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Cryo Connectors and Cables

One of the most challenging applications for any interconnect system is performing in a cryogenic environment. Cryogenic conditions involve temperatures at or below the boiling point of nitrogen (-196°C or -321°F) or the boiling point of helium (-268.9°C or -452°F). Applications for cryogenic cooling include quantum computing, monitoring liquid rocket propellent and a variety of research fields. Among the many capabilities of cable manufacturing, creating cryo connectors is a design that requires careful planning and execution.

We asked our engineers to share their process for evaluating the unique demands of a cryogenic application. Here are their top 5 considerations when selecting connectors which will meet the harsh demands of cryogenic applications:

Cryo Connectors: The 5 Step Process

  • Temperature profile: Many attributes of cryo connector design are defined by the temperature range required and how many times the system will be cycled to cryogenic temperatures to produce the optimal cryo connector or cable. This includes if the system is allowed to heat up after being cooled, what temperature the system is raised to, how quickly, for how long and how often is the system cycled from “warm” to “cold” are all considered important factors in connector design.
  • Interface type: A key step is always selecting the interface suitable for the application. Meeting the electrical and signal requirements of the connection system along with meeting the footprint restrictions is done early in the process.
  • Material selection: Next is material selection, ensuring that all elements of the connector system are selected with the harsh demands of extreme cold. Materials need to be selected not just for their suitability for the cold, they also need to be durable and, in the case of cables, flexible.
  • Sealing requirements: Not every cryogenic application requires a sealed connection system, those that do must take into account how the sealing is achieved, whether the system needs to be sealed in the unmated condition as well as mated and to what extent that sealing is maintained.
  • Termination style: A connection system is only as reliable as how it is terminated.   

Winchester’s support of cryogenic applications spans the entire portfolio of interconnect systems, including micro-d and nano-d connectors, RF connectors, in either hermetic and non-hermetic configurations. 

Author

  • Andy Robinson

    Andy Robinson is a seasoned leader in the world of sales, recognized for spearheading substantial revenue growth within large, multinational organizations. Andy holds a profound understanding of diverse industries including the Space industry, Aerospace and Defense sectors, Medical equipment, and Semi capital equipment markets. He has been instrumental in driving geographic expansion, targeted market penetration, and strategic investments in product development. With a career marked by a dedication to innovation and customer-centric approaches, Andy continues to influence and shape the future landscape of sales and business development.

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