Z-Fill Elastomeric Connector Element Options
Z-Fill Elastomeric Connector Elements are made of tightly spaced wire filaments formed in a C or U-shape which, when compressed, create electrical contact. They have economic and performance benefits in special situations where traditional mechanical connectors are disadvantaged.
They can be insulated on two sides for electrical isolation.
To specify a custom Z-Fill Connector for your application, please complete a drawing template or contact us directly.
Soldering fine pitch connections can be difficult. Defects for fine pitch connectors and components typically include bridging of adjacent pads, incomplete pad coverage, and flux bleed.
There can also be defects related to shock, vibration, temperature cycling, etc… Once a defect occurs with a soldered high-density connector, it can be very difficult to rework.
Z-Axis Connectors are solderless.
Miniaturization is a driving force in electronics and with it comes the necessity for closely spaced I/O. We offer connectors with evenly spaced straight wires, most often used to make multiple contacts with an individual pad.
Standard Wire and Spacing: 0.05mm on 0.10mm centerlines
Closer Spacing: 0.05mm and 0.75mm centerlines
Thinner Wires: 0.025mm and 0.018mm diameter
Special Patterns: Dedicated wires/variable spacing
We can also place optical or mechanical registration features in the connector strips. Please contact us for specific details.
The cost-benefit of this feature is for devices with a main board and optional add-on boards. The Z-Axis compression connector ships with the add-on board only. The main board just requires a matching I/O pad pattern; so that there is no cost until the add-on board is needed.
There are also manufacturing benefits by reducing part counts and reducing opportunities for two-part connector soldering defects. In addition, with high-density two-part connectors, mechanical pins can be fragile and difficult to re-mate/re-use if they become misaligned.
Either robotically or by hand, Z-Axis Connector elements can be placed into slots and compressed when the overall assembly comes together. By designing a retaining slot into the housing, no extra components or labor is required.
Because most Z-Axis connector elements have multiple wire contacts supported by an elastomeric core, they provide a low initial resistance that is not as effected by variations in the compressed height or number of mate/de-mate cycles.
Conductive polymer connections are comparatively affected by variations in the percentage deflection, degrade quickly with multiple mate/de-mate cycles, and are mixed in a batch process with inherent variability.
Because they are solderless and they can be easily removed from their retainers, Z-Axis Connector elements are conveniently field replaceable. This is especially attractive for test connections. Alternatively, if required, retention features can be added so the elements can not be removed.
By changing the size of the pads on the substrates to be connected, more or less wire contacts can be made, all with the same connector element. So, rather than wasting space and sharing small pads to distribute power, large pads can be used to improve board real estate usage.
We maintain a stock of the following wire types:
- Gold Plated Copper
We are able to build connector elements with almost any wire and will respond to special requests for materials such as Chromel, Alumel, Inconel, etc… We will also work with wire supplied by our customers, as long as the material is continuous. We also work with conductive polymer fibers.
The standard core material for Z-Fill Elastomeric Connector is 50 Shore A durometer silicone rubber, with a temperature range of -45o to 125oC [-49o to 257oF]. Other choices are available for higher and lower temperatures, softer or harder durometers, and rubbers other than silicone.
Outline Dimensions and Tolerances
Measurements of outline features in an unrestrained condition are subject to variation. If necessary, use mutually designed and accepted inspection fixtures for verification of finished dimensions. Because we build our own manufacturing equipment, if your application requries a longer, shorter, wider or thinner connector, please do not hesitate to contact us with such a request. It may be a relatively simple matter to go beyond the listed standard dimensions.
The minimum standard dimensions and typical tolerances are:
Length: 0.50 mm +/- 0.250 or 0.020 inches +/- 0.010
Height: 0.50 mm +/- 0.125 or 0.020 inches +/- 0.005
Width: 0.50 mm +/- 0.125 or 0.020 inches +/- 0.005
The maximum standard dimensions and typical tolerances are:
Length: 20 cm +/- 0.250 or 8.00 inches +/- 0.010
Height: 19 cm +/- 0.125 or 7.50 inches +/- 0.005
Width: 19 cm +/- 0.125 or 7.50 inches +/- 0.005
Wire Size and Pitch
The standard, in-stock diameter wire used for Z-Axis connector elements is 0.05 mm (0.002 inch). We are able to build connector elements with almost any size or shape wire (such as ribbon) and will respond to special requests for wire or ribbon as thin as 0.01078 mm (0.0007 inch).
The pitch of wires for most Z-Axis connector elements is 0.10 or 0.125mm (0.004 or 0.005 inch). We are able to offer closer or wider spacing depending on the requirements of the application. We are able to group wires on a repeatable basis and can place wires accurately from a reference edge or other physical feature.