The connector is among the most vulnerable parts of the electrical system to the dielectric breakdown. The repeat mating and demating of connectors can wear couplings and pins and can introduce damage to the protective insulating inserts as well as contaminates. This test examines a connector’s dielectric strength at a given voltage level. In particular, this test method examines the performance at different pressures (altitudes). As the atmospheric pressure decreases, so too does the required maximum service voltage to be used in testing.
This test is used as a quality check for connectors after exposure to thermal (e.g. temperature cycling), electrical (e.g. high current loads), or mechanical (e.g. contact insertion and extraction) pre-conditioning tests. For each connector tested, the connector is mated to another and the test is conducted on multiple of the pins within the connector. For each pin tested, a voltage is applied between the pin and each adjacent pin and the pin and the shell of the connector. While the voltage is applied, the test circuit measures the leakage current and has fault detection active.