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Cable lugs: Which one is the right one?

Wide range: choosing the right cable lug

The choice of cable lugs available for all kinds of applications in the electrical sector is huge. Making the right choice can be harder than you might think. However, choosing the right cable lug is essential to ensuring a clean and secure crimping result.

This overview provides a more detailed insight into the most common cable lugs for copper conductors, helping explain to you what you need to look out for when making your choice so that your connection will indeed be secure and long-lasting.

Cable lugs for copper conductors, connected to the conductor by way of so-called cold forming, are some of the most common connectors in electrical engineering.

They can be roughly divided into three groups:

Cable and cable lug: the perfect pair

Choosing the right cable lug also depends on the conductor class to be processed. As an example, the following cable lug types are available for cables according to DIN EN 60228: 

  • Class 1, 2, 5 and 6 conductors: compression cable lugs according to DIN 46235
  • Class 2 conductors: standard type tubular cable lugs
  • Class 2, 5 and 6 conductors: solderless terminals according to DIN 46234

To ensure safe crimping of conductors using DIN compression cable lugs, crimping tools with coded dies according to DIN 48083-4 are recommended in the standard. The requirements of the respective manufacturer must be observed for tubular cable lugs.

Solderless terminals according to DIN 46234 are processing using indent crimping.

    Quality and resistance: on the test bench
    Standards also apply to the electrical and mechanical properties of cable lugs. The international standard IEC 61238-1 part 1 applies in this particular instance. It specifies the tests that an electrical connection needs to fulfil in order to ensure long-term safe operation for its intended use. The electrical connections must undergo different tests for this purpose. This involves an electrical durability test alongside a mechanical tension test. A test cycle simulates a practical application in this test.

    Electricity is used to heat up the connection 1000 times to approx. 120 °C in order to bring about artificial ageing. The contact resistance is reviewed at regular intervals in between the tests. Six high current tests are also carried out where the conductor is heated up to approx. 250°C in one second thanks to a short circuit. This high current test is required if the connector is due to be tested to check it is short-circuit protected. The Klauke connecting material has also passed this test. The crimping connection passes the test if the contact resistance remained constant throughout.

    Manufacturers are responsible for being able to guarantee the safety of their connections. With these additional tests that are carried out, you can rest assured that our connecting material satisfies the highest demands. In addition, a significant amount of our materials are UL-tested and certified. This is particularly useful when control cabinets are to be supplied to North America, for example.

    However, we also place additional requirements on the quality of our products that go beyond these standard requirements. Cable lugs made by Klauke are annealed as part of an additional manufacturing stage. This means we can reduce any hardening and tension in the material, as well as reduce the risk of breaking during crimping.

    The quality of our cable lugs is already evident from their visual characteristics. Burr-free production and a consistently flat palm are signs of a high-quality product – likewise clean final machining of the tube section.