Leadframes, or leads, are key components of a cable connector package for electrical interconnection between two functional systems. Mechanical damage to the leads result in higher risk of system failure. Therefore, it is highly critical to investigate mechanical reliability and homogeneity of the leads assembled inside the cable connectors. Typically, they are bonded inside the connectors using high strength packaging adhesives, and therefore characterization of the mechanical strength is an important part of the assembly process. Furthermore, lead design varies for different connectors depending on their functionality. For example, a connector of a charging port will have micro leadframes that are significantly different in design in comparison to a standard 16-pin socket connector used in high powered systems. These both differ from the coaxial cable connectors, which has a single leadframe.
The Instron® 5900 Series system with an X-Y translation stage is recommended for performing tensile testing of connector pins or leads. Depending on the size of the pin, micro pneumatic grips can be used to hold them in position before pulling them. Clamping stages are available to hold down the specimen in position before performing the pull test. The X-Y translation stage offers precise positioning of individual leads, which is critical to the test in order to obtain accurate results. Using Bluehill® Universal software, a test method can be set up to automate the entire test and collect key results, such as pull strength. Additional features, such as TestCam, can be used during the test for visual representation of failures.