WetLink Penetrator Assembly Guide

Introduction

The WetLink Penetrator (WLP) is our next-generation solution for low-cost, high pressure, high reliability sealing of electrical cables. The WetLink Penetrator is easy to assemble and doesn’t require any adhesives, potting compounds, or rubber molding.

Compared to previous penetrators, the WetLink Penetrator offers a greater depth rating, improved performance in extreme conditions, and substantially improved reliability. The WetLink Penetrator is also fully backwards compatible and can be used just like our old M10 penetrators. This guide will show you how to assemble a WetLink Penetrator using our WLP assembly tools or common hand tools.

wlp-diagram-1

Parts and Tools

You Will Need

You will also need:

  • A 1/4 inch (6.3mm) drive ratchet or torque wrench
  • A vice or 2x 6mm bolts or 2x M6X1.0 thread bolts (for securing the WLP Assembly Block)

We highly recommend using the WLP tools for assembly. We’ve designed these tools for ease of assembly, especially if you’ll be putting together more than a few. If the WLP tools are not available, assembly can also be completed using the following hand tools:

  • 14mm open-ended wrench
  • 16mm open-ended wrench

Prepping the Cable

The cable jacket must be stripped prior to assembly. For tips on how to strip Blue Robotics cable, please follow our Cable Jacket Stripping Tutorial.

When stripping the cable, ensure that the cut in the cable jacket is straight across, perpendicular to the cable. A straight, perpendicular cut is necessary to allow the cable to seat fully into the bulkhead and ensure proper performance.

wlp-assem-15-1
A cable jacket that is angled or otherwise incorrectly cut will compromise performance of the watertight seal.
wlp-assem-16-1

Assembly

Cross section of an assembled WetLink Penetrator.

Cross section of an assembled WetLink Penetrator.

Install the Plug and Seal Onto Cable

1. Slide the plug onto the cable with the threads pointed towards the stripped end of the cable.

Plug installed on the cable.

Plug installed on the cable.

2. Slide the seal onto the cable. The seal has a flat end and a tapered end, make sure the tapered end is pointing towards the stripped end of the cable.

Plug tapered end.

Plug tapered end.

Plug and seal installed on the cable.

Plug and seal installed on the cable.

Prepping the Wires

1. Twist the wires so they form a tight, neat bundle. Twisting the wires is necessary in order to feed them through the bulkhead without damaging the insulation or the conductors.

Twisting the wires.

Twisting the wires.

Forcing the wires through the bulkhead without twisting first may result in damage to the insulation or conductors and compromise the performance of the watertight seal.
wlp-assem-17

Installing into the Bulkhead

1. Insert the twisted wires and cable into the penetrator bulkhead. Make sure the cable jacket sits firmly and fully into the bulkhead. The cable jacket should be seated against the cable jacket seat.

Close up showing cable jacket sitting fully against cable jacket seat.

Close up showing cable jacket sitting fully against cable jacket seat.

Inserting wires and cable into the bulkhead.

Inserting wires and cable into the bulkhead.

2. Slide the seal and plug down and insert them into the penetrator bulkhead. Use your fingers to thread the plug into the bulkhead. Make sure the cable jacket stays firmly seated against the cable jacket seat while doing so. It helps to gently pull on the wires while tightening the plug to ensure the cable stays seated against the jacket seat. Tighten until finger tight.

Plug and seal installed in bulkhead.

Plug and seal installed in bulkhead.

Failure to seat the cable fully against the jacket seat will compromise performance of the watertight seal.

Completing the Assembly

The rest of the assembly process can be completed using either the recommended WLP Tools or with common hand tools:

Using WLP Tools

For this step you will need:

  • 14mm Plug Wrench
  • 1/4 inch (6.3mm) drive ratchet or torque wrench
  • WLP Assembly Block
  • A vice or 2x 6mm diameter bolts or 2x M6X1.0 thread bolts

1. Secure the WLP Assembly Block to a table or work surface using a vice.

WLP Assembly Block secured with a vice.

WLP Assembly Block secured with a vice.

The WLP Assembly Block can also be secured using 6mm bolts with the side-mounting through holes.

WLP Assembly Block side mounting holes.

WLP Assembly Block side mounting holes.

Or with M6X1.0 thread bolts into the underside threaded mounting holes.

WLP Assembly Block underside mounting holes.

WLP Assembly Block underside mounting holes.

2. Insert the bulkhead with installed cable, plug, and seal into the appropriate space in the Assembly Block. The spaces are labeled according to the bulkhead size. The wires extending from the bulkhead should feed through and come out of the bottom of the Assembly Block.

Bulkhead in Assembly Block.

Bulkhead in Assembly Block.

3. Attach the Plug Wrench onto a 1/4 inch (6.3mm) drive ratchet or torque wrench.

Plug wrench on ratchet.

Plug wrench on ratchet.

4. Tighten the plug using the Plug Wrench and ratchet until it sits flush with the bulkhead, then turn an additional 1/16th of a turn. If using a torque wrench, tighten to 14 Nm (10.33 ft-lb).

Tightening the plug with Plug Wrench and ratchet.

Tightening the plug with Plug Wrench and ratchet.

Alternatively, the Plug Wrench can be turned by hand using the included lever bar.

Tightening the plug with Plug Wrench and lever bar.

Tightening the plug with Plug Wrench and lever bar.

Using Hand Tools

For this step you will need:

  • 14mm open-ended wrench
  • 16mm open-ended wrench

1. Use a 16mm wrench to hold the penetrator bulkhead while tightening the plug.

2. Use a 14mm open-ended wrench to tighten the plug. Tighten the plug until it sits flush with the bulkhead, then turn an additional 1/16th of a turn.

Using hand tools.

Using hand tools.

Reusing a WetLink Penetrator

WetLink Penetrators are also reusable! We recommend the Wetlink Penetrator Bulkhead and Plug be reused no more than 3 times to maintain performance. When reinstalling a Wetlink Penetrator onto a cable, the seal must be replaced and the penetrator should be installed on a previously uncompressed section of cable jacket. Replacement WLP Seals are available here.