What are Bulkhead Mount Connectors?
Meet the Connector: Bulkhead Mount Connectors
The term bulkhead mount refers to the mounting style of the connector. In this case, it is the method used to attach a connector to a product casing, enclosure, or panel from the front or rear side. Normally, it involves a threaded body or a push-pull device. The connector can then be mated and unmated as required.
A bulkhead connector can be used instead of a continuous feedthrough when users need to disconnect wires from the chamber. They are beneficial for applications that require quick connections or disconnections on either side of the chamber wall. High quality connectors should be chosen to prevent electrical losses or problems with poor sealing.
Standard bulkhead connectors typically accommodate four wire gauges with only 10-pin configurations per wire gauge. Mixed-wire-gauge connectors may not be readily available or may have to be special-ordered.
“Many bulkhead connectors have an interfacial seal to prevent ingress of water or dirt into the casing or through the bulkhead and it is becoming more common for the connectors themselves to be sealed to IP67/8 to further seal the device for use in harsh environments,” explained Brian Tea, sales manager at COAX Connectors.
Design Notes for Bulkhead Mount Connectors
Bulkhead mount style is found in a variety of connector interfaces including RF types (BNC, TNC, N-Type, SMA, etc.), rectangular types (D-subs, and rack & panel), and circular (MIL-Spec and commercial equivalent styles, push-pull styles, and M style). Many hermetic connectors are offered with a bulkhead mount option allowing them to be disconnected without losing their hermetic seal.
For outdoor use or anywhere water ingress is a concern, bulkhead mount connectors with IP67/68 ratings are available.
Many bulkhead connectors have a built-in plate or flange with pre-drilled mounting holes, allowing the part to be bolted to the cut-out. Others utilize a separate face plate or bulkhead plate with a coupling nut that is screwed on and holds the connector in place against the plate. This method is popular for connectors that need to be removed for repair or rework.
Applications for Bulkhead Mount Connectors
- Test and Instrumentation
- Base Stations
- Process Controls
- Panel mount
- Flange mount
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