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Compliant-pin tech targets automotive apps

Posted: 25 Apr 2012 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:compliant pin technology? press-fit? plated through-hole?

Molex Inc. has demonstrated its compliant pin technology that claims to possess elasticity, enabling them to form a reliable solderless press-fit electrical connection with the substrate. When the pin is inserted in the plated through-hole (PTH), the compliant zone changes shape under the pressure, and the residual plastic forces create a retention force, explained the company.

Compliant-pin press-fit technology offers numerous advantages, noted Molex. The connection is permanent and highly reliable, resistant to shock and vibration. Moreover, compliant-pin connectors can be used on both the soldered and component sides of the PCB, allowing double-sided PCB assembly (either SMT based or through-hole). They can also be used on both tin and tin/lead plated PCBs. A further advantage is that the integrity of the populated PCB can be tested prior to the addition of the connectors, added the company.

Soldering is not required, and this in itself offers several advantages. There is no thermal stress on the connector, allowing the use of standard plastic material for the connector. The cost of selective soldering is eliminated. The quality of the connector interface surface plating remains the same as when delivered, free of solder slugs, flux residue, bridging and cold spots. The hazardous substance lead is eliminated.

The most popular type of press-fit compliant pin is known as eye of the needle (EON). This pin type is relatively simple to manufacture, using a Molex proprietary alloy. It is the lowest cost Molex compliant pin, according to the company, with all the benefits of being highly reliable and easy to install in final assembly. It requires simple tooling with minimum controls.

Applications for EON compliant-pin connectors in the automotive sector include body electronics, powertrain, automotive telematics, infotainment, airbag control modules, the engine compartment, transmissions and anti-lock braking systems (ABS).

Molex EON1.0, EON1.45 and EON1.80 connectors are being deployed in the automotive sector in sensor modules, transmission control modules, powertrain control modules, stitched power distribution boxes and powertrain control modules.

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