We all know it when we see it. Perhaps it is the avid sunbather that has spent too many years working on that summer tan, or the hotdog that has made one too many rotations on the gas station warmer. Either way, the result is the same, and aging is clearly visible. Heat and humidity can be fun, but they can also be a fickle mistress that causes irreparable damage. While the visual effects shown in a connector may not be akin to an aged hot dog, thermal aging can also take its toll on them.
Piggy backing off the previous blog on Low Level Contact Resistance (LLCR), we dive into thermal aging since LLCR is used to track the effects of it.
How is it tested?
Thermal aging is used to test the ability of a product to withstand elevated temperatures for an extended period of time. This test measures the change in LLCR and mating / unmating force both before and after the parts have been thermally exposed in a thermal chamber.
The normal program used to test Samtec’s products is at 105°C for 250 hours, and is based on the standard EIA-34-17 “Temperature Life With or Without Electrical Load Test Procedure for Electrical Connectors and Sockets.”
The test sequence is as follows:
- Measure contact gaps
- Test force to mate / unmate
- Test initial LLCR
- Thermal Aging (Sit in the thermal chamber for 250 hours undisturbed)
- Retest LLCR
- Retest the force to Mate / Unmate
- Remeasure contact gaps
The LLCR results will have to meet the same specifications both before and after thermal aging, and those specifications can be found here.
Why does it matter?
As a connector is exposed to extended periods of elevated temperatures there can be an effect on the contact interface material within the product. By exposing the mated connectors to these conditions, Samtec can determine what a customer can expect to see in an elevated temperature application and can provide data to prove performance.
Samtec publishes all of its reports on www.samtec.com and can be found according to the series pages. To see the qualification test report that includes thermal aging test results for the SEAM/SEAF series please click here, or type in the series name of the part you are interested in on samtec.com.