAW MIL-STD-1344, Method 3003
Opperating Temperature -65°C to 200°C

Hermetic RF Connector Configurations

Configurations
Flange Mount
Push-On
Thread-In
Laser Weld Push On (LWP®)
“Little” Laser Weld Push On (LLWP®)
Solder Mount Push-On (SMP)
“Small” Solder Mount Push-On (SSMP)
SMA
SSMA
Material Compatibility
Designed for aluminum, titanium or iron/nickel alloy applications
Contact Material
Iron/nickel alloys
Shell Finish Options
Passivated, nickel/gold plated or chromate conversion coated as applicable
Contact Finish
Nickel/gold plating
Pin Diameter Options
.012”, .015”, .018”, .020” and custom
Interface
Per MIL-STD-348
Nominal Impedance
50 Ohms
Insulation Resistance
Connectors provide greater than 5,000 Megohms at 500 VDC when tested in IAW MIL-STD-1344, Method 3003
Leak Rate
Less than 1X10-9 cc/sec helium at 1 atmospheric differential pressure
Dielectric Withstanding Voltage
Connectors provide greater than 5,000 Megohms at 500 VDC when tested inIAW MIL-STD-1344, Method 3003
Corrosion
Connectors exhibit no evidence of breakdown or flashover when tested inIAW MIL-STD-1344, Method 3003
Operating Temperature
-65°C to 200°C