A proper electrical system includes secure connections between adjacent wires. While many techniques are used to achieve this, including soldering and wire wrapping, crimping stands out as a simple yet effective approach to terminating stranded wiring. In this blog, you will learn how to effectively crimp an electrical connection while also understanding why this technique is preferred.
Before attempting to crimp any electrical work, it is important to first gather the necessary materials to perform a safe job. Crimping tools are devices that resemble pliers and are the primary functional component in making the connection. Additionally wire strippers are also essential, those of which are used to remove insulation from around the target wires, allowing them to be crimped. Finally, a heat shrink system is necessary to apply new insulation to the connected wire.
The first step is to determine the wire size needed for the intended application. Typically measured with the American Wire Gauge (AWG) system, wires may vary from 0000 to 26 AWG. When choosing a particular wire, keep in mind that the amp capacity is directly correlated to the cross-sectional area. It may also be necessary to obtain a larger wire if the current is intended to travel across a long distance.
After choosing the appropriate wire, the next step is to select the crimp terminal. Picking the right terminal will strongly influence the quality of the joint formed. Since terminals differ in their features and price, it is crucial to determine whether your operation requires certain elements. For example, terminals containing plating are naturally resistant to corrosion, while others offer superior insulating materials.
Next, it is time to decide which crimping tool to use. These useful tools come in a wide variety of designs, making it important to choose one that is compatible with your specific application. Generally, the best source for selecting a crimping tool is directly from the terminal manufacturers, but sometimes that information may not be available. If that is the case, be sure to choose a tool that is compatible in size and configuration with the terminal.
After gathering all the necessary materials, you may begin the crimping process by stripping the wire at the ends and exposing the strands. When placing the wire inside the terminal, it is critical to ensure all strands are enclosed with no stray pieces. With the wire securely placed inside the terminal, the entire product may then be applied to the crimping tool, ensuring it is seated perfectly. After cycling the tool several times, it should automatically release the now crimped wire. Finally, insulation may be applied using heat-shrink materials and a hot air gun.
After crimping, it is necessary to test the connection by gently pulling on both ends. This slight mechanical traction will expose any apparent weakness in the crimp and should be done regularly to ensure no degradation. Additionally, the user may visually inspect the product for any defects, such as holes in the insulation, improper cut-off tabs, and flares on the bottom of the conductor. All of these signs are indicative of failed crimping techniques.
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