Minimising Fretting Slip in Connector Terminals Using Conducting Polymer Contacts

Jonathan SWINGLER  John W. MCBRIDE  

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Electronics   Vol.E87-C   No.8   pp.1295-1301
Publication Date: 2004/08/01
Online ISSN: 
Print ISSN: 0916-8516
Type of Manuscript: Special Section PAPER (Special Section on IS-EMD2003--Recent Technical Trend of Electro-Mechanical Devices)
Category: Connector and Sliding Contacts
electrical connector,  contacts,  conducting polymers,  fretting,  

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Novel contact materials such as extrinsic conducting polymers can improve contact performance and enable device miniaturisation. This paper presents an investigation of conducting polymer materials used to minimise the effect of fretting slip at the contact interface of connector terminals. Initial experimental studies are presented and a mechanical model is used to describe the polymer interface slip and stick characteristics. For fretting to be minimised the polymer must be sufficiently elastic, with a high coefficient of friction with the contacting terminal, and a sufficient normal force to ensure no slip. Experimental studies of a polymer-tin interface are conducted to characterise contact resistance performance under fretting conditions. A resistance model of the polymer interface is developed.