Press-Fit Connector for Automobile Electronic Control Units

Yoshiyuki NOMURA  Yasushi SAITOH  Kingo FURUKAWA  Yoshinori MINAMI  Kanji HORIUCHI  Yasuhiro HATTORI  

Publication
IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Electronics   Vol.E90-C   No.7   pp.1472-1478
Publication Date: 2007/07/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1353
DOI: 10.1093/ietele/e90-c.7.1472
Print ISSN: 0916-8516
Type of Manuscript: Special Section PAPER (Special Section on Recent Development of Electromechanical Devices (Selected Papers from ICEC2006))
Category: Connectors & Sliding Contacts
Keyword: 
lead-free,  press-fit connection,  automobile electronic control units,  connection reliability,  hard tin plating,  

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Summary: 
A press-fit connection is a solderless electrical connection technology, which utilizes the mechanical contact force generated between through-holes on a printed circuit board (PCB) and terminals with a width slightly larger than the through-hole diameter. This technology has been widely noted recently as a measure against the "Lead Free Requirement" of materials comprising electric/electronic devices, especially in the area of automobile connector. For the application of this technology to automobile connectors, we have to take into account the severe requirement, such as (1) the adaptation to wider through-hole diameter tolerance range and (2) the establishment of connection reliability for the various PCB surface treatments. As a result, we have determined the minimum and maximum contact forces satisfying the long term connection reliability and designed the terminal shape, which has been refined the N-shape cross section developed before, by using three dimensional finite element methods (FEM). Furthermore, we have developed a new type of hard tin plating on terminals, thus preventing the scraping-off of tin during the insertion process, that could result in a short-circuit on the PCB, for the Organic Solderability Preservative (OSP) treated PCB. The press-fit connector for the automobile airbag Electronic Control Units (ECUs) we developed has been able to transfer to the mass-production phase successfully from August 2005.