What are Push-Pull Connectors?


A push-pull connector is a type of cable that locks, providing a fixed mating system that can only be loosened by compressing the connector body. These components only require an axial force to engage and disengage, rendering rotational force unnecessary. In this blog, we will provide a brief overview of push-pull connectors, their applications, and how they work.

Commonly found in medical devices and military applications where disconnection can be hazardous, they are typically affixed on the outside of equipment that requires connectors to be cycled continuously over a machine or a system’s service life. Made in plastic and metal designs, the plastic variation has about 2,000 mating cycles, while the metal variation has about 5,000 mating cycles. After this many cycles, the contact resistance will normally only increase by a few milli-ohms.

Beyond their lightweight construction, push-pull connectors are also rugged, providing thousands of mating cycles before needing to be replaced. Due to their locking mechanism, when affixed to equipment, they provide a sleek look on devices. This feature provides additional support and can only be released by compressing the connector body or pulling back on the outer sleeve to unlatch. By pushing the plug into the receptacle, the connector is safely secured.

Moreover, the locking mechanism consists of a plug with an inner sleeve and latches that are fixed in position by an outer sleeve. When locking the push-pull connectors, the plug’s inner sleeve latches retract and slide along the inside of the mating receptacle until it reaches a groove with a profile that matches the latches. The latches then hook into the groove’s profile and secure the connector into place. If you need to unlock the connector, pull the outer sleeve to move the latches away from the groove profile, allowing the plug to be easily removed.

Push-pull connectors are compact in design, necessitating only two fingers to clutch the shell to connect or disconnect. More than that, multiple connectors can be tightly-mounted together without the use of tools. They are available in square and rectangular designs, and thecircular variety is ideal for more complex cable assemblies.

Circular push-pull connectors also contain circular internal components such as contacts, insulators, spaces, collets, and collet nuts. With a rectangular design, the latches are the side and can utilize similar circular components. Additionally, circular push-pull connectors are designed for implementation with circular cables; thus, the cable design should be equipped with the appropriate fillers if being used for environmental sealing.

As these connectors are diverse in design and compatibility, they are often used to transfer power, data, signal, fiber optics, thermocouple, or fluidic/pneumatic media. Push-pull connectors are disposable devices that are typically used in operations where cleanliness is paramount. They may also be used for indoor and outdoor applications, requiring waterproof, dust-proof, vibration, and shock resistance. It is important to note that push-pull connectors can be constructed to only allow a matching pair to operate, enabling the construction of unique designs.

If you find yourself in need of push-pull connectors or their internal components, rely on Just NSN Parts. Just NSN Parts provides push-pull connectors for a myriad of military and civilian applications and has an ever-expanding inventory consisting of thousands of new, used, obsolete, and hard-to-find parts. As our items are subjected to a number of rigorous quality control measures, assessments, verifications, and tests, you can rest assured that you always receive authentic and reliable parts from us. We proudly operate with AS9120B, ISO 9001:2015, and FAA AC 00-56B certification and accreditation, and adhere to a strict NO CHINA SOURCING pledge, ensuring you acquire items of the highest caliber. Kickoff the procurement process today and see why customers depend on Just NSN Parts for all their operational needs.


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September 8, 2016

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