Electrical connectors are a common and important electromechanical component. Connectors can join to create electrical circuits and paths for a current. When the connectors separate, the circuit is interrupted and the flow is ended. There exists a variety of connector types that are well suited for different applications, and choosing the right type for your needs is very important. By being knowledgeable about the Different Types of Connecters and their abilities, a well-informed decision becomes much easier.
As stated before, electrical connectors are utilized for the joining of circuits together. They bring many benefits to an electrical system such as interchangeability, easy assembly and manufacturing, and allow for modification. Many connectors are comprised of housing and terminal pins. The housing of the electrical connector is simply the case which encapsulates the Terminal Pins and may be manufactured from plastics and other insulating materials such as ceramics. The Terminal Pins are what connect to each other to join the circuit and are primarily made from conductive materials.
When choosing a connector, it is important to understand the different types of connectors that can be made. One very common type of electrical connection is achieved through plugs and sockets. This type of connector is often composed of a Plug Connector attached to a cable that is mated with a fixed socket. The plug is the male connector and generally features several pins or prongs that are situated in a way that they can be inserted into a mating socket. The socket then has inserts in which the pins and prongs can fit into to join the circuit. Plug and socket connectors are very common, and examples include wall sockets, breadboards, phone connectors, and car power outlets.
Jack and plugs are another common electrical connector and are similar to plug and socket types. The Jack is usually a connector or hole that allows for the insertion of a plug. Jacks and plugs may be a wire to stationary connection or connected at the end of cables. Applications in which jacks and plugs are most often utilized include telecommunication for telephone switchboards, headphones, audiovisual electronics, and some consumer appliances.
Crimp-on connectors are an important connection type in situations where soldering is not feasible, or the possibility of future detachment is desired. With Crimping a Wire, a small metal fitting is utilized in which wires can be connected to it. This is very beneficial in situations where there is exposed wires and one wants to avoid inducing too much mechanical strain. These types also take little physical space and can be used across a variety of wire sizes. Crimp-on connections are often used within automobiles, appliances, various electronics, and anywhere where there is large scale production that needs fast and cheap connections.
If there is a desire for more permanent connection of wiring and cables, soldering can be done. This entails joining two wires together, and then using a soldering iron to conjoin the metals together through heating a solder onto the electrical joint. When wires are soldered together, the connection can be highly reliable and have good integrity. As compared to crimp-on connectors, however, soldering is more time consuming and may provide a slower connection.
The final major type of electrical connection comes in the form of screw connections. Screw connections are semi-permanent and are commonly sought after due to their simplicity and reliability. Joining of connectors and the establishment of a circuit is achieved through a conductive strip that both wires are attached to. With the use of a bolt or screw, the wire can be clamped down and held tightly. Common applications that use this type of connection include alarm systems, building wiring, connecting electrical outlets, dyers, and ovens.
When choosing the materials for constructing a connector, it may help to know the common metals that make up different connectors. Brass is a very cheap metal with high strength and contains electrical properties, though it may contain Zinc mixed in that may range anywhere from 5-40% of the content. Phosphor Bronze is a step up in its strength and conducting ability as well as touts great fatigue resistance and elasticity. Beryllium Copper is very useful for Spring Terminals and is cheaper than phosphor bronze. Lastly, high copper alloys have great strength alongside thermal and electrical properties. High copper alloys may be seen used for automotives.
Many connectors may have various features that aid in their connection. If a connector is a “keyed” connector, it refers to the shape that it has been designed with. Keyed connectors only allow for connectors to conjoin at a certain orientation, thus protecting the pins and connectors from being damaged if a wrong insertion is attempted. Connectors may also have locks that keep them tightly together so that they do not separate. Lastly, various connectors may also feature protection from pressure, moisture, electromagnetic interference, radio frequency interference, or electrostatic damage.
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