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  5. Terminology - Connector Trivia vol.2 -

Terminology - Connector Trivia vol.2 -

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Here are some of the most common technical terms used in the connector industry, from terms related to the structure and parts of the connector to failure cases.


Connector Structure and Part Names

Here is a case of FPC connector to illustrate its composition.

A connector mainly consists of an actuator, metal fitting, contact, and insulator.
See below for each application and material. The meaning of each part is explained in the Glossary.

Connectors Major Components


Components and Related Terms


Name Synonyms Description
Actuator Slider Parts to lock or temporary hold when mated.
In case of FPC/FFC connector, parts that fix or hold the cable.
Insulator Molded part
Resin part
Resin molded parts.
The insulator that forms the entire connector and protects the contacts (wires).
Contact Terminal Metal parts to provide contact and energizing functions. Contact
Tail Lead Where the contacts/terminals are soldered.


Related Terms

Name Synonyms Description
Coplanarity Flatness Maximum height from board surface to contact tail.
Variance of lead to board surface.
Pitch - Distance between terminals.
Set by miswiring prevention and rated current/voltage.
Plug / Receptacle Male / Female
Headers / Sockets
Plug: The part to insert the contact. The shape that is on the insertion side when it is mated.
Receptacle: The part into which the contact is inserted. The shape that becomes the receiving side when mated.
FPC Flex cable Short for Flexible Printed Circuits. A cable with printed circuits. FPC
FFC Flex cable Short for Flexible Flat Cable. A cable consisting of flat laminated wires. FFC



Name Description
ZIF Short for Zero Insertion Force. When inserting or removing the FPC/FFC, the connector terminal and conductor of FPC/FFC are brought into contact and conducted by operating a locking mechanism such as an actuator/slider. A connector with reduced insertion and removal force.


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Connectors without ZIF structure. Insertion force is required when inserting the FPC/FFC into the connector. The connector terminal and conductor of the FPC/FFC are in constant contact from the moment they touch the terminal at the insertion port until they are pushed in. While the workability and cost are good, the cable retention force can be weak in case of small pin counts, and a high insertion force is required for high pin counts.


Related Terms
LIF: Short for Low Insertion Force. A structure that reduces the insertion force.


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Vertical The connector mating direction is perpendicular to the mounting board surface. Vertical
Right Angle (RA) The connector mating direction is horizontal to the mounting board surface. Right Angle


Terms for Failure Cases

Name Description
Weld A line that forms a joint when molten materials, such as resin, solidify. Weld
Crack - Crack
Contamination Foreign matter entering the resin. Dirty resin. Contamination
Short shot A lack of resin filling. short shot
Burrs A protrusion that pops out of its normal shape. Burrs
Solder fillet The shape when soldered. Solder fillet
Blisters A blister-like phenomenon on the surface of the resin. Also called a bubble. Blisters


Learn More About Connector Terminology Here Glossary of Electronic Components


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Comprehension Test

Q. What is the name of (1) to (3)?

(1) Parts to lock or temporary hold when mated.
(2) Metal parts to provide contact and energizing functions.
(3) Resin molded parts.

Comprehension Test


Answer (Click to Check)
  • A. (1)Actuator  (2)Contact  (3)Insulator


List of Connector Trivia Articles

vol.1 What is a Connector?

vol.2 Terminology

vol.3 Insulator

vol.4 Contact (Terminal)

vol.5 Evaluation Test (Basics)

vol.6 Evaluation Test (Special Edition)

vol.7 (Coming Soon...)


Connectors Top Page