Communications Power

265-Amp Connectors Rated for 10,000 Mating-Unmating Cycles

Methode Power Solutions Group, part of Methode Electronics, Inc. has announced the MDUAL™ two-position, high-power, blind mate connectors with halogen-free housings conforming to RoHS-3. The MDUAL comes in three pin sizes, 6.4mm, 9.1mm and 12.7mm with current capability up to 265A.

The self-aligning housings enable blind mating and include a polarity key. The patented PowerBud technology lowers both contact resistance and contact normal force without increasing connector size.

In addition, MDUAL connectors typically withstand 10,000 mating-unmating cycles without performance degradation, far exceeding the capability of similar competitive connectors.

The halogen-free plastic housings are RoHS 3 compliant, which can eliminate the need for user’s future material changes or validation testing. Samples are available.

Technology Origins

The PowerBud technology was originally pioneered by a Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) professor and graduate students investigating tribology, the science and technology of interacting surfaces in relative motion, including friction, lubrication and wear.

Close-up of an MDUAL contact.

The researchers developed a prototype power connector with massively parallel points of contact which exhibited superior qualities compared to conventional, commercial power connectors. Their connector had very low contact resistance as well as very low insertion force without a commensurate connector volume increase.

Methode acquired the technology in 2008 and focused on making the remarkable connector more manufacturable. The result was the PowerBud, an evolution of the original design with massively parallel points of contact, but using a mechanical design that is adaptable to mass production.

The result is a connector with these features:

  • High Current Capacity – Up To 270 A Bus-to-Bus
  • Low Mating Force
  • Low Voltage Drop
  • High Cycle Life – Excess of 10,000 Cycles
  • UL Standard 1977 Compliant
  • CSA Standard C22.2 No. 182.3-M1987 Compliant RoHS Compliant