Circular connector mating styles

Circular connector coupler styles matter

Choosing the right circular connector mating style ensures a safer, more functional interconnect. Circular connectors come in many shapes, sizes, and configurations. However, these interconnect staples tend to use five mating techniques; threaded, bayonet, push-pull, friction-fit, and quick-connect. Each mating style offers advantages for specific applications.

Interconnect technical requirements, ergonomics, environmental factors, the desired number of coupling cycles, end-user experience, aesthetics, and production cost all play a role in selecting the right coupler for your application. Caton works with customers to identify the mating style that best meets all needs.

threaded circular connector - 16 seriesThreaded connectors tend to perform best in rugged applications in which a low frequency of mating is required and performance is a must. Threaded connectors like the 3899 and C5015 have become widely used standards for military and aerospace applications, and they excel in heavy-duty industrial environments. High voltage feedthrough connectors often feature threaded couplings to avoid the possibility of dangerous accidental decoupling in the field. Threaded connectors can achieve significant mating force and can significantly reduce the likelihood of accidental disconnect. While threaded connectors can be hand-tightened, some feature flat faces to allow wrench tightening. The ability of threaded couplers to achieve specific torque ranges is essential for some high voltage applications. Caton’s patented no-corona high voltage technology uses a threaded coupler to compress specially-designed silicone rubber plugs and receptacles to evacuate all air. Couplers can be customized with washers and other features to ensure specific mating forces. Correctly made and maintained threaded connectors can withstand decades of harsh environment use.

Bayonet connectors offer speed and convenience with a simple push-and-twist. Bayonet-style couplers can be found in a wide range of applications and excel when frequent mating and unmating are required. These connectors give users peace of mind by offering tactile mating confirmation when the mating pair is fully engaged. Bayonet coupler housings can be made from various metals or plastics to meet various requirements.

friction-fit connectorsFriction-fit couplers are simply pressed together to make a quick and secure connection. They are typically used in so-called “in the box” or laboratory applications where there is a low probability of cable pulls and accidental disconnection. High voltage connectors like our 14-series are available with friction-fit connectors. Caton’s friction-fit couplings have no outer shell and are made of high-quality silicone rubber. Once fully mated, these connectors are excellent at withstanding vibration and ambient moisture, making them a good choice for certain aerospace and marine applications.

quick-lock connectorQuick-locking connectors, like Caton’s QL and IC series, offer fast, secure mating and visual and audible confirmation that a mating pair is fully engaged. These plastic-shelled connector platforms allow end users to make an IPX-rated secure connection by simply pushing the mating pair together. The special ramping and interlocking features of the coupler housing does the rest. The ease and high configurability of these connectors make them ideal for medical, scientific and instrumentation applications. Quick-locks can be mated many times and customized to withstand moisture, strain, and demanding repeated use. Features like customizable mating keys and visual markings can provide added assurance to users that connections are correctly made — especially helpful in medical settings. Caton’s IC right-angle connector platform offers the advantages of quick-lock coupling in the industry’s lowest-profile connector package. The ease-of-use and ergonomic nature of the quick-locking connector also make this an ideal choice for consumer products.

Choosing the right circular connector coupling approach makes a significant difference in interconnect and overall product performance. With decades of global experience, Caton can help you identify the ideal connectors and cable assemblies for your application.