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Achieving a Good Connection - Part 2

Electrical connections come in two forms-end terminations and joints between two conductors. A good electrical connection is one that is able to conduct current safely at a low temperature, resulting in energy savings and should last for many years (30 years or even longer). But how can you ensure and achieve a good electrical connection every time?

 

Generally there are three important factors in executing a good electrical connection:

  1. Type of Connectors

  2. Crimping Tools and Dies used

  3. Workmanship

In this part we will look at how the right crimping tools and dies as well as workmanship can contribute to achieving a good connection. 

 

 

Crimping Tools and Dies

 

The second important factor in executing a good electrical connection is using the right crimping tools and dies. A proper tool and die are necessary to perform a good connection. Simply buying an international branded tool is not good enough. One must consider a matching die before purchasing the tool.

 

The hexagon die is usually used for a Copper connector. Having the right dies is more important than the tools. The German “Din” standard die is not suitable for the Malaysian Standard applications. A customised die suitable for Malaysian connectors is required. Connector manufacturers will always recommend the right size of die and this is usually shown in the catalogue of connectors 

 

For Aluminium connectors, an indent die is commonly used. There are three advantages in using a constant volume containing die.

 

  1. The connector will not bend after crimping

  2. The length of connector barrel is controlled after crimping

  3. Crimping position by index on the container

 

 

There are many type of crimping tools in the market today, which includes small mechanical tools, hand operated hydraulic tools and electric or battery operated tools. It is important to choose the right tools to your requirement. Choosing a tool which can crimp from 16mm2 to 1000mm2 is not practical due to its weight, size and cost. The correct way is to select a small hand tool for 1.5 to 10mm2 connectors, a mid range hydraulic tool for 16mm2 to 240mm2 connectors and a big hydraulic tool for connectors up to 630mm2. For big connectors, such as 300mm2 or larger, an electric pump is strongly recommended so that it is easier for the installer. It is also important to make sure that the installer crimp the connectors according to instructions.

 

There are various schools of thought on whether the deep-indent type compression is superior to the hexagon type compression. However, results from scientific experiments show that there is absolutely no difference in using the hexagon die or deep-indent die, when matching connector and die are used. Case in point, countries like USA, Australia and Germany all use the hexagon die for Aluminium connectors, whilst France, Italy and Malaysia use the indent die.

 

For Copper connectors, the current trend in the world favours indent dies for small conductors and hexagon dies for larger conductors. For Aluminium connectors, deep-indent dies are used for all conductors. In fact, indent dies are getting more popular for Aluminium connectors because of the advantage in using a containing die.

 

Manufacturers of electrical compression terminals and joints will have a good understanding of the best way to compress their own connectors and therefore it is recommended that they be approached when advice is necessary.

 

 

Workmanship

 

The human factor is equally as important in achieving a good electrical connection. It is vital that wiremen and electricians be willing to work according to manufacturer’s instructions. After removing the insulation and cleaning the conductor if necessary, the wireman or electrician plays an important role in selecting the same size connector and die to execute a good full crimp by using the right crimping tool. For bigger connectors, crimping should be done more than once, or according to manufacturer’s instructions as shown in the connector products catalogue. In Malaysia, precise tool and die is now easily available. Therefore, when quality connectors are selected, and work is carried out in compliance to standard procedure, all joints and termination can easily achieve good electrical connections. 

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