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5 Steps to Wire Crimping

September 30, 2019

Wire Crimping

In this post, we shall discuss the actual wire crimping process. Crimping can be done right with the proper materials and tools, and a clear step-by-step procedure. We will provide information to all these factors in this post.

Tools and Materials

Before starting any crimping work, ensure that you have all the tools and materials needed to perform this task correctly. You will need:

  • Crimp tool
  • Wire strippers
  • Crimp terminals
  • Heatshrink system
  • A stranded wire with required specifications

Steps to Achieve Wire Crimping

The following showcase the entire procedure from start to completion.

  1. Choose the Wire: The type of wire you need will depend on the application. Hence, understanding the equipment’s requirement can help you to find the right type. First, look at the wire size; this is generally given as AWG (American Wire Gauge). An example of this would be 16 AWG. If you do not have access to this information, there is another way to determine the wire size. Strip a small length of the wire insulation. Count the individual wire strands, and measure the diameter of one strand. You can then multiply the number of strands by the diameter of one strand.
  2. Select the Crimp Terminal: There are a variety of crimp terminals to choose from. The quality of the crimp joint will depend a great deal on the terminal chosen. The following points need to be considered when choosing a terminal.
    1. Plating – Terminals with plating ensure that there will be low contact resistance, and protection against corrosion.
    2. Pre-insulation – These terminals consist of a metal sleeve, which is used to grip the wire.
    3. Turned Pin – These are constructed from rod materials, and are almost round in shape. They support the creation of connectors.
  3. Decide on the Crimping Tool: Crimping tools come in a variety of designs. However, it is important that you select the tool that the crimp terminal is designed to be crimped with. Consult the crimp terminal manufacturers website for tooling information.  If that is not an option, be sure to get a tool that will accept the crimp terminal and has a ratchet design. This will ensure that the crimp has been formed correctly.
  4. Make the Crimp: The crimping process consists of a few additional steps.
    1. Determine the length of the wire, and strip the end. The stripping length should be such that when you insert the wire into the crimp, there should be at least 1 or 2 mm protruding from it. Cut the insulation off the end, and expose the wire strands.
    2. Insert the wire into the crimp. Ensure that all the strands have been inserted into the crimp.
    3. Place the crimp and wire into the crimping tool, and ensure that it is perfectly seated inside. Cycle the tool until it releases.
    4. Remove the crimp, and inspect the wire. Ensure that it is in the correct position, and that the insulation is secure. Give the crimp and wire a tug to check that they are secured.
  5. When Using Heatshrink: Fit the sleeve over the crimp and wire. Ensure that the sleeve is at the right position, and is not covering the crimp’s terminal end. Use a hot air gun to shrink the tubing.

Points of Warning

  • Never choose a solid wire. Only choose wires with individual strands.
  • Avoid any crimping tool that does not have a ratchet feature.
  • It would be a good idea to perform test crimps on other wires before performing the crimping process.

A complete set of tools and materials, and step-by-step completion will produce an efficient, reliable, and long-lasting joint for your application equipment.

Infographic Wire Crimping

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