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The LCD below is from a cheap digital clock which was (obviously) damaged (broken glass).

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The electrical connection between the PCB and the display was realized with this pink strip.

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Its flexible...

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...and consists of alternating rows of conductive and insulating material between the pink boarders.

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[above image was altered in contrast/brightness to highlight the alternating strips]

What is this kind of connector called? Is it only used for displays?

I am pretty impressed that the connection is reliable just from the very slight pressure between the strip and the PCB. Also, its easily removable from the display. There seems to be some conductive layer on the glass, from where the signal goes into the displays internals. This connection seems to be damaged for the three rightmost signals, where the glass is broken.

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1 Answer 1

up vote 12 down vote accepted

That is called a zebra strip or Elastomeric_connector.

It is made from silicone rubber with conductive carbon particles in them. This is used to make sure the connection between the PCB and glass is flexible, as both are neither thermally nor mechanically compatible at all. Also, as it doesn't rust or really react with anything galvanically at all it ensures a pretty good, albeint fairly high impedance, connection between the indium-tin-oxide or other connection material on the glass and the contacts on the PCB.

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Zebra strip, or Elastomeric connector (generic name): en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elastomeric_connector –  bjarkef Mar 7 at 10:46
    
There are versions with embedded wires that are considerably lower resistance. –  Spehro Pefhany Mar 7 at 12:07
    
@SpehroPefhany: I have never seen these in the wild, do you have a specific example? I have been looking for something like that to do compliant board-to-board connections, as Samtec is discontinuing all their power one piece connectors (e.g. Samtec OPP). –  user36129 Mar 7 at 12:14
    
They're available from the Japanese company that originated this technology. The name escapes me at the moment, but definitely Japanese. –  Spehro Pefhany Mar 7 at 12:24
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@user36129 Try Fuji Polymer fujipoly.co.jp/english/products/connector.htm Both wire type and metal particle type with much lower resistance. –  Spehro Pefhany Mar 7 at 14:29
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