Monthly Archives: February 2016

Crimping – what makes a good crimp?

Posted on February 2, 2016 by

Here at St. Cross Electronics, we always prefer to use crimping practices over solder terminations.  Although in some types of terminations, you will never get away from a solder joint, but we will cover that topic another time.

To ensure we achieve a good crimp a number of  crucial factors need to be put in place.  We have created our own in house process and rule book on how these are produced.  These sound so simple when listed but to get a quality crimp termination we must follow this list.  These skills have been developed in house here at St Cross after 30 years of manufacture.  You will not believe what we have witnessed over the years when looking at other competitors work.

1 – The correct crimp terminal for the application it is being used for.
2 – The correct size wire for said terminal, this is both the CSA of the wire and also the O.D. of the wire.
3 – The correct tooling, this includes applicators and wire strip tools.
4 – The crucial strip lengths for the wire.
5 – Tensile testers and crimp height gauges are essential.

We have 3 methods of crimping here; Hand tools, bench press applicators, fully automated CNC machines that cut, strip, crimp and even test crimps.

Wherever possible, St Cross Electronics try to get all crimping onto bench press machines or our CNC automated crimp machines.  Hand crimping has it’s place but usually this is for small quantities and “out in the field” work.

The key to success is always “preparation”, so much time and planning is done here on getting the preparation done correctly.  We ensure that the crimp is suited to the connector you intend it for, we check the manufacturers spec sheet to ensure the wire size AWG (American Wire Gauge) and the crimp are suited together and we also check that the wire insulation O.D. is recommended.  There are two key areas to a crimp termination, the conductor and the insulation parts.  Both are very important. We ensure that we achieve a gas tight joint, which does not have any air voids. Air voids can get hot, and could lead to fires. At the other end of the spectrum, we ensure that the crimp is not over crimped. If you over crimp you will break the conductors inside. They may appear ok to you, but under vibration these conductors will weaken and could break off, causing an open or intermittent circuit. Similar applies to the insulation support on the crimp, too tight, and you could damage the strands under the insulation, too loose and you will not offer any insulation support, or another term strain relief. Our automatic CNC crimping machine have automatic crimp force analysers fitted, so each crimp is checked 100%.

So in summary if you want to receive a quality cable assembly with the correct crimped terminations, then come to St Cross as we always ensure we prepare correctly, use the correct tooling, strip the wire correctly and always check the set up using calibrated tensile and crimp height testers.  Contact St Cross Electronics today with your requirement to ensure your application is manufactured correctly, competitive and delivered on time.





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