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Economy Power (EP) II Wire-to-board Connector With Increased Electrical Ratings

Thu, 08/25/2011 - 11:23am
Tyco Electronics

DARMSTADT, Germany – August 23, 2011 – TE Connectivity introduces a new generation of single-row Economy Power (EP) connectors. The new EP II connectors include newly-designed plug housings, a new crimp contact (terminal) design and dedicated post headers. Compared to the existing EP generation, the EP II connectors have considerably increased electrical ratings. Rated for up to 600 VAC and up to 10 Amps of current, the interconnection system can be used for standard white goods and home appliances as well as other applications. The new plug housings are compatible with the current EP post headers and can be used as drop-in replacements without changes to the printed circuit board (PCB). New design features of the housing and terminal offer many additional benefits that help to achieve consistent and durable interconnection while allowing for simpler and more ergonomic handling.

EP II single-row plug housings with a .156" centerline (3.96 mm pitch) are available with 2 to 12 positions to terminate AWG 16 to 22 discrete wires . They include a snap-in receptacle terminal and new 12-position breakaway-style contact retainers that provide Terminal Position Assurance (TPA). The inserted TPA retainers also prevent the contacts from backing out in applications with random vibration.

Handling Benefits of the New Housing Design

One key development focus of the new connector was to maximize ergonomics in combination with features that provide several levels of quality feedback to the worker during assembly and mating. These features include polarization tabs to prevent accidental mis-mating and an active locking latch on the housing to establish a robust dovetail lock between the header and housing when fully mated. The locking mechanism produces a tangible and audible feedback to the worker and improvesthe vibration resistance of the interconnection. In a household appliance such as a washer or dryer, the connector halves will not vibrate apart despite typical intermittent vibration. Additional anti-snag features prevent discrete wires from becoming entangled in the latch mechanism.

New Lance-less Terminal Design with TPA and an Increased Number of Electrical Contact Points

EP II connectors utilize new lance-less terminals (contacts). The lance has been replaced by a stamped window on the terminal's underside. The window slides over a plastic locking tab in the housing cavity and produces a tangible and audible click when the terminal is fully seated. By inserting the TPA retainer, the contacts are secured by a secondary locking device. A window on the end of the housing allows for visual confirmation. This helps to avoid re-work and the time-consuming search for incomplete contact seating. Additionally, the new terminal shape ensures that it can only be inserted one way into the cavity during assembly.

To offer the best possible quality control options, the housings have integrated probe-tip openings that facilitate immediate continuity testing. The tin-plated crimp terminals have been re-designed to increase the number of electrical points of contact and the amount of spring load that the socket contact exerts on the post. To help prevent fretting corrosion and whisker formation, the contacts are lubricated.

EP II connectors are UL recognized and can be used at operating temperatures between -55 °C and 105 °C. The standard color for the plug housings, made from UL 94V-0 rated nylon, is natural color, but different colors are available on request. Post headers are also available in multiple colors. The socket and post contacts are tin-plated phosphorous bronze. Customers using EP connectors can continue to use their application tooling for EP II connectors. In addition, EP II connectors are intermateable with similar .156" (3.96 mm) centerline products in the market to facilitate simple retrofitting.

Additional information about the new EP II connectors with TPA is available at: www.te.com/products/EP.

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