Service life

In addition to the design-related parameters, the service life of spring contact probes depends very much on the actual operating conditions.

Wear of the plunger:
Factors shortening the service life

Mechanical wear

Mechanical wear reduces the service life of the probes: the deeper the penetration depth into the test specimen and the higher the spring force, the higher the wear.

Lateral forces and deflection

Lateral forces and deflection promote wear of the plating layers and thus reduce the good performance (contact resistance) and service life of the contact probes.

High current load and contamination

Excessive current load and contamination can considerably limit the service life of the probes.

Compliance with the mechanical and electrical data and temperature application ranges ensure the service life and reliability of the contact probes.

Analyze long-term behavior,
Improve service life

As a manufacturer, it is important for FEINMETALL to constantly monitor the service life as an important quality parameter and thus to precisely analyze the long-term behavior of the contact probes.

An essential component is the service life tester with seven autonomous load stations.

The prevailing test conditions represent a reference standard for us, which above all enables relative statements to be made about the service life of the probes. The service life is tested under the following laboratory conditions:

→ Temperature range +20 bis +30°C
→ Relative humidity 40 to 60%
→ Dust and corrosion free environment

Quality control in our own laboratory
In our own laboratory, we operate various test and measuring stations for quality control and for determining technical parameters in product and basic developments.

For the test, up to 10 sample probes are first mounted in a load station and actuated at a stroke frequency of 5 to 6 strokes per second. In predetermined steps (for example after every 2000 strokes), the probes are then examined in a separate measuring station.

In each measuring phase, the course of the spring force and the electrical resistance over the spring travel is recorded for each sample probe (Fig. top right). These results are later summarized over the entire life of the probe (up to one million strokes and more) and displayed in a life diagram.

Lifetime diagrams

Examples of evaluation of typical test procedures.


Force-Travel Diagram

The diagram shows the change in resistance and force with travel.

Spring force-Contact cycles Diagram

The diagram shows the change in spring force with increasing contact cycles.

Resistance-Contact cycles Diagram

The diagram shows the change in resistance with increasing contact cycles.

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