Universal MATE-N-LOK Connectors from TE Connectivity Are Used Across a Broad Range of Industries

By TE Connectivity

The Universal MATE-N-LOK connector system from TE Connectivity (TE) was developed several decades ago, yet its acceptance in the market continues to grow today. This is largely attributable to a very sound basic design, plus the addition of many features through the years that have significantly expanded its versatility.

Universal MATE-N-LOK connectors are based on a 0.250 inch [6.35 mm] centerline pitch design. The cap and plug housings are designed such that a combination of crimp, snap-in pin and socket contacts can be intermixed within them, permitting the user great design flexibility in the connectivity solution. Additionally, once inserted, the contacts are protected, as they are enclosed by features molded into the housings.

Image of universal MATE-N-LOK connectors from TE Connectivity

Figure 1:  Universal MATE-N-LOK connectors from TE Connectivity.

Rated at 600 volts AC/DC and 19 amps, Universal MATE-N-LOK connectors can withstand 5 kV between adjacent contacts. The system is designed to accommodate 30 through 10 AWG (0.05 through 5.0 mm2) wire.

Cap and plug housings are designed for free-hanging wire-to-wire applications, as well as wire-to-panel applications. Additionally, Universal MATE-N-LOK connectors can be used for wire-to-board configurations, as pin and socket headers are available in both vertical and right-angle styles.

For easy, error-resistant assembly, this connector system offers positive polarization, rear cavity identification and positive locking.

Contacts have dual-locking lances for contact stability within the housings. Various gold and tin finishes are available on the brass and phosphor bronze contacts.

Contact insertion force is ergonomically friendly at 5.0 lb. (maximum) per contact, while contact retention is 15 lb. (minimum) per contact. The contacts are removable using a contact extraction tool.

Image of contact extraction tools available from TE Connectivity

Figure 2:  Contact extraction tools available from TE Connectivity.

Basic wire-to-wire and wire-to-panel models offer 1 through 10 positions, while wire-to-board types offer 2 through 15 positions. In-line and matrix configurations are offered.

Numerous other special configurations are available. Universal MATE-N-LOK connectors are offered in a circular configuration to accommodate the needs of the lighting industry. They fit through a standard knock-out in an electrical box for quick and easy installation of new fixtures.

Flanged cap housings with a twist and lock feature are designed for household appliances where a bulkhead connector system is needed in conjunction with foam-in insulation. This provides a low applied-cost solution, as the connector locks into place on the panel without the use of tools.

Optional seals and contacts can be used with basic Universal MATE-N-LOK connectors to provide splash-proof sealing. Additionally, a sealed bulkhead connector permits sealing of the panel interface, as well as the connection.

UL Recognized, CSA Certified and VDE Tested, Universal MATE-N-LOK connectors are offered in various materials to meet the demands of specific applications. UL 94 V-2 and V-0 rated materials have traditionally been offered. More recently, material that is both Glow Wire compliant and meets UL 94-V-0 has been introduced. This new material allows manufacturers to use a common housing to meet requirements across various global regions.

Housings are also offered in a variety of colors to help differentiate connectors on a harness and solve the customer need for keying without further customization. Optional strain reliefs, keying plugs, grounding pins, and more further expand the flexibility of the Universal MATE-N-LOK connector system.

TE also offers a broad range of application tools. Handheld tools, either manual or powered crimpers, are typically used for low volume and field applications. Semi-automatic bench machines are broadly used in higher volume settings, while automatic leadmakers are used in the highest volume production environments.

With its wide range of features, the Universal MATE-N-LOK connector system is used in many diverse applications such as refrigerators/freezers, heat pumps, clothes washers/dryers, copiers, hospital beds, recreational vehicles, printers, generator systems, gaming equipment, lighting systems, power supplies, wire harnesses, security systems, and gasoline pumps.

Detailed documentation in the form of product specifications, application specifications, instruction sheets, product drawings, machine manuals and more are offered to support the products and tooling.

MATE-N-LOK, TE Connectivity, TE and TE connectivity (logo) are trademarks of the TE Connectivity Ltd. family of companies.

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TE Connectivity

Article contributed by TE Connectivity.