I post too Much on Here!!
- Mar 25, 2011
Its more due to the tolerances and quality of both sides. They almost always come from different manufacturers. Parts are injection molded and there are many variables that affect the dimensions. Generally, the better manufacturers use a go-no go tool, but pins can get slightly bent. I've seen it.Could it be, and just tossing this out there, that some bent pins are related to intoxication? I know better than to handle my gear after a third V&T, but others simply throw caution to the wind...
I once had to find the cause of similar but very expensive space rated connectors doing this. Cards bent pins when mated with the motherboard. I had a lab that was dedicated to aerospace wire and connectors. What I found in this case was that cleaning residue from solder flux using a chemical had caused stress relief which lengthened the connector slightly. We first measured the true position of each pin and each socket on both sides and found the side that caused the issue, then measured new parts which were fine. Then, we looked at every step of production and found the issue. The material in the part had been changed from Diallyl Phthalate to a highly touted GE engineering thermoplastic which was supposed to be fluid resistant. It wasn't so we had to go back to the ancient but more stable material. After that, I came across some expensive kitchen utensils made from the stuff. They were guaranteed for 50 years! I bought one, it broke after being used for a year. Going thru the dishwasher hardened it and made it brittle. It was supposed to stand much more heat than a dishwasher could put out. You can't trust specs, and testing is expensive. We think of Kapton as a wonderful almost indestructable material, but put it in boiling water and it goes soft.
Pins and sockets bending when a connector from one manufacturer was mated to a part from a different manufacturer was a frequent issue. We sometimes had to bring the manufacturers together and force them to figure out the issue. Usually, it was due to different methods of dimensioning. Manufacturers don't like to do this, but there is a reporting system used by companies that report problems like this so that a manufacturer loses sales if he is at fault. Its a big lever to force them to fix the issue. I had lots of problems with plastics, even wire insulation that was conductive!