Strain Relief : An Indispensable Item For Complete Cable Protection

By | January 14, 2015

Different equipment and electronic appliances rely on different cables for their optimal operation. These cables are found both inside and outside the equipment or appliance. In order for a cable to continue functioning even under the most stressful circumstances,a strain relief is usually placed around it.

A strain relief, also called a bend relief, is a useful item that helps improve the electrical and mechanical integrity of a cable as well as its general performance by providing a shift from a flexible cable to a rigid connector or connection point. A suitably designed strain relief prevents mechanical or physical forces from being applied to the cable while it transfers electrical terminations within the connector and the device.

Strain reliefs come in two basic designs: solid or segmented. A solid bend relief has no grooves or segments; it comes in a simple smooth and concrete design and is less flexible. A segmented strain relief, on the other hand, has walls and spaces which permit the bend radius to be increased at greater distance from the connector or connection point.This is a more flexible type, but compared to a relief that has a solid design, it is harder to clean.

Strain reliefs can be bought pre-made, but you can also have them custom-designed and manufactured for a specific application or purpose. When buying an off-the-shelf one, it is important to keep in mind that the length of the bend relief also affects its overall performance. In general, a longer strain relief is more effective than a shorter one. Off-the-shelf strain reliefs are simply slipped over the cable before the connector is terminated. When the cable conductors are terminated to the connector, the bend relief is simply screwed on or glued to the connector assembly.

In certain industries or businesses, having strain reliefs custom designed and produced offers more advantages than investing in ones that are store-bought.

First, specially designed strain reliefs offer better flex life. They are more flexible and no matter how many times you bend them, they retain their litheness.

Second, they have better tensile strength. Aside from being more flexible, custom designed and manufactured bend reliefs are more durable and can withstand the usual types of manual or physical handling.

Finally, custom designed strain reliefs have a higher level of moisture resistance. This is due to the fact that an over mold is physically and chemically bonded to the cable jacket and connector. This is an important quality to consider if the cables will be cleaned frequently or if it will be subjected to regular contact with liquids.


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