27th Annual Connector And Interconnection Symposium And Trade Show,
IICIT, Inc., Boston Mass. September 19-21, 1994.

Development Of An Automated Contact Resistance Probe

M. Ranganthan and M. Pecht


Electrical contacts and connectors are required to have low and stable contact resistance during service life.  Models have been developed by CALCE EPRC to predict the reliability of contacts when subjected to different ambient conditions.  These models need to be reinforced with experimental contact resistance behavior studies.

Contact Resistance measurement is a sophisticated task and requires a probe that can not only measure very small resistance variations but also be able to simulate the field conditions of the contact during measurement.  This paper presents the development of such a probe, the automated contact resistance probe (ACRP).  This probe can measure the electrical contact resistance, tin real time, between two samples pressed together with a known, variable normal force.  The probe also enables relative motion or "wipe" between contact surfaces, which can lead to the wearing of the contact, during measurement.  The probe can also provide for high temperature, contact resistance measurement.  The entire system is controlled through a computer, which can provide on line monitoring and display of the different process parameters.

Complete article is available to CALCE Consortium Members.

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