The last few years has led to the need for commercial aircrafts hydraulic systems to be replaced with electrical ones. This approach has led to the development of materials able to carry high powers towards motors, actuators, and other equipment. Moreover, the introduction of new signals (PWM) has imposed the development of new connectors suitable to withstand to the high voltages into the commercial aircraft environment.
The aim of the topic was the design of a connector that implements the connection to and from a 540V PWM, which complies with the main aviation regulations keeping in consideration constraints such as dimensions and weight aspects without downgrading mechanical and electrical performances.
The skill of Glenair with high voltage applications, together with proper knowledge in manufacturing standard and innovative connectors and accessories for Mil-Aero applications (i.e. from harsh environment connectors and conduit for landing gear assembly in the wheel well, to electrical-optical media converters for in-flight entertainment systems) were used for the definition of the proper design and manufacturing.
At the end of the project, with resulting literature and related samples, Glenair disseminated the achievements through different ways (dedicated meetings, specialized magazines, Glenair official website and so on).
A preliminary State of Art Analysis was made followed by fundamental Project documents like DJD, supported by preliminary tests on different materials as product validation.
We met expected results and even a bit better than expected in terms of electrical performances. We were also able to compare different materials (PEEK and ceramic) under Partial Discharge Test, together with the use of a specific copper alloy able to reach higher temperature compared to what normally used in the connector’s Industry.
Our connectors have accomplished requested performances and we could foresee room for improvements, to be of course verified and validated.