Series 13 – Episode 7 – A 'cool' insight into cryogenic applications

10th November 2023
Paige West

Paige West speaks with Ziad Melhem, Non-Executive Director at IntelliConnect Europe Limited, and Craig Robinson, Sales Manager at CryoCoax, about cryogenic applications.

IntelliConnect was founded around two decades ago, in 2003, by Roy Phillips. The company initially catered to the defence and areospace industry with connectors and cables but has, over the past decade, significantly diversified. It now serves the cryogenic community, physical and life sciences, medical fields, and the burgeoning sector of quantum technologies. 

Highlighting IntelliConnect’s commitment to innovation and bespoke design, Craig Robinson notes that the company not only manufactures high-quality RF cable assemblies but also offers custom design services without the usual non-recurring engineering (NRE) charges. This customer-centric approach is augmented by the introduction of award-winning products such as the waterproof Pisces connector series, and the development of products tailored for quantum computing.

Focusing on the CryoCoax division, Robinson explains that it is a dedicated arm of IntelliConnect, specialising in cable and connector systems for cryogenic applications. The brand has established itself as a prominent player in the market, showcasing its robust offerings at various exhibitions. 

Cryogenics, as Melhem elucidates, involves technologies that function at extremely low temperatures, essential for altering material properties. For instance, the transition of gases like helium into liquid state at temperatures as low as four Kelvin. This field of science enables the exploration of material behaviour under such frigid conditions, which is vital for various applications, including quantum computing and space exploration.

The suitability of IntelliConnect’s products for cryogenic applications stems from its ability to maintain integrity and functionality at very low temperatures. Materials like stainless steel, cupro-nickel, and superconductors are utilised for their minimal change in mechanical behaviour when cooled from room to cryogenic temperatures. Moreover, signal management is a crucial feature, ensuring the transmission of high-quality, low-interference signals across frequencies.

In the realm of space exploration, IntelliConnect’s cryogenic solutions are pivotal. Its products assist in infrared signal detection, capturing weak signals from distant cosmic entities, an endeavour that requires high-quality, noise-free detection enabled by the cryogenic cooling of detectors.

Melhem does reveal that their cryogenic solutions are employed by leading tech companies, including prominent suppliers of cryogenic tools for quantum and physical sciences, as well as space detection.

The durability of IntelliConnect’s solutions is also noteworthy. With an expected lifespan extending over a decade, these components are designed to outlast other system elements, ensuring longevity and reliability. This level of endurance is indicative of the company's commitment to quality and the value it delivers to its clients in the high-tech cryogenic sector.

To hear more about cryogenics, and much more, you can listen to Electronic Specifier’s interview with Ziad Melhem and Craig Robinson on Spotify or Apple podcasts.  

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