Foolproof Connectors Hit the Road

April 24, 2008
High-precision 36-way sectioning connectors made from a 30% glass-fiber-reinforced polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) go in front/rear harnesses for Renault cars.

The two-connector set is designed and manufactured for Renault by FCI and incorporates many intricate geometric features for precise positioning and locking.

Design objectives included foolproof mating of the male and female connectors and reliable connections over the lifetime of the part. To mold the parts, FCI used a PBT called Arnite TV4 261 from DSM Engineering Plastics. The material’s mold-flow qualities, high tensile strength, and elongation-at-break properties make possible the design of the highly complex connectors. An intricate, molded-in protective grid separates and protects the wires feeding 30 signal pins and six power pins. On the male connector, a slide creates a positive lock between connecting parts for reliability. The female connector includes several pre-positioning lugs, as well as ridges that mate with grooves on the male connector.

Arnite TV4 261 resin also keeps costs down by simplifying the coloring process: FCI purchases the material in two basic shades and adds its own masterbatch.

DSM Engineering Plastics

The connector set is a standard component that fits many Renault vehicles manufactured after 2006.

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