INDUSTRIAL INFO-TAINMENT Wiring Harness News NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2021 35
The Benefits of Overmolded Assemblies
Cable assemblies are critical to various applications , covering a wide range of vertical marketing including demanding military applications or offshore harsh environments ; however , they have also proven essential to home electronics , medical equipment , instrumentation , audio , and automotive applications . The use of overmolded cable assemblies has been found to provide specific benefits across these various applications .
Overmolded Cable Assemblies
An overmolded cable assembly is typically used to enhance a cable assembly that would otherwise rely solely on a backshell or heat shrink for additional protection , support , and / or strain relief . The process of molding a cable assembly involves molten PVC ( polyvinyl chloride ) or other high-performance polymers to encapsulate wiring materials . Overmolded cables are available in basically limitless shapes , sizes , materials , and configurations that offer many advantages and the needed flexibility for design engineers .
Benefit # 1 : Durability & Strength Overmolded cables are designed to provide additional protection against harsh environments where exposure to dust , debris , liquids , abrasion , heat , cold , and harsh sterilization are involved . In addition , overmolded cable assemblies add overall strain relief and support continual flexing without damage to the termination point , which can be critical to the reliability of a design .
The choice of material is intrinsically tied to the benefits from implementing a cable overmold . The material choice should be one of the key specifications for a connector . Standard materials include TPE ( thermoplastic elastomers ), PUR ( polyurethane ), PVC , and Nylon , while higher-rated materials include polyester resin and silicone .
Benefit # 2 : Customization Options
Another benefit of using an overmolded cable assembly lies in the plethora of available customization options . The first is size : cable overmolds can be formed to fit inside or around any obstacles or tight spaces for any application . In addition , the size can be easily maintained and is flexible enough to meet an application ’ s specific requirements .
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