Crimping is a technique of joining cables to metallic fittings that are then utilized to connect the wire to another wiring element or other cables. The joints themselves come in multiple types, and are known as “crimp connectors.” They are usually employed with stranded wires found in the wiring of home appliances, electronics, or car systems. The technique requires pressing a small insulated metal sleeve on the end of the connector around the uncovered bare cables. Wire connections that use crimp connectors are frequently used in locations where the heat of soldering is not appropriate, or where the cable connection may need to be detached sometimes.
Crimp connectors offer multiple benefits; since connections made with crimp connectors occupy little space, they also are much easier to make than solder connections, and when done correctly, they can be just as efficient. Crimp connectors work best with stranded cable since solid wire typically isn’t flexible or malleable enough to make an efficient connection.
It’s advisable to utilize a crimping tool when attaching crimp connectors to a cable to get the required compressive force. Pliers or a hammer will work in a pinch, but using these tools can end in a loose connection that, resulting in an open circuit. There’s nothing more challenging and difficult to identify than a loose crimp connection in an appliance electrical and complex automotive systems, where crimping is typically employed.
The Crimping Tool
A crimping tool is a specialized tool designed only to secure crimp connectors to cables. Even though it is similar to a pair of pliers, it’s as different in function from pliers as tin snips are from home scissors. There are many variations in shape and mechanical performance. The crimping tool you choose will depend on the kind and size of the terminal you are affixing.
Choose the Right Connector
Crimp connectors are available in many styles, so it is essential to make sure you select the right one for the application.
Connectors for cables smaller than 10-gauge come with insulating sleeves that fit over the connection. The color of the insulation shows the cable gauge for which the connector is appropriate. If you’re crimping 8-gauge or larger cable, an uninsulated connector is needed.
How to Crimp Connectors onto Wires
Making a crimp connecting is not difficult when done right, It’s very simple, but you have one opportunity to do it right. If you make an error, you have to start it all over again from the beginning. Here are the fundamental steps for creating a perfect crimp connection:
Remove just enough insulation from the cable to expose about 1/4 (0.64 cm) inch of bare wire. There should be enough bare cable to fit inside the collar. No bare wire should be shown at the end of the collar opposite the connector.
Enter the wire into the collar, making sure all strands are inside of it.
Slide an insulating material over the collar (if there isn’t one there already).
Enter the collar into the correct notch of the crimping tool.
Press the tool handle with as much force as you can to complete the crimp.
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