What is the Main Difference Between Connectors and Conduits?

There are five basic types of Army/Navy (AN) connectors used on aircraft: Class A, Class B, Class C, Class D, and Class K. Class A-D connectors are made of aluminum while Class K is made of steel. Class A is a solid, one-piece back shell connector and is general-purpose. Class B back shell separates into two parts along the length and is used where it’s important that the soldered connectors are readily accessible. Class C is a pressurized connector and has inserts that are not removable. They are used on walls or bulkheads of equipment that is pressurized. Class D are moisture and vibration resistant and have a sealing grommet in the back shell. Class K is a fireproof connector and is usually longer than other connectors.

When frequent disconnection is required, connectors facilitate maintenance. Connectors are susceptible to corrosion because of condensation within the shell. Because of this, waterproof features have been developed. If a connector is not waterproof, it may be treated with a waterproof jelly.

There are about four steps to assembling a connector to a receptacle. The first step is to locate the proper position of the plug to the receptacle. The second is to create a slight forward pressure to start the plug into the receptacle. The third step is to push the plug in and tighten the coupling ring. And the fourth step is to use connector pliers and tighten the coupling rings. It’s important to not use force to mate connectors and receptacles; don’t use a hammer to force a plug into the receptacle and don’t use a torque wrench or pliers to lock coupling rings. Doing so can cause irreparable damage to the connectors.

And there are about three steps to disassembling a connector. The first step is to use connector pliers to loosen the coupling rings. The second step is to pull on the plug body and unscrew the coupling ring. And the third step is to protect the plugs and receptacles with caps or plastic bags; this will prevent debris from entering the items.

A conduit is a tube that protects electric wiring and is used in aircraft to protect wires and cables. It comes in metallic, nonmetallic, rigid, and flexible forms. Many installers will account for ease of use for maintenance and leave some room for possible circuit expansion in the future. Fittings are used at the end of a conduit to make it less vulnerable and if a fitting is not used, the conduit end should be flared. This will prevent wire insulation damage. It’s important to pay close attention when installing a conduit because it shouldn’t be located where it may be used as a handhold or footstep. Installers need to provide drain holes at the lowest point in a conduit run. And, the conduit needs support to prevent chafing and avoid stressing its end fittings. When a conduit is damaged, it should be replaced as soon as possible so the wires do not get damaged.


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