Overmolded cable assemblies are one of the most common types of cable assemblies on the market today. Their adaption and favorability has grown over the past several decades due to the component’s improved engineering, functionality, and versatility. Overmolded cable assemblies can be easily customized to meet design specifications. By enclosing the wire and pin connectors fully within an encapsulated terminal shell the cable ends are protected. The process minimizes damage and ensures dependable, durable, and continuous connectivity and operation.
How Overmolded Cable Assemblies are Made
The key to overmolded cable assemblies reliability and durability relates to how they are made. Overmolded assemblies are manufactured through injection molding, a manufacturing process that can produce the same components in large volume. When necessary, mass-production can produce identical parts by the hundreds and thousands, and in some processes, millions.
For overmolded cable assemblies, the manufacturing process is as follows:
- Entire cable assembly is laid into a mold cavity
- Thermoplastic or thermoset polymeric materials are heated up and melted
- Colorants are added to the liquid resin if desired
- Liquid resin is injected under pressure into the mold
Once cooled in the mold cavity, the wire and connector has been encapsulated into a complete, single component designed to specs, customized into a desired shape featuring brand names and logos, or part numbers.
Manufacturing overmolded cable assemblies by injection molding ensures a degree of consistency in product parts, but also allows such flexibility like incorporating design features into the finished part. To offer a more aesthetically pleasing product to the eye, custom trade names, brand logos or part numbers can be imprinted into the cable assemblies during hard tooling as an alternative to cable labeling.
Overmolded Cable Assembly Benefits
Overmolded cable assemblies have other added benefits and features, too. Injection molding with different types of thermoplastic or thermoset materials can meet specific application designs and requirements. The cables can be manufactured with mechanical properties best suited to function in a variety of environments and conditions. When complex cable setups are necessary, cable assemblies can be designed to provide protection, stress, abrasion and strain resistance, durability, and the strength to meet the most demanding cable applications. They can also be made to withstand shock, vibration, and continual flexing without damage to the termination point.
Applications and Use Cases
Customizing mechanical properties of overmolded cable assemblies can further reduce risks of exposure to contaminants, chemicals, dirt, dust, solvents, fluids, or moisture. Such molding of properties allows for their extensive application in a variety of environments and use in diverse industrial sectors. Custom cable assemblies are used in solar energy, consumer electronics, robotics, automotive, aerospace, and other industrial and OEM applications. Critical cable assemblies are used in medical devices or military components and equipment, where they must not only be safe and secure, but resilient and reliable to operate under any condition. For example, one thermoplastic, polyurethane, is generally used in overmolded cable assemblies where harsh environmental conditions require a material that offers resistance to weathering and aging.
Overmolded cable assemblies join wire and connector into a single, seamless component that offers protective shielding to its internal components. Reliable and durable, the assembly can be designed to survive in the most rugged environments but also made aesthetically pleasing for any application. The functionality and versatility make the component well suited for an array of industrial, commercial, transportation, military and medical applications.