Electrical Connector Types

Connector plug

There are many different electrical connector types operating within virtually all industries. In fact, it can be overwhelming deciding which is best for your application. Gateway Cable Company is a leading provider of military-grade electrical products; our electrical connectors are primarily MIL-SPEC intervehicle connectors that conform to NATO STANAG. However, there are many other types of connectors available. Read on to learn more about the many electrical plug connectors types and their properties.

Main Parts of Most Electrical Connector Types

Generally, electrical connectors are comprised of two main components: housing and terminals (contacts). The housing, or case, holds the terminals in place and keeps the connection stable while protecting against shorting or hazards like heat or corrosion. Typically, the housing is made of strong molded plastic or rubber, although it’s not uncommon for it be fashioned out of ceramic or a material with insulating properties.

Electrical Wire Connectors Types

Below, you’ll find a comprehensive list of the different electrical connectors available on the market — many of which aren’t military-grade at all and are used in everyday applications:

  • Audio and Video Connectors
  • Automotive Electrical Connectors
  • Board Mount Connectors/Board to Board Connectors
  • Centronics Connectors
  • Circular Connectors
  • Coaxial Connectors
  • DIN Connectors
  • D-Subminiature Connectors
  • Edge Connectors
  • Fiber Channel Connectors
  • Gender Changers
  • Heavy-Duty Rectangular Connectors
  • IC Interconnect Components
  • Instrument and Computer Power Connectors
  • Medical Electronic Connectors
  • Micro Connectors and Nano Connectors
  • Military (MIL-SPEC) Connectors
  • Modular Connectors and FJ Connectors
  • Panel Interface Connectors
  • PC Card Connectors
  • Phone Jacks and Plugs
  • RF and Microwave Connectors
  • Solar Connectors
  • Solenoid Valve Connectors
  • Terminal Blocks/Wire Terminals (Refer to our terminal block how-to guide.)
  • Thermocouple Connectors
  • USB Connectors
  • Wire to Board Connectors/Wire to Wire Connectors

What Materials are Used for Electrical Connectors?

Connectors can be constructed using virtually any conductor and insulating material. Strength, mutability, and conductivity are important characteristics all connectors should possess. We’ve already talked about common materials used for connector housings, but what about terminals? Here’s a quick overview:

  • Brass is used largely for KK terminals and costs less than the other metal types listed below, plus it offers good strength and conductivity for the price.
  • Phosphor bronze offers good conductivity, durability, elasticity, and fatigue resistance.
  • Beryllium copper costs less than phosphor bronze.
  • Copper alloy contacts are typically seen in automotive applications and offer good thermal and electrical properties. They also resist softening much better than other types of materials at high temperatures. (This is the material used to fashion the contacts on our NATO electrical connectors.)

Shop Electrical Connectors at Gateway Cable Company

Again, Gateway Cable Company specializes in electrical connectors, as well as other components like cable assemblies, for the military. If you need a military-grade connector for commercial use, contact us to learn more about our selection of different electrical connector types. If you already have a connector type in mind, request a quote online by filling out our handy form!