Stäubli Electrical Connectors has upgraded its MPC range of rail industry modular power connectors as part of its process of continuous improvement. The enhancements include new generations of straight and right-angled connectors. The insulators in the new ranges are made of improved plastics that provide increased insulation resistance of up to 15kV and a lower degree of flammability.
They meet European rail applications standard EN 45545-2, including the most stringent HL3 R23 hazard level class for underground and high speed trains.
The insulation, combined with a new zinc die-cast alloy used for the side elements, has allowed the units to be more compact, with weight reductions of up to 30% over previous models while remaining 100% compatible.
"Developers of rail vehicles, particularly for light railways, are always looking for components that are lighter and more compact to create more usable space for passengers," said UK Managing Director Selwyn Corns.
With ratings of 3,600V and up to 700A, the units can be used for connecting transformers, traction motors, inverters and batteries as well as power links between carriages.
The use of application-specific connectors enables faster connection and disconnection than with individual connectors, helping to shorten maintenance and repair times.
Up to 15 single pole power contacts can be combined, with up to five joined side by side in up to three layers. The linear versions are flat, making them particularly suited for under-floor mounting.
The MPC is vibration and shock tested in accordance with EN 613731 and is corrosion resistant (240h salt mist test in accordance with EN 60068-2-112). It is rated at IP69K when mated and provides over 500 mating cycles. A range of compatible insulators is available for various contact diameters, and cable cross-sections from 10-240mm2 are accepted.
Two screw connections with M8 or M10 thread are now available, depending on the size, so that a grounding cable can be connected. The stainless steel guard, previously riveted to the insulators, can now be easily clipped in place without the use of tools.
Although designed for railways, metros, tramways etc, the connectors can be used for other high current, high voltage applications where long term reliability is crucial.