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IDC vs Crimp Termination: A Guide to Choosing the Best
When it comes to a connector design, engineers are often confused about the choice between IDC and crimped contacts. Both being very reliable and efficient connector systems, it mainly depends upon the end application. However throwing some insight into both the varieties might help you make a quick choice, based on your requirements.
IDC is generally used for mass termination for flat or ribbon cables. With this technology, the connector makes simultaneous contact with all the terminals of the conductor or wire. The connector contact is like a sharp knife that pierces inside through the insulation of the wire. As the connector gets deformed, each strand of the contact establishes a metal-to-metal connection with the cable assembly portion. This avoids the need for stripping the insulation before making the connection. IDC connectors create a reliable gas-tight connection as the connector blade is cold-welded to the conductor.
Crimping is a totally different wire termination method. This was used to replace soldering techniques. In this method, the connection is made using a crimping tool. The insulation of the conductor is manually unstripped and it is connected with the contact of the cable assembly. Though the physical exertion is very high in this type of termination, it also offers very reliable connectivity.
IDC termination helps in saving a lot of time and effort, as a large number of wires can be terminated at once without the help of any additional tool or individual soldering. The termination can be done with a simple hand press and these are also cost-effective. Amphenol offers a variety of IDC connector options, in different pitch sizes. These connectors are precise, durable, and come with eject latch and active latch features. Apart from the fact that IDC connectors are inflexible, this is a great option for quick and effortless wire termination.
On the other hand, if your design requirement is for discrete wires, crimping can be an ideal choice. These are much more flexible and even allow us to use multiple wire sizes in a single assembly, especially benefiting applications with signal and power requirements. Amphenol offers crimp-to-wire connectors in pitch sizes ranging from 1.20mm to 4.20mm, with various wire gauges and locking mechanisms.
No matter what wire termination option you choose, connector quality is the most determining factor. With Amphenol, you pick the best choice in the market.