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    Grounding Contacts

    Grounding contacts are surface mountable internal connectors used for circuit grounding (a return path for electric current) of SMT (surface mount technology) devices. You will be able to use them to make grounding or connection on different electronic projects. A great thing about grounding contacts is that they are designed to withstand harsh environments. In other words, grounding contacts are in a position to withstand temperature, humidity, and vibrations quite effectively.

    How do grounding contacts work?

    A grounding clip can often be seen within an on-board electronics project. In most instances, you will see how they benefit automotive projects. This is the main reason why you can find a grounding clip behind the circuit of a vehicle headlight or a dashboard. On top of that, grounding contacts are used on e-Bike projects to enable battery connection, military projects such as to enable the functionality of weapons, and on medical applications such as to deliver functionality of sensors.

    How to use a grounding clip?

    Grounding contacts work by providing an electrical connection while also providing protection from static and EMI (electromagnetic interference) noise between a PCB (printed circuit board) and other electronic components, such as speakers, internal antennas, shield cams or secondary PCBs.

    Grounding contacts come in a broad array of styles, sizes, and heights, to ensure efficient EMI protection and contact. When mounted in a row, they can be used as an RFI (radio-frequency interference) shielding connection for cabinet enclosures and metal boxes. They are designed to maintain positive contact with the mating surface and allow for both sliding and wiping action.

    Applications of grounding contacts

    Grounding contacts are used in virtually every small PCB application. Some of the typical applications include:

    • MP3 players
    • Smartphones
    • GPS units
    • Tablets
    • PCs and laptops
    • Automotive
    • Industrial equipment
    • eReaders
    • Home electronic devices
    • Video and digital cameras

    Grounding contact materials and types

    When you are about to buy a Phoenix contact or any other grounding contact, you will notice that they are made out of many different materials and types. The core materials are often Beryllium copper. It is offering outstanding mechanical characteristics to the spring contact connector. Then you can find stainless steel, which offers lower mechanical characteristics. When you are looking for Harwin spring contacts or PCB spring contacts, it is a good idea to go for Beryllium copper core.

    The inner electroplating of a Phoenix contact grounding terminal block would be made out of Nickel. It has the ability to provide all protection needed by the inner core from being subjected to oxidation. Moreover, it can also provide a higher adhesion force in between the two different electroplating layers. Their ability of them to withstand a high friction level is quite impressive as well.

    The outside electroplating is usually made out of gold, which offers a high resistance to exterior environmental conditions, while offering a better connectivity. Then you can also find tin, which offers better weldability. However, tin offers poor resistance to oxidation. It would not be a good option for an environment with high humidity levels.

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