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Definitions for jargon, scientific terms and phrases used at Harwin and across the connector and electronics industries.

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Obsolescence, Obsolete product

When a product is declared by the manufacturer as no longer available from them, and they will never manufacture the item again. This may be immediate, or there may be a Last Time Buy period available, or some stocks remain in the distributor supply chain.

Operating Temperature Range

The temperature range (maximum and minimum temperatures) at which the connector or other component can be used in continuous service. A number of characteristics may be downgraded as the product is utilized away from ambient temperature. For instance, current rating typically goes down as temperature goes up.


The release of particles (as a gas) from a solid - the gas particles may previously have been dissolved, trapped, frozen or absorbed. Vacuum or partial vacuum conditions will enhance this effect, making a clean environment in a high-vacuum situation very difficult. Space agencies (NASA and ESA) maintain a list of low outgassing materials that are their preference for use on space vehicles. This is to minimize the exposure in a closed environment to toxic gases, avoid the contamination of optical devices, thermal radiators or solar cells, and lower the risk of other equipment being affected by particle build-up. Raising temperatures can also increase this effect - so components or systems can be baked before use, to drive off the volatile elements. Harwin has a list of outgassing figures pulled from a variety of sources relating to the different plastics used on our products.