All About Circular Connectors

Connectors are common electrical components found in a wide variety of applications, allowing for an electrical circuit to be established for the transfer of current. Depending on the electrical assembly in question and the types of signals that are being transported, there are a number of connector types that one may take advantage of. One popularly used variation is the circular connector which features a circular design that ensures optimal operations in a number of settings. In this blog, we will discuss circular connector components in more detail, allowing you to better understand their design and uses.

A typical circular connector will consist of two parts: a multi-pin plug and a mating female socket. The male plug will be a connector placed within a circular shell made from plastic or metal, and the shell ensures the protection of an insulating insert and electrical contacts. In order for the plug to mate with the receptacle, the female connector will feature matching sockets that the pins may be inserted into. The shell of the connector may vary in size based on the product one purchases, bigger shells often being used to house an increased amount of contacts.

As connectors regularly vary in shape, the circular design is specifically done for the benefit of certain assemblies and applications. With a cylindrical housing and contact set, the connector can be easily engaged and disengaged while also guaranteeing ample sealing properties and optimal mechanical performance. To prevent the accidental decoupling of connectors during various operations, locking components such as screws, bayonets, or twist-lock features may be present.

In order for electrical current to efficiently traverse the connector, all contacts are made from highly conductive materials such as brass or steel. In addition, these mating contacts may also have a gold or silver plating added to adjust conductivity based on the need. As contacts may wear out over time and lose their capabilities and performance, one should determine whether they want a contact solution that requires replacement of the whole assembly or just the contacts when issues arise. Generally, crimp fitted contacts are easier to replace without having to buy a whole new connector.

Whether a circular connector is used in a home appliance or a spacecraft, it is essential that it can remain safe from any potential environmental stressors. For example, the back shells offer physical and electromagnetic protection, and a hermetic seal may be offered to guard sensitive elements from strain, shock, or vibration. If further protection is needed, one may purchase more specialized circular connectors with increased features for safeguarding.

Circular connectors may either be mounted on a cable end or on panels and other surfaces, and they may use a number of elements to remain secure. Jam nuts and flange mounts are the two most popular mounting types, the jam nut featuring a large hex nut for attachment and the flange mount utilizing bolting. While the jam nut mounting method is beneficial for assemblies where space is restricted, the flange mount allows for increased strength.

If you are interested in procuring circular connector parts and inserts for your various applications, there is no better purchasing platform than Just Connectors for all your operational needs. Owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we offer customers access to over 2 billion new, used, obsolete, and hard-to-find items that trace back to leading manufacturers that we trust. As you explore our offerings, be sure to fill out and submit an RFQ form at your earliest convenience so that you may receive a customized quote for your comparisons from one of our team members. If you would like to directly reach out to us, you may also send us an email or give us a call at any time, and we would be more than happy to assist you 


December 27, 2023

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