Sterilizable Interconnects Product Roundup
This week’s Product Roundup highlights sterilizable interconnects from leading suppliers.
Sterile or aseptic connectors must be sealed to allow devices undergoing sterilization processes to protect their electrical functions from pressurized steam, radiation, and chemicals. The highly pressurized steam of autoclaves delivers the heat – 250 °F (121 °C) – to kill microorganisms during cycles that usually last 30 minutes, or 13 minutes at 273 °F (134 °C) as recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO). Connectors and cable assemblies must be appropriately sealed to withstand, during multiple sterilization cycles, repeated ingress from steam saturated with water under at least 15 psi of pressure. To protect electrical functions when going through this high-temperature sterilization method (used mostly in hospital settings), medical devices and equipment must use connectors and cables that are also rugged enough to resist hot temperatures. Fischer Connectors’ sterilizable connectivity solutions include the Fischer Core Series brass, stainless steel, and Plastic 405, which are sterilizable in autoclave and other methods such as Cidex, EtO, gamma radiation, Steris, or Sterrad. Fischer Core Series Disposable is sterilizable in EtO and gamma. N.B. Not only connectors (both metal and plastic) but also cable assemblies are autoclavable. They withstand 1,000 autoclave cycles, lowering total cost of ownership.
The Molex Hybrid Circular MT Cable and Receptacle System from Avnet is a great custom product that combines optical and electrical solutions in one connector. This multifunctional connector provides options for three configurable ports by leveraging the existing circular MT optical connector and receptacle design. For optical connections, any of the three connector ports can utilize the MT ferrule. For multimode versions, both 50/125 and 62.5/125 μm fiber are available. Mating electrical receptacles feature copper MT ferrules. The copper MT connector utilizes copper MT ferrules with the pins.
The PL Series of plastic push-pull interconnects from ITT Cannon is a high quality, versatile, and cost-effective solution for challenging medical and industrial applications where miniaturized, lightweight, and durable connectors are critical to performance. With durability exceeding 2,000 mating cycles, the PL Series is fully sterilizable by gas or steam. Available in 2- to 14-way variants, with 6 keying options and 7 color codings, this is an extremely versatile solution for a wide variety of both disposable and reusable applications.
HyperGrip from Smiths Interconnect is a circular plastic, user-configurable, color-coded connector with a push/pull latching design that allows for one-hand disconnect. HyperGrip is compatible with most sterilization requirements and is designed to meet medical industry requirements such as finger-proofing to IEC60601 and flammability rated to UL94 V0. The Series includes disposable plugs for HG2 and HG4 sizes designed to support overmolding and high-volume production methods and to withstand at least 30 cycles while ensuring the connector performance in terms of insulation resistance, dielectric withstanding voltage, current carrying, and low-level current resistance. HyperGrip is autoclave, EtO, and Sterrad sterilizable and meets typical medical sterilization requirements.
Highly flexible flat cables from Cicoil, a Trexon company, provide absolute reliability and uninterrupted operation when utilized in medical applications. These Class 1, clean room-rated cables are 100% contaminant free and the unique crystal-clear Flexx-Sil rubber jacket allows for quick, easy, and safe inspection of the entire flat cable. Cicoil’s solid, one-piece design can incorporate any variety of data, power, and video conductors in a single, compact flat cable profile. In addition to every type of electrical conductor, the cables can also include single- and multi-lumen tubing for air or liquid transfer, all in the same cable, making them an ideal solution for automated clinical diagnostics, blood screening, microbiology specimen transfer, DNA sequencing, cell imaging, and immunoassay analyzing systems. The proprietary Flexx-Sil jacket is also self-healing from small punctures and is impervious to long-term exposure to de-ionized water, alcohol, steam, UV light, radiation, humidity, temperature extremes (-65 °C to +260 °C), autoclave, and many chemicals.
Kensington Electronics Inc. supplies D series connectors for autoclaved medical devices from Smiths Interconnect. Utilizing a high strength polymer, the D Series is designed to withstand up to 20 autoclave cycles and is selectively loaded with up to 25 hyperboloid contacts.
The waterproof and extreme high temperature resistance characteristics of the JMX series, offered by RS, makes it ideal for medical, instrumentation, and measurement applications. However, the plastic Push-Pull connectors can also be used in a diversity of other industrial applications requiring a lightweight yet durable harsh environment interconnect solution. Capable of over 2,000 mating cycles, the JMX connector series is also able to withstand steam autoclave sterilization per IEC 60601-1 (up to 200 cycles). In addition, it will protect your equipment from fluid ingress due to its IP68 attributes in mated and unmated conditions. The JMX plastic push-pull connector series guarantees a reliable and secure connection with only two fingers. Connectors are available in 6 keys and 9 color identification codes to avoid incorrect mating. The JMX Plastic Push-Pull connector is aesthetically and visually appealing to complement and blend with medical equipment designs. The curves of the coupling ring provide exceptional tactile comfort and a handle grip designed so that fingers will fit instinctively.
CDM Electronics supplies THORKOM connectors, backshells, and accessories made of UL 94V-2 approved, high-temperature resistant thermoplastic specifically for use in autoclaving processes and sterile applications. Screw-machined gold over copper alloy contacts optimize performance while maintaining mechanical integrity through autoclave cycles. Available in 7-, 12-, and 24-pin configurations in multiple mounting formats.
Learn more about medical connectors.