A connector retainer and mounting system has been designed to replace screw-mounting of Winchester connectors. Countersunk screws are normally used to secure connectors to structures, and to keep them from coming apart. These screws are normally put into threaded or through-holes in metallic structures. This unique retainer is designed such that integral posts keep the connector halves retained, and a groove permits a cable tie to be fastened

around the retainer and composite tube, thus securing the connector to the structure.

The system is compatible for use on cryogenic (and conventional) bonded composite tube assemblies. Screws and tapped/through-holes needed to retain and mount Winchester connectors cannot be used on blind-access composite tubes. This system allows for rapid installation, removal, low-molecular-out-gassing materials, and particulate-free installation and removal. Installation and/or changes late in the integration, and test flow with limited access in a cleanroom environment are possible. No sanding or bonding is needed.

This work was done by James Pontius and Douglas McGuffey of Goddard Space Flight Center. GSC-16028-1

NASA Tech Briefs Magazine

This article first appeared in the July, 2011 issue of NASA Tech Briefs Magazine.

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