AS9120B, ISO 9001:2015, and FAA AC 0056B ACCREDITED

What Are Rectangular Connectors?

The electrical systems in machinery are all made up of a network of wires and other components that are linked by multitudes of connectors. Within this broad device category, rectangular connectors are a common type that is shaped to offer design flexibility and ease of use. In comparison with round connectors, they are typically more optimized to include a greater number of pins within the same space. They can also be more easily placed next to each other because of their flat edges. For these reasons, rectangular connectors are often used in industrial automation, robotics, machine building, rail transportation, and power creation, where their modular design can be helpful when there is limited space.

Regardless of their type, the vast majority of electrical connectors can be organized into these three major configurations: board-to-board, cable/wire-to-cable/wire, and cable/wire-to-board connectors. Board-to-board connectors are mainly used to connect printed circuit boards (PCBs) without the use of wiring. As such, they are very helpful for reducing clutter and optimizing space. More specifically, they are most often used for motherboard-daughterboard configurations wherein the daughterboard enhances the functionalities of the motherboard.

Conversely, wire-to-wire or cable-to-cable connectors involve the linkage of two wire-terminated connectors. They are very commonly used in industrial operations as an effective way to complete electrical connections, which allows space to be retained between the connected components. Finally, there are cable/wire-to-board connectors that use crimp technology to connect a wire to a PCB. Wire-to-board connectors are used to route electricity between PCBs in a cost-effective way, and they are frequently used in the telecommunications, automotive, commercial, and industrial fields.

When considering rectangular connectors specifically, one very common type is D-Sub connectors. Also known as D-Subminiature or D-type connectors, these are small, lightweight connectors that are ideally suited for military equipment, industrial instrumentation, ground support devices, and computer equipment. They can also be found in consumer electronics, telecommunication systems, and medical equipment. Another type of rectangular connectors are power connectors, those of which are used for the important connection between an operating device and a power device. Additionally, there are hybrid connectors which work similarly but can handle both signal and power, providing more efficiency overall.

Aside from D-sub, power, and hybrid connectors, there are rack and panel connectors. As the name suggests, these connectors are designed to connect a device and an equipment rack together. They are primarily dedicated to blind-mate connections in critical environments for aerospace and defense industries. For another easy-to-install option, there are quick-mating connectors like the Radiall Quickmate connector, an option that provides easy cable-to-cable and board-to-cable connector installation via a unique slide-lock system. Radiall also offers rectangular multipin connectors that are a reliable choice in civil and military industries.

Altogether, rectangular connectors make up a key element of many electrical networks because of their space-saving shape. With popular options like quick-mate connectors, D-sub connectors, hybrid connectors, and more on our website, you can count on Parts 3sixty for our wide selection to suit the needs of your operations. Explore our online catalog of connectors or search for a specific item using our provided search tool and relevant filters. Upon finding a product of interest, you may easily request a quote for your comparisons to receive a custom-fit solution that caters to your operational needs, including strict budget parameters and deadlines.


December 1, 2022
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