Best practices for binding coupling nuts
A critical issue with high power connectors used in clean room environments is galling. While not an issue in most applications, the microscopic amount of plating that is removed when mating two connectors presents a unique challenge for applications used in Class 100,000 clean rooms. This plating removal, or galling, can translate into improperly threading or mating connectors.
For more than 75 years, Winchester has provided proven techniques, such as plating and coupling style, to help customers tackle galling issues.
Galling is a type of wear, occurring when surfaces slide against one another and adhesion results. Typically, some of the material is pulled along the contacting surface and can be exacerbated by large amounts of force compressing the surfaces together. Galling is caused by a combination of friction and adhesion, and is followed by slipping and tearing of the material’s crystal structure beneath the surface. This results in some material stuck, or friction welded, to the opposite surface. Frequently, galled material will present as gouged with balled-up or torn lumps adhered to it.
In most applications, galling can be solved by changing the type of plating material used. For many high-power applications, silver is the plating material of choice for its PIM characteristics and relatively low cost. However, silver is particularly susceptible to galling because of its softness relative to the friction applied. Winchester’s engineers have proven there are alternatives to silver, such as nickel, that provide a high performance alternative that is both cost-effective and more resistant to galling.
Changing the coupling style and moving from a threaded connector to a quick connect design also proves effective for mitigating galling. Threaded connectors are frequently used due to the perceived advantages in electrical performance, mating life, cost, and status as the legacy solution. Winchester’s quick connect alternatives, including the SQS™ and QRM™ interfaces, have the same or better electrical and wear characteristics, as well as a mating life comparable to threaded connectors of the same size and power rating.
Interested in learning more about how Winchester can assist with galling challenges? Contact Peter Baker today!