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A Guide to Circular Connectors


Circular connectors have become the go-to product for many of our customers across many key industries, delivering reliable, secure performance in a wide range of applications and environments.

In this article we provide an introduction to the basics of circular connectors, explaining how they are designed and highlighting the ways in which they can deliver significant benefits for you.

What are circular connectors, and how do they work?

As the name suggests, circular connectors are multi-pin mechanical housings with a circular design, capable of transmitting data, signal or power supply from one device to another.

Made of metal, plastic, or a combination of both, they consist of a multi-pin insert sat inside a cylindrical housing, designed to provide robust and reliable transmission. In many cases, the multi-pin design of these connectors allows them to offer hybrid solutions, where power, data, and signal can be transmitted at the same time using a single device.

Circular connectors offer a wide range of wire termination methods, including crimp, solder, clamp and screw, providing connectivity for a wide range of systems and devices. Various choices of locking mechanisms are also available, including bayonet, screw, snap-in, and push-pull, all of which are designed to create a connection that is easy to install, yet difficult to accidentally uncouple.

Circular connectors are offered in many different sizes, scaled according to the specific application: connectors used for power transfer generally tend to be bigger due to the need for larger contacts, while sensors require smaller contacts and are usually more compact.

What are circular connectors used for?

The versatile, multipurpose nature of circular connectors means they are used in a wide range of applications and industries.

Here are just some of the sectors that most commonly make use of these products:

With circular connectors offering a high degree of ingress protection against water, dirt, and other particles, they are often used in applications that require full submersion, or in situations where harsh environmental conditions or extreme weather might be expected. They also offer strong protection against vibration, shock, and interference from electromagnetic or radio signals.

What are the benefits of circular connectors?

Making use of high-quality circular connectors provides a wide range of potential benefits for users. Here are just a few of the advantages that have helped these components become such a popular industry standard:

  • Easy to install and remove, with a compact design that makes them suitable in areas where space is at a premium
  • Reliable and secure locking mechanisms to ensure they remain in place
  • A strong mechanical performance against even the toughest environments, with sealed ingress protection up to IP68 & IP69K
  • Capable of housing various kinds of contact within the same shell, allowing for multipurpose usage
  • A broad selection of product options and configurations from many of the industry’s leading manufacturers, meaning you will be able to find a connector solution that has been designed with your needs in mind

New circular connector solutions are being developed regularly to improve the performance of these components further still. Each year, leading brands are creating smaller and more compact connectors capable of transmitting higher data rates, or customisable modular solutions to better meet the needs of users.

As such, by continually investing in new and improved circular connectors, you can unlock even more performance benefits for your system.

Find out more

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

You can explore the circular 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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