Lapp's Cable Entry Systems are Tested Through and Through

8th April 2008
Posted By : ES Admin
Lapp's Cable Entry Systems are Tested  Through and Through

Cables often have to be inserted in control cabinets or housings using what are generically described as cable entry systems. Lapp covers practically every application by offering two different systems - cable glands and connectors.

Lapp’s SKINTOP® cable glands produce a secure connection in a matter of seconds. The cable is fixed, centred, hermetically sealed and completely strain-relieved in a single step. Users can choose between a wide range of versions: made of plastic or brass, designed for explosion-hazardous areas or EMC applications, halogen-free or anti-kink versions, metric or PG thread sizes.

The company’s EPIC® connectors are used whenever measurement, control or drives are involved in the mechanical and plant engineering sector. A flexible connecting system consisting of housings, inserts and contacts, the connectors are robust, absolutely secure and simple to fit - be it a rectangular or round connector.

Both Lapp solutions undergo thorough testing at a specially commissioned test facility in Stuttgart. Testing not only applies to new product developments but also to established products in production. Such stringent testing is a guarantee of operational reliability and meets the requirements of both customers and the licensing bodies. Tests include materials testing, electrical testing and a variety of performance-related tests.

Below is a description of some of the important tests performed on Lapp’s cable glands and connectors.

1. Pulling protection testing on cable entry systems: The pulling protection test is based on the European Standard (EN) and/or UL requirements. According to EN 50262 this is a dynamic test involving the application of a variable weight with a cycle of 50 x 1 seconds. According to UL 514 B this is a static test involving the application of a fixed weight of 16 kg. The length of the test is one minute.

2. Tensile testing of crimps on connectors: This test investigates the degree of strain-relief, measuring the amount of force required to pull the cable out of the contact crimp.

3. Measurement of housing geometry: A 3-D coordinate measuring machine provides for fully automatic measurement of round and retangular connectors. The resolution is 0.0001 mm while the measurement uncertainty of the entire system is 1.5 – 2.5 µm.

4. Electrical testing: Electrical measurement is required as evidence of electrical safety. The following are measured: contact resistance, electric strength, insulation resistance, impulse withstand voltage and high-voltage strength. The system can also be used to produce a derating diagram.

5. Protection class testing: When testing the protection class, a distinction is made between protection from water and dust. Water protection class testing according to EN 60529 involves subjecting the test specimen to a maximum flow rate of 100 l water/min. The length of the test is 3 minutes. Water protection class testing according to EN 60529 also involves subjecting the test specimen to a maximum water pressure of 10 bar. The length of the test is 30 minutes. Dust protection class testing according to EN 60529 involves exposing the test specimen to talcum powder with a grain size of 75 µm. The length of the test is 8 hours. If the IP6X protection class is to be tested, the test specimen is subjected to a vacuum of 20 mbar. In all three cases the gland must prevent the ingress of water or dust in the specimen.

6. Cold impact test: This test involves subjecting the specimen to an impact energy of 7 joule (height of fall: 70 cm; weight: 1 kg) at a temperature of -25°C. Protection class testing (IP68) is only performed once the cold impact test has been performed successfully.

7. Materials testing: Materials testing involves examining the inner structures of the plastics used. Infrared spectroscopy is used for fast material identification and incoming goods inspections. The system is equipped with a gas measuring cell for connection to thermogravimetric equipment. Thermogravimetry can be used to examine the composition of polymers, with fast testing of the temperature resistance of the specimen also being possible. Thermal analysis allows optimisation of the long-term thermal behaviour of plastics to be examined. Fast failure analysis and characterisation of thermal properties can also be carried out.

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