Fasteners for Power Connectors

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Fasteners for power connectors: choosing the right option for utility-class power connectors

BY WAYMON GOCH & CARL TAMM, Classic Connectors, Inc.

Many high-resistance and hot-running electrical power connectors in service are the result of improperly selected or improperly installed bolted connections. With proper attention to the fastener assembly, using fasteners made from the same material as the joined components is the best choice.

The primary reason for this is it eliminates differential thermal expansion and contraction. A common misconception is that stainless steel fasteners do not rust, but they will corrode under certain conditions. Stainless steel remains corrosion-free in unpolluted atmospheres and when immersed in flowing fresh water or seawater.

In humid marine environments or stagnant moisture conditions, type 304 stainless, for example, may be subject to various forms of corrosion such as pitting, crevice, stress, concentration cell, knife-edge, or galvanic. The exposure environment and chemical composition of the stainless steel will determine whether or not corrosion will occur.

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