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Customized Hermetic Connector's - The Key Connection to Making Flight Happen

Hermetically sealed connectors protect electrical systems against environmental conditions including changes in atmospheric pressure, humidity or moisture, dirt, and other natural hazards that affect electronics or compromise signals. They’re small, often invisible connectors that go inside of larger mechanical components and equipment. And while they may seem innocuous, hermetically sealed connectors are essential for things like engines, landing gear, electrical systems, and actuators to work properly. 

There are a number of standard, off-the-shelf hermetic connectors that can be found across an aircraft. However, standard connectors cannot always meet all needs, so design engineers will often turn to customization. In this article, we’ll touch on where hermetic seals are used and what factors might go into customizing them.

Where are hermetic connectors used?
Hermetic connectors have many different uses — where contact with water, air, and dirt or the impact of pressure, shock, and temperature can damage a delicate electronic connection or even prevent it from working altogether. Nearly any device with sensitive electronics, from smartphones and advanced medical equipment to lasers and aircraft engines, uses a hermetic connector — including, but not limited to, circuits, switches, ignitors, sensors, transistors, microchips, etc. 

The hermetically sealed connectors used in aircraft engines allow for all critical processes to take place. When it comes to commercial and military aircraft, hermetic connectors are found in avionics, guidance and control systems, fuel systems, weapons systems, sensors, and instrumentation, in addition to engines and landing gear. 

Hermetic connectors ensure that outside gasses, liquids, and solids cannot enter the sensitive electronic components that keep mission-critical aircraft equipment such as engines, landing gear, wing flaps, tail rudders, and instrumental panels working correctly.

When are custom connectors needed?
The move towards lighter and unmanned aircraft, sustainable systems, and electronic engines is driving much of the innovation in the commercial aviation sector. At the same time, more complex systems are driving military aerospace. And while standard-spec hermetic connectors can for many applications, oftentimes new systems may request custom connectors to make things work.

 Need of Custom Hermetic Connectors

Future concept for a blue hydrogen filled H2 airplane. Alternative fuels are becoming more prominent as aircraft OEMs explore more sustainable options.

What elements can be customized?
While hermetic connectors suitable to extreme conditions come in all shapes and sizes, they all have a few things in common: a male and female connector, pins, and either metal and glass, ceramic or epoxy.  At Hermetic Seal, we focus entirely on glass-to-metal connectors that are designed and engineered to withstand the most extreme environments.
 Customized Hermetic Connectors

Hermetically sealed connectors can be customized in a number of different ways including, but not limited to, materials, pin length, number of pins, etc.

When it comes to customization, all aspects of a hermetic connector can be modified including, but not limited to:

The materials of the seal itself
The number of pins
The length and width of pins
The design of the connector / insert arrangement itself

Because standard, off-the-shelf hermetic connectors cannot meet all needs, design engineers will often turn to customization. Most customizations are performed on the wiring end of the connector since the connector’s mating end must conform to MIL-SPEC and cannot be modified. The main hermetic connector product lines – 38999, 26482, 83723, EN2997, ESC10, and ESC11 – must mate to the scores of manufacturers’ plugs that connect to the receptacles.

To learn more, download our Insider’s Guide to Purchasing a Custom Hermetically Sealed Connector.

About Hermetic Seal
Hermetic Seal is well known for space-grade quality, having supported lunar and Mars missions alike for many decades. In fact, our products were part of the original Mars Rover, the Artemis Moon Constellation Project, upgrades to the International Space Station, and NASA’s New Horizons initiative. In addition, we’ve designed and manufactured connectors for all major rockets, as well as electronic and optical packages for satellites. We’ve even designed components for spacesuits.

We have over 30 years of experience developing and designing products that solve the most technically challenging requirements for Space Applications. But the company has been around a lot longer. Since 1945, Hermetic Seal has been the go-to premier designer and manufacturer of high-reliability custom hermetically sealed electrical interconnection devices. Its products are used in sensing and actuating systems by the aerospace and defense, oil and gas, and medical device industries worldwide.

Hermetic Seal is owned by AMETEK, a leading global manufacturer of electronic instruments and electromechanical devices.

Our sister brand, Sealtron, makes high-quality, highly reliable qualified hermetic seals built to industry specifications. 

Join Us! Farnborough International Airshow | July 18-22, 2022

We’ll be at the Farnborough International Airshow joining forces with other leaders in the aerospace and defense industry. To learn more about what we’re doing to support innovative new ideas in the commercial aviation and military aerospace sectors, please feel free to stop by our booth.

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