The process of connecting the end point of a wire to any other device to establish a connection is called wire termination. A proper wire termination is crucial in the performance of any device. The demand for higher quality and better design has led to many innovations in wire termination technologies.
However, there are a few methods commonly used for wire termination.
Soldering is one of the oldest techniques used. It offers a flexible, corrosion resistant and durable solution. Most soldering units are cost-effective, however, it requires skilled labor and more labor hours generally. One of the main disadvantages of soldering is the safety concerns related to hot irons and molten metal. Soldering is mainly of two types, hand soldering, and flame soldering. Though there are many modern techniques, there are certain wire to board applications for which hand soldering is unavoidable. Soldering is not fast and efficient like many other termination methods, but it is never outdated in the industry and is expected to continue as a standard method in the future.
Insulation-Displacement Connections (IDC)
Insulation Displacement Connection (IDC) is one of the fastest ways to terminate a wire. Through this process, hundreds of wires can be terminated in large patch panels effectively. This technique is a common practice in the telecom industry. IDC is often considered as a top-class solution as these are almost error-free and very clean without chemical usage and insulation. This method is very cost-effective as well. However, these are generally only used for small wires.
Ultrasonic welding was primarily used for fusing plastic materials. These days it is also employed to join dissimilar metals such as copper, aluminum and brass in various bonding applications. It is commonly used in harness manufacturing, as it offers lower resistance. It is also used for bonding wire to terminals. These are much expensive and slower than other wire termination technologies. These cannot be used with soft plating like Tin. As this welding technique is highly flexible, these are also deployed in the automotive industry- welding multiple wires to one common point within the chassis.
This is the most common and efficient wire termination technique. Crimping offers a clean, fast and highly reliable termination which is mechanically strong. These are used for a higher volume of wire terminations. There are many crimp-to-wire solutions which showcases high performance.
The welding requirements change from application to application based on different parameters associated with it. A clear understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of each method will help you select the most suitable termination techniques.