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Connector Insights from iCONN

NiobiCONN™ Performance in Freshwater & Saltwater Environments

Posted by Robert Czyz on Mon , July 20, 2020

This is the second in a six-part series as we take an in-depth look at how NiobiCONNTM performs in various applications and can provide solutions no other connector can.

Advances in wet-mate connector technology, specifically connectors that utilize niobium, have extended the life span and capabilities of underwater equipment while making servicing this equipment in wet environments safer and more convenient for technicians.

NiobiCONN™ Technology for Freshwater & Saltwater Connectors

Traditional wet-mate connectors combat corrosion in wet locations and underwater by utilizing materials like titanium, stainless steel, etc. However, the contacts inside these connectors are typically a copper alloy with gold over nickel plating, which can corrode over time if not sealed and isolated from the surrounding environment. NiobiCONN contacts have similar corrosion-resistant properties to titanium, making NiobiCONN connectors a truly corrosion-resistant wet-mate connector, not just in the mated condition, but also in the unmated condition.

iCONN Systems Engineering is utilizing the power of NiobiCONN to design and manufacture the most advanced wet-mate connectors ever. Niobium has the unique ability to conduct electricity while creating its own passive film when energized and exposed to water. The film acts as an insulator, electrically isolating the contact from the surrounding water and adjacent contacts — making it a great candidate for wet locations and subsea applications. NiobiCONN connectors can be mated or unmated while submerged in freshwater or saltwater without the need for O-rings, gaskets or oil bladders. The connectors are designed to intentionally let water into the mating interface.

How NiobiCONN Connectors Support Freshwater and Saltwater Applications

Remote Monitoring/Sensor Networks

Remote monitoring and data logging/asset tracking is required in subsea applications. The instruments used to monitor seismic activity, oil production, pollution control and more utilize advanced wireless networks to communicate and monitor the sensors and controllers on the equipment on site. NiobiCONN connectors will eliminate the risks with mating and unmating traditional connectors underwater or in wet locations, greatly simplifying the installation and service of such expansive networks.

Underwater Equipment Installation and Repair

Installing and servicing underwater equipment and equipment in wet locations is cumbersome, dangerous and expensive. Advances in underwater power tools enable crews to perform installations and repairs without having to take the equipment out of the water/wet environment. NiobiCONN connectors will give the operator the ability to switch out their tools’ battery packs while underwater.

Diver Communication Systems and SCBAs

A diver’s self-contained breathing apparatus’ and communication systems are essential for functioning and navigating below water. It is critical these systems function properly without failure. The interconnects used on these systems are a weak point for water intrusion. NiobiCONN connectors eliminate this weak point in the system because these connectors can be mated or unmated underwater or when wet.

NiobiCONN connectors offer endless options for shape, size, and contact retention. NiobiCONN assemblies can also be integrated with other off-the-shelf cable solutions and can be further customized to meet the exact needs of your freshwater or saltwater application.

Learn more about the NiobiCONN wet-mate connector.

Learn more about the NiobiCONN