Eaton offers high-power lock box connectors

Three examples of a sealed connector from Eaton.

Eaton announced a specialized high-power lock box power connector for use in EV and internal combustion vehicles. 

The new connectors offer a space-saving profile, superior performance, cost savings and reduced manufacturing complexity, the company says. They were designed and developed by Royal Power Solutions, a manufacturer of high-precision electrical connectivity components that Eaton acquired in 2022

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Traditionally, Eaton says, eyelet terminals within vehicle electrical components are not sealed, potentially exposing them to road spray and salt, which accelerates corrosion and can mitigate power flow to the system. These fully sealed connectors are also resistant to vibration and deliver a component service life that meets USCAR Safety Performance Requirements. 

"Eaton recommends the use of sealed connection systems to meet reliability and durability requirements," says Chris Mancuso, general manager of power connections for Eaton. "Additionally, we've designed our HPLB terminal system for high-current and high-temperature applications, up to 500 amps and 125 degrees Celsius, respectively." 

[RELATED: Eaton expands mobile power portfolio]

The HPLB terminal system uses an inside-out contact system with internal spring pressure and multiple contact points, providing a stronger connection than traditional box-and-blade connectors. 

"Power connectors, while a small component, are a critical design element to meet product performance and durability requirements. Commercial fleet operators not only expect but require that all vehicle systems have a service life of at least 10 years," Mancuso says.

The inside-out connection also reduces heat radiation and can sit flush in the vehicle. 

"Our HPLB terminal connectors not only lower temperature, but provide extra current carrying capacity," Mancuso says. "So they are half the size and carry twice the current, and in some applications, up to three times the current."

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