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I can't find any relevant information regarding mating cycles of FMC connectors. I have found out that for Molex it's maximum 100 times http://polymicro.com/molex/products/datasheet.jsp?part=active/0459704105_PCB_HEADERS.xml

But a recent brochure from Samtec suggests that they have FMC connectors with mating cycles of maximum 2500(!). http://suddendocs.samtec.com/literature/samtec_silicon_development_guide.pdf

Do anyone knows what is the maximum number of mating cycles of an FMC connector? Any help would be appreciated in this matter.

Thanks

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These numbers are not the maximum number of mating cycles. They are the manufacturer's indication of the minimum number of mating cycles the connector will withstand and still meet the spec. Most connectors will take more than that, a small few will probably fail before that number of cycles. Things that can affect the number of cycles stated are:

  • The quality of materials used in making the connector. Similar looking connectors might use different plastics, for example.
  • The intended use. Some connectors are expected to be put together once, during assembly of the device they are in, and never touched again. Others may be taken apart regularly. This influences the choice of materials above.
  • The company giving the rating. A large, well known company may be conservative, and quote 500 when they expect the average to be 1000, whereas a cheap no-name manufacturer may state 6000 in the full knowledge that few connectors will survive that long.

So if you want to know the number of mating cycles for a particular connector, the only way to find out is to look at the datasheet, and multiply the number given by some number between 0 and 2 depending on how much you trust the manufacturer. No datasheet? Ask the person/company who supplied it.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for the answer. Do you have any experience with FMC connectors in particular? \$\endgroup\$ – zdun8 Oct 10 '16 at 22:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ No, not really. From a mechanical point of view, they are not very different from a lot of other compact, plastic, low-mating-cycle connectors though. \$\endgroup\$ – Jack B Oct 11 '16 at 9:59
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The number of mating cycles will depend on the surface finish of both connectors, mechanical tolerances, mating with or without power and of course on the limit for connector resistance. Connectors plated with gold should be better than those plated with tin, but also the thickness of plating is important. Even the air around the connectors during the test may influence the results, clean dry air or air contaminated with corrosive gases.

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