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CALCE Builds New Contact Resistance Measuring Test Equipment

Electrical connector sales represent a 50 billion dollar industry every year. With increasing applications, reliability and availability of electronic connectors is critical.

The rise in new technologies' materials demands we understand the chemical, mechanical, and electrical behavior of these electronic connectors--to improve their reliability and reduce costs.

CALCE has developed a test setup, which provides the ability to measure contact resistance over a range of normal forces and fretting tests. The normal force can be up to 600 grams with a resolution of 0.15 grams. A linear piezoelectric actuator enables fretting tests on connectors at frequencies as high as 190Hz and precise amplitudes of up to 110 micrometers.

The test setup incorporates a load cell dedicated to measure frictional force between the contacts. Normal force, amplitude, and frequency are controlled using an algorithm developed in LabView.

We are currently working in the selection of proper lubricants for electronic connectors. Lubricants help mitigate wear and corrosion. Chemistry, concentration, and viscosity are among the parameters used in lubricant selection and are vital in the testing process.

This new test setup is just another way CALCE remains the experts in connectors and electronic components. For research and information regarding connectors and the proper lubricant selection, contact Dr. Michael Azarian.

The Center for Advanced Life Cycle Engineering (CALCE), the largest electronic products and systems research center focused on electronics reliability, is dedicated to providing a knowledge and resource base to support the development of competitive electronic components, products, and systems.

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