Qualification of High Density Connector Solutions for Military and Avionic Environments
Authors: Kim Cho, Tim Pearson, David Hillman, Ross Wilcoxon Company: Collins Aerospace Date Published: 9/22/2019
Abstract: This paper discusses the qualification of high density connector solutions for rugged military and avionics environments. As electronic products become progressively smaller in size, there has been a corresponding increase in the demand for miniature, electronic components and the development of high density connectors. The consumer electronics industry has already implemented high density connectors while many avionics/military products still use traditional surface mount and plated through-hole connectors. These traditional connectors are increasingly too large and cannot meet the signal capacity requirements of modern avionics/military product designs within the limited available printed circuit board space. In this study, two major types of high density connectors, the fine-pitch leaded style and the area-array style, were installed on test boards using automated assembly with tin-lead and lead-free soldering processes. The assemblies were subjected to -55°C to +125°C thermal cycle testing in accordance with the IPC-9701 specification, Performance Tests Methods and Qualification Requirements for Surface Mount Solder Attachments. The first part of this paper discusses the results and observations from the new testing of fine-pitch style (Samtec LSHM) and area-array style (Samtec LPAM/LPAF) connectors. The second part of this paper compares the data for the Samtec LSHM to previously tested area-array connectors (Samtec SEAM/SEAF). Tradeoffs between these two types of connectors, including producibility, reliability, printed circuit board (PCB) space usage, rework, ease of assembly, and defect identification, are discussed.
high density connectors, thermal cycle testing, fine-pitch leaded, area-array