Types of Electrical Connectors

An electrical connector is an electromechanical device that joins components of an electronic circuit together. Connectors make it easier to assemble, mount and repair electrical equipment. They are used widely in communication systems, computers, industrial machinery and consumer electronics. Most electrical connectors are removable or temporary, but some can be made permanent.

Electrical connectors have two main parts: terminals and a housing. The case, or housing, holds the terminals, stabilizes the connection and protects the connector from environmental hazards. Housings are typically molded from plastic but can be made of any type of material that is electrically insulating.

Terminals are the pin-like contacts that carry electric current through the circuit. They are usually made from electrically conductive metals such as brass, phosphor bronze, or beryllium copper. The terminals are inserted into the housing, which has recessed holes called sockets, to create an electrical connection. Most electrical connectors are sold in pairs and have a gender designation – a male component called a plug connects to a female component called a socket or jack.

One of the most common types of electrical wire connector is a screw terminal, which has screws that hold the ends of the wires in place. This kind of connector is often used for supplying power to PCBs and comes in 2 pin, 4 pin, 6 pin, and 8 pin variants.

Another popular type of electrical connector is a ring or spade terminal, which has internal grooves and wings that grip the end of a wire and twist into place. These types of electrical connectors are easy to assemble and disconnect, but they don’t offer as much strain relief as other kinds of electrical connectors.

Printed circuit board (PCB) mounted screw terminals let individual wires connect to a PCB through leads soldered on the board. They are convenient and can be used for a variety of wire sizes. However, they require that the ends of the wires be stripped by a certain number of inches before use, and they may be difficult to re-twist after disconnection.

Other types of electrical connectors include crimp terminals, which have a set of metal prongs that clamp to the ends of the wires and twist into place. These are the most versatile electrical connectors but require a special tool to assemble and remove them. They can be used for both AC and DC power.

Other types of electrical connectors are hermetically sealed, which provide an airtight seal and resist water and other contaminants. They are often used in industrial and marine environments. Piggyback electrical connectors allow a male tab-type connector to snap into the back of a female connector, which saves space on an electrical panel and reduces equipment installation time. They also simplify repairs and future modifications because they eliminate the need for an additional mounting point. electrical connector types

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