Elastomeric Connectors: What You Should Know

May 23, 2018

An elastomeric connector is a type of electrical connector that’s characterized by a unique design with multiple alternating layers of conductive and insulating materials. As shown in the photo, these layers are are often arranged in a striped pattern. The first layer may contain conductive material, with the second layer containing insulating material, followed by another layer of conductive material. While simple, this design has proven highly useful at creating electrical connectors.

Although there are different types of elastomeric connectors, must feature the same basic design consisting of a horizontal polymer bar with alternating layers of conductive and insulating material. The connector is then installed between the contact areas of a device, at which point it helps control the flow of electricity.

Origins of Elastomeric Comnnectors

Elastomeric connectors were first used in liquid-crystal display (LCD) televisions. Because of the fragile properties of LCDs, traditional connectors weren’t the best option. Rather, manufacturers needed a different solution, thus paving the way for elastomeric connectors. Another benefit of using elastomeric connectors in LCDs is the simple fact that LCDs require only a minimal amount of current.  The alternating conductive and insulating design of elastomeric connectors allow for the just the right amount of current.

Other Uses for Elastomeric Connectors

Elastomeric connectors are used in a wide variety of applications, only one of which is LCDs. They are also used in board-to-board connections, chip-to-board connections, wristwatches, memory cards, computer monitors and more.

Benefits of Elastomeric Connectors

There are several benefits to using elastomeric connectors. First, their flexible construction allows them to bend and deform without sustaining damage. While other connectors physically break under stress, elastomeric connectors do not. This makes them a popular choice in applications where vibration is a concern. Second, elastomeric connectors are highly reliable, thanks in part to their unique design. Because elastomeric connectors have multiple alternating layers of insulating and conductive materials, they create multiple points of contact. So, even if one layer fails, the other layers will create a solid connection to protect against failure. Finally, elastomeric connectors are often easier to install than traditional mechanical connectors. With their flexible properties, elastomeric connectors can be easily installed in small spaces.

After reading this, you should have a better understanding of elastomeric connectors and how they are used. To recap, they are flexible electrical connectors that are made of alternating layers of conductive and insulating material. They offer a high level of reliability while being able to withstand stress, shock and pressure.

Photo credit: Roland1952

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