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In association with Smiths Interconnect
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March 25, 2021

The harsh reality of electrical connectors in the autoclave environment

Autoclave sterilization introduces high pressure steam into a chamber containing the objects to be sterilized. Therefore, these devices must be able to withstand autoclaving temperatures in the range of 135°C without damage, deformation, or disintegration.

The electrical connectors used on these electronic medical devices need to bear the autoclave environment as well.  However, connectors can be made with a variety of plastics, so to be autoclavable, the plastic from which these are crafted must not melt, deflect, or change their electrical properties during the process.

Smiths Interconnect’s Autoclavable D series plastic circular connectors, with their simple and intuitive push-button latching, and high reliability Hypertac® contacts, are ideal for medical cable interconnect applications, including those which must withstand repeated autoclave sterilizations, such as electrophysiology catheters.

D01 and D02 connectors made of high temperature Ultem polyetherimide plastic exhibit little or no change in performance after exposure to multiple autoclave sterilization cycles that are typically used in medical applications.

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