New Strain Relief Extends Cable Assembly Life

Teledyne Storm Products–Microwave has developed an improved strain relief that significantly extends the life of cable assemblies used in test applications requiring frequent flexure behind the connector. Hard-To-Hurt™ strain relief technology was developed in response to a common industry problem: early failure in cables with “standard” strain reliefs when repeatedly flexed behind the connector.

Since no industry-standard flexure test exists, Storm developed an accelerated life test to evaluate strain relief designs using a cable flexing device capable of testing up to six cables simultaneously. Connectors are held static while the flexer deflects the cable behind the connectors 30°to the right and 30°to the left. An integrated counter tracks the number of cycles (±30°per cycle) that the cables have been flexed (see video on the company’s website).

During flexing, the cables are connected to a network analyzer and monitored for insertion loss and VSWR. Every 1000 flexures, the movement is stopped, and each cable’s performance is measured and recorded to determine when a cable starts to develop instability. Flexing is continued until cables fail to meet insertion loss or VSWR requirements. To establish a baseline, Storm evaluated cable assemblies with standard strain reliefs, and then alternate designs and materials were evaluated until the Hard-To-Hurt design was selected.

Available on two of Storm’s most popular test cables, True Blue®205 and Accu-Test®200, Hard-To-Hurt technology increases their flex life by nearly four times over standard strain relief.

Teledyne Storm Products,
Woodridge, IL,