WEST CONSHOHOCKEN, PA, USA - When Amphenol, one of the world's largest manufacturers of interconnect products, wanted to develop a new P-clamp for mission-critical cable harnesses, it used the same mechanical design of its original high performance P-clamps, made with VICTREX® PEEK(TM) polymer, but instead used a softer durometer silicone rubber for the clamp cushioning. Called the LDG P-clamp, the product was designed to reduce wear and tear on mission-critical transmission lines (RF, Fiber Optics) and is currently in use in a major aerospace program.
"For these types of cable harnesses, using a softer cushioning together with VICTREX PEEK polymer helps improve the overall performance and extends the lifetime of the new clamp when compared to traditional clamping devices," said Tony Padula, Product Manager at Amphenol. "We chose this high temperature performance thermoplastic for its corrosion resistance, excellent mechanical and electrical properties, and high temperature performance."
VICTREX PEEK polymer is exceptionally strong, inert, inherently flame retardant, and can be easily fabricated into tight tolerance parts. "It has successfully displaced metals, traditional composites and other plastics in a growing number of aerospace applications," said Patrick Clemensen, Americas Technical Manager at Victrex.
"We chose to use a softer durometer silicone rubber for the LDG P-clamp because the durometer value of a traditional P-clamp is too hard for sensitive cables," explained Padula. The LDG P-clamp uses a soft, but durable, silicone rubber that is used in a wide range of aerospace, shipboard, and industrial applications. "Traditional P-clamps usually force wires and/or cables into one another, applying a very uneven force, which can potentially cause serious damage and degrade electrical performance and/or impedance. The soft nature of the low durometer rubber, coupled with the ease-of-use mechanical design, solves the problem by acting like a cushion around the cables. It limits the amount of wire chaffing or pinching, thereby limiting wear and tear on the harnesses. This becomes especially important when dealing with high performance coaxial, RF, Fiber Optics and/or Microwave cables - cables that can be fragile and break during initial installation. Once installed, the low durometer rubber helps to ensure that no interruptions in data or signal transfer will take place."
The ability to properly bond the low durometer silicone rubber and VICTREX PEEK polymer is the result of more than 30 years of continuous development of overmold technology - a process of molding rubber directly onto the plastic substrate. "The procedure requires no adhesive and the result is a secure, cohesive bond each and every time," explained Padula. "The rubber simply will not come off the plastic, protecting against strong surges and vibration. It essentially seals the silicone rubber cushion to the plastic."
Made with the same easy-to-use mechanical design of the existing high performance P-clamp product line, the LDG clamps are equipped with hinged locking features that make installation quick and easy. A "lock-open" feature keeps the clamp open and a second "lock-closed" feature keeps the clamp closed. This frees up an installer's hand, making it easier to do his or her job. "Testing shows that the LDG P-clamps can reduce assembly time by 30% when compared with traditional clamping devices on the market," added Padula. "The design reduces the likelihood that an assembly will be damaged during installation."
Available in single leg (P-clamp) configuration, the new LDG clamps are available in 17 sizes, allowing them to meet most wire bundle and application-specific load requirements. They are compatible with tubing up to 2" in diameter.
For more information, please visit the Victrex website at www.victrex.com.
Amphenol is one of the largest manufacturers of interconnect products in the world. The company designs, manufactures and markets electrical, electronic and fiber optic connectors, coaxial and flat-ribbon cable, and interconnect systems. For more information visit www.amphenol.com
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