Overmolding adds strength and resilience to a cable assembly so that it can withstand more extreme environments than it otherwise could. The cable overmolding process combines and seals a cable with a connector, resulting in a unified part that adds protection to its internal components.
Learn more about how cables are overmolded, the materials used during the manufacturing process, and the benefits of overmolded cable assemblies.
Cable Overmolding Materials
Common overmolding materials used in cable overmolding include:
- PVC: Polyvinyl chloride or PVC is one of the most widely used thermoplastics for cable overmolding. PVC has a soft, rubber-like texture and high flexibility.
- TPU: Thermoplastic polyurethane or TPU has a softer texture than PVC and comes in a wider array of colors. TPU is also more pliable and has a greater low-temperature flexibility, making it more stable amidst temperature changes.
Cable Overmolding Process
Overmolded assemblies are manufactured through injection molding, a manufacturing process that forces material into a mold cavity under pressure. The process starts when a storage area or hopper is filled with plastic resin, and an injection ram delivers the material into a barrel, where the plastic is heated to a liquid state.
Through a variety of methods, such as color compounding or master-batching, color is added to the resin. Inside the cavity, the material will cool and conform to the shape and design features of the mold, that may include logos, part numbers, and trade names.
Benefits of Overmolded Cable Assemblies
An overmolded cable assembly provides a host of benefits, including:
- Tamper-Proof Construction: Overmolding makes cable assemblies tamper-proof by encapsulating components. Unlike standard cables, overmolded cables have an extra layer of insulation that makes it harder for unauthorized personnel to interfere with or cut the cables.
- Long Service Life: Overmolded cable assemblies are highly durable and long-lasting. They are protected from outside elements like extreme temperatures, abrasion, dust, water, dirt, debris, chemicals, and moisture, improving performance and enhancing cable assembly life.
- Enhanced Cable Assembly Processes: Overmolding makes the assembly process more efficient and secure. This efficiency allows production costs to be reduced.
- Shock and Vibration Resistance: With a robust housing and stable connections, overmolded cables can withstand shock and vibration without damage.
- Flex and Strain Relief: By overmolding your cable assemblies, you can improve resistance to strain at the cable exit, where most of the stress between a cable and connector occurs. Cable overmolding also provides 360° strain relief and increased pull strength. The outer casing acts as a buffer between the inner wires of the cable and the external elements, protecting connector terminations and wires from damage over time.
- Cable Management: Overmolded cable assemblies can have a soft, tactile feel when handled manually and make it possible for the cables to be easily managed.
Contact Consolidated Electronic Wire & Cable for Custom Overmolded Cable Assemblies
Overmolded cable assemblies are no longer the rigid plastic they were decades ago. Overmolding materials are soft, tactile surfaces that are easy to handle and organize. They provide flexibility, strain resistance, durability, customizability, and strength to meet the most demanding cable applications. Overmolded cable assemblies are ideal for your custom design projects to enhance the protection of the assembly.
At Consolidated Electronic Wire & Cable, we provide custom overmolded cable assemblies for nearly any application. As an ISO 9001:2015 certified company, we are industry leaders in Total Quality Management (TQM) and are RoHS compliant. This ensures that our production process and customer service meet the highest quality standards. Contact us online or call us at 1-800-621-4278 for more information about our overmolding capabilities. To start your project, request a quote.
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