A connector type with a basic structure of cylindrical shape and a circular mating surface is known as a circular connector.  It is used for the interconnection of devices and falls under category 5 of interconnection cataloging. The shape of the circular connectors makes them naturally strong and higher in strength.

Let us understand some of the important features of circular connectors in detail.

1. Contacts

It is the most important piece of circular connectors that plays a very vital role in completing the electrical connections. A contact is comprised of two parts – a male contact and a female contact. Both are available in pairs and inserting male contact into female helps in completing the electrical connection.

2. Insulator

In connectors, insulators are also known as pedestals or mounting plates. The major job is to place the contact in the correct positioning and spacing along with ensuring the insurance performance between the contacts and between the contact and housing.

3. Accessories

It is divided into two categories: structural accessories and installation accessories. Positioning keys, positioning pins, cable clamps, collars, gaskets, sealing rings, etc., are all included in the structural accessories whereas screws, nuts, coils, etc., all fall in the category of installation accessories. Standard and common parts are available in the accessories.

4. Shell

The shell is the outer covering or main housing of every circular connector. Every connector has a built-in insulating mounting plate and pin and the shell is used to provide mechanical protection to both of them. It also takes care of the alignment of the connector when the mating takes place between the plug and the socket. Therefore, it is the most important part of the connector which is cylindrical in shape and available in various sizes depending upon the requirement.

Types of Circular Connectors

There are two types of circular connectors: Circular Plastic Connectors (CPC) and Circular Metal-Shell Connectors (CMC). These connector types are specifically designed for applications that are used in harsh environmental conditions and require a secure connection. They are well-sealed and therefore easily endure any kind of environmental conditions while providing tough performance. This is the reason these connector types are used in aerospace, defense, and medical applications.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Circular Connectors

Some of the advantages of circular connectors are they are best suitable for applications that require electrical connections with stronger terminals. They can easily resist mechanical turbulence and any other kind of damage due to their cylindrical shape. Their locking mechanism is quite simple and therefore it is easy to seal and remove them from the device. They can be used for data transfer, electrical signal transmission, and also for powering various electrical devices. They are best suitable for applications that are used in harsh environmental conditions like extreme temperatures (hot and cold), moisture, dirt, pressure, etc.

Some of its disadvantages are the circular surface of the connector limits the arrangement of the pins and sockets which is not in the case of a rectangular surface. The rectangular can easily install more contacts in a smaller surface area.

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