Designers are familiar with many of the hazards of the environment when creating devices for outdoor use. However, while planning for extremes of temperature, moisture and even physical damage, there is one force at work that is easy to overlook for harsh environments.Exposure to Sunlight.
Sunlight is often regarded as a benign force. It warms the soil, makes crops grow and even has health benefits for humans. However, just as we need to protect our skin from harsh ultraviolet (UV) radiation to prevent harm, it is necessary to protect against the damage that UV radiation can cause to components.
The latest innovations have seen equipment deployed into exposed locations for long periods of time. From field-based soil sensors to atmospheric sampling devices, many pieces of equipment are providing data that can only be collected over long periods of time. In these circumstances, equipment will receive many hours of sunlight during their use.
The effects of UV radiation on plastic materials can be easily seen if you leave a garden chair or a child’s toy in the garden for the summer. The surfaces exposed to sunlight can become faded, as if the colour has been bleached out. This is one of the effects of UV on plastic, but there is the potential for greater damage that it not so easily detected.
Following repeated exposure, plastic can become brittle or even crack. Cracks in even the best plastic connectors can compromise their sealed design, allowing water to reach circuits and electronics. The resulting failure could range in seriousness from inconvenient to life-threatening.
Buccaneer Circular Connectors are sealed to IP68 and are manufactured from highly durable Polyamide, selected in part for its stability in UV and sunlight. You can be confident that equipment fitted with Buccaneer connectors will continue to provide reliable service, whatever the weather.