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Connector

In Consideration of Backshells

The backshell of a connector is an item that perhaps does not get the attention that it should. Often the discussion of EWIS focuses on the wiring, the connectors, or managing the risk of EWIS failures, but the connector backshell is ignored. The simple connector backshell (that is anything but simple) is designed for support and protection of wires and cables physically and, in the case of signal cables, support and protect electrically too. The following is a brief introduction to backshells, their use, associated standards, and research that has been performed to determine what to look for when performing maintenance.

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Detailed Discussion of MIL-STD-1353 (Part 2): Nickel and Gold Plating

Plating materials used on electrical connectors are imperative to the connector maintainability and dependability throughout its service life. In the last article on MIL-STD-1353, we discussed Tin as a plating metal, its restrictions in practical use, and the potential of whisker formation which can lead to destructive arcing or short circuit events. Here, we discuss the use of gold and nickel as plating metals and their effectiveness when used together.

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A Summary of MIL-STD-1353, A Guide to Connector Selection

Due to the diversity of connector applications, each connector is liable to be subject to entirely different electrical stress, mechanical stress, environmental conditions, etc. Knowing the severity of conditions a connector will be exposed to during its service life is imperative during the selection process. The MIL-STD-1353 (Electrical Connectors, Plug-in Sockets and Associated Hardware, Selection and Use of) document aims to provide guidance in the selection of connectors used in equipment intended for military use. The document references several standards/ requirements that must be met for military equipment qualification and combines them into one easy-to-reference guide. Read more

The Potential 270VDC EWIS Component Failure Impact

The More Electric Aircraft (MEA) design concept has placed, and will continue to place, a greater importance on aircraft electrical power and the supporting Electrical Wiring Interconnection System (EWIS) to accomplish flight critical tasks. To take the greatest advantage of weight savings from using electrically powered components, higher voltages have been brought into the aircraft power architecture.

The goal of Lectromec’s research was to generate data of the potential impact of EWIS component failure. Even with high voltage systems having been fielded for a couple decades, much of the published research provides information on the failure of 115VAC and 28VDC power systems. This research performed by Lectromec sought to fill in that gap.

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New Guidance for Wiring System Inspection

Back in November 2018, the US Navy released the second revision to the military handbook on “Guidelines for inspection of aircraft electrical wiring interconnect systems” (MIL-HDBK-522). This handbook is a guide for the aircraft EWIS inspection and provides a lot of detailed examples of wiring evaluation from beginning to end of the EWIS. Read more

Does a Connector’s Plating Type Impact Performance?

Design and installation of an aircraft’s electrical system has been made significantly easier with the adoption of modular harness design. This design pattern allows for discrete wiring sections to be designed and fabricated; this is only possible with the reliable performance of connectors. The connector-ization of harnesses has led some OEMs to build platforms where […] Read more

Basics of Connectors

Circular connectors have been a part of the aircraft industry for nearly 90 years. Clearly, because of this long history, many lessons have been learned on the construction and use of these connectors. But before anyone can really consider how to use the connector, there are basics that must be understood. This article reviews some […] Read more

5 lessons learned from NASA on electrical wiring interconnection systems (EWIS)

This is the second article on Lessons Learned from NASA. The documentation is based on NASA’s years of EWIS design and fabrication experience. Several of these EWIS-related recommendations are discussed. Read more