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issue: December 2007 APPLIANCE Magazine

Technology Report
Versatile Wire Termination

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A new connector reliably connects different conductor types together in a common unit.

Part of the Lever-Nuts 222 series from Wago Corp., the 222-412 is a two-conductor splice that provides a versatile joining option. According to the Germantown, WI, U.S.–based company, the component safely accommodates varying stranding patterns from solid conductors to finely stranded conductors that have 42 strands.

Marketing manager Dean Norton says this can be particularly helpful for designing high-performance double-duty appliances that require versatile wiring. “For instance, look at the proliferation of celebrity chefs and upscale brands offering household commercial-grade appliances,” he tells APPLIANCE. “Although typical consumers will never exploit 100% of the products’ capabilities, these products still must be engineered to meet these conditions day in and day out in order to adhere to safety requirements. These factors have caused many engineers to incorporate several different types of conductors and wire gauges (that are rated for different voltages, etc.) into home electronics, electrical devices, appliances, and power tools.”

The connector also offers lever-actuated wire termination. Rather than working with time-consuming and tool-dependent crimp-style connectors, Norton says end-product manufacturers simply lift the bright orange lever, insert a stripped conductor, and lower the lever. “This saves considerable time and effort for those on assembly lines (especially with products that have several wiring junctions), and saves engineers from worrying about whether the conductors have been spliced with the right amount of force or will become disconnected,” he explains.

The Cage Clamp termination technology uses a stainless-steel spring clamp that surrounds the stripped conductor on all four sides, enclosing it in a metal “cage.” This cage contains all wire strands, ensuring contact with the current bar. The clamp features a rigid current bar, which is electrolytic copper plated with corrosion-resistant tin and has an “S” bend that creates a secure, defined contact area.

According to Norton, this technology is up to 75% faster than other termination methods. “The cage clamp administers proportional force on wires, meaning that larger wires receive more force and smaller ones receive less,” he explains.

The result is a vibrationproof, corrosion- and temperature-cycling-resistant, and maintenance-free connection that never needs to be retightened or checked. By equally distributing mass among the current bar, conductor, and clamp, the unit can withstand vibrations of up to 2000 Hz without wire damage or contact failure. The technology has also been subjected to accelerations of up to 109 G in each axis, and has undergone UL testing that employs rotational and pullout forces to simulate aggressive conditions. “This is beneficial for appliance engineers working with appliances and electrical devices, particularly power tools, that are subjected to aggressive substances, extreme amounts of vibration, and temperature cycling,” Norton says.

All conductive subcomponents are contained within a housing constructed of high-grade nylon polyamide 6,6, which Norton says makes the unit “touchproof.” The nylon material and a stainless-steel-alloy spring also allow the product to withstand temperatures reaching 105°C. At just 14.5 × 12.4 × 20.5 mm, the connector can reportedly protect users against electrical shocks, and it features an integral test point for testing and troubleshooting a circuit. 

Suppliers mentioned in this article:
Wago Corp.

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