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A Guide to Rectangular Connectors


Rectangular connectors are a mainstay of industrial design, providing strong, reliable, and versatile connectivity solutions for users in a wide range of applications. Although less common than circular connectors, they are highly versatile and can deliver tangible practical benefits for you.

At Northern Connectors, we stock a wide range of rectangular connectors from leading brands, which are suitable for even the most challenging applications. Even though circular connectors are established as an industry-standard in many fields, rectangular connectors can often do the job just as effectively - if not better in some situations.

Here, the experts at Northern Connectors will introduce you to the basics of how rectangular connectors are designed to work, and what kind of benefits they can provide for your application.

What are rectangular connectors, and how do they work?

Rectangular connectors consist of a series of inserts and contacts contained within a plastic or metal housing. They are capable of transmitting power, signal, and data from one device to another, or connecting two cables together as part of a larger connectivity network.

Encompassing a wide range of sizes and insert types, rectangular connectors are designed to offer straightforward, reliable, and robust connections, simply by inserting the ‘male’ plug component into a female ‘socket’ receiver. Because of their wider, broader design, rectangular connectors often come equipped with various locking mechanisms that are not seen on circular connectors, including lever action locks, central holding screws, latches, and toggles.

These connectors are highly versatile, with most series offering a variety of configurations to cater to a wide range of wire gauges and cable OD's (outside diameters).

Finding the right solution for your application is important, as some devices will require you to purchase a connector with the right size of contacts, while certain environments will benefit from a specific choice of plating material in order to avoid the risk of corrosion. This is why it is important to seek advice on choosing the right connector if you are unsure.

What are rectangular connectors used for?

Rectangular connectors are used in a wide variety of industrial applications, particularly in the following sectors:

  • Automotive applications
  • Data network connectivity
  • Energy and power generation
  • Factory automation
  • Medical technology
  • Military equipment
  • Modular machine design
  • Robotics
  • Telecommunications
  • Transportation technology

As rectangular connectors are known for their reliable performance and sturdy connections, they are often used in applications where it is necessary to withstand extreme conditions, including exposure to a harsh environment or proximity to water and chemicals.

What are the benefits of rectangular connectors?

Rectangular connectors are designed to offer flexible, affordable, and user-friendly performance that can be relied upon to deliver in the long term. Here are just a few of the benefits this technology offers:

  • Robust and simple to install, being easy to fit the right way round and offering the additional security of in-built locking mechanisms
  • Highly modular, meaning they can be configured by the user to provide multiple different signals according to your specific needs
  • Cost-effective, generally cost much less to produce than circular connectors and allowing a single modular rectangular connector to replace multiple circular components
  • Space-efficient, as a single connector can be configured to do the job of several, resulting in a simpler cable layout
  • A wide range of options, catering for a huge variety of cable types, termination types, and modular variations helps you customise your rectangular connector for your requirements

By taking advantage of the benefits of rectangular connectors, you will have greater control of how your industrial and network connections are organised, allowing you to design a highly efficient, reliable, and secure setup.

Find out more

If you want to know more about rectangular connectors or need guidance with selecting a suitable solution for your application, Northern Connectors is here to help.

You can explore the rectangular connectors section of our website, call us on 01744 815001, or complete our online contact form and we will be in touch at the nearest opportunity.

Technical expertise is just a click away. For rapid service & personalised support, complete the following form or call 01744 815 001

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