The newest connector/termination products now on the market provide unprecedented versatility and include features such as watertight constructions, wide wire ranges, pre-insulated configurations, and compact designs.
Renovating a building with existing aluminum wiring? Want to use twist-on wire connectors for small aluminum wire sizes? You can with a labor-saving twist-on wire connector that's packed with an antioxidant. Its integral spring allows more movement without breaking contact with the twisted wires. It also can be used for aluminum-to-copper wiring terminations. Restrictions are that it can be used only once, and only with specific wire combinations marked on the package, each of which includes at least one copper conductor and never more than three conductors.
Have a problem with vibration or corrosion in direct-burial, watertight connections? New twist-on connectors with silicon gel or an epoxy sealant are the answer. They save considerable labor and materials.
Intelligent connectors are now appearing. For example, one manufacturer blurred the line between connectors and network devices with its own data/power loop system. The system uses the power supply to power the I/O devices and to transmit network signals to the devices. One protocol communicates with various devices, simplifying system layout.
Those familiar with NFPA 680 can appreciate a new development in connectors. There now is a bonding connector designed for bonding grounding conductors to rebar in swimming pool construction. It requires no special crimpers or molds. Considering that grounding is required on all metal lighting fixtures, skimmers, gratings, ladders, pumps, piping, and other such parts must be bonded, these connectors can be a real time-saver in grounding tasks.
Industrial plugs now come with a contact design similar to that of switchgear. They use silver-nickel, spring-loaded pressure contacts and are UL-listed to perform as non-fused disconnect switches, manual motor controllers, branch circuit disconnects, and general-purpose switches under UL standards 88/508.
Temporary power distribution in areas that require frequent washdowns (such as food plants, or pulping operations) is always a problem because the connectors require special boots and adapters. These add-ons invariably degrade. A new connector's collar screws directly onto the connector or receptacle, providing a connection that withstands high-pressure hosedown. Even unmated, the devices stay waterproof because an interior O-ring system seals the wiring compartments, thus eliminating one type of safety hazard. The connector uses a pin-and-sleeve design, which offers safety advantages in harsh environments, as well as greatly increased contact area compared with conventional configurations. The ground pin will make first and break last. The housings are made of high-impact thermoset thermoplastic, which offers high-corrosion resistance.
From melamines to high-impact nylon, suppliers continually upgrade materials and evaluate them with quantified testing. This is true of molds and intermediary materials, as well as the component materials of the actual products. We're seeing better design for manufacture, better tolerance adhesion, faster on-time deliveries, lighter weight, longer life spans, and lower cost of purchase.
These items have appeared over the past year in EC&M's Product News section and received the highest reader response in their category.
Wire marking systems
These new products include THT-printable and color wire marking sleeves, a pin-fed label-dedicated printer, and JetTab label materials with high-performance, indelible printing ink. JetTab, the first line of inkjet label printing products for industrial applications, provides greater solvent-and abrasion-resistance than any other printing method, and labels are comparable in durability to those produced by dot-matrix methods. In addition, the Sleeve-Datab Dot Matrix Printer and the LS2000 Labeling System have features that include faster label feed and exceptional print resolution.
The LS5 Industrial Labeling System features portable handheld labeling to produce econ mical, heat-shrink tubing labels that insulate, protect, harness, and identify electrical and electronic components in a wide variety of applications. Heat-shrink tubing stock is available in the form of flattened polyolefin supply cartridges, in three sizes (1/4, 3/8, and 1/2 in.).
Spring compression cable connector
CYTOLOK cable connectors are self-crimping, self-adjusting compression connectors that compensate automatically for vibration and thermal expansion through the use of a unique spring-action pressure. A kit is offered that consists of an assortment of connectors that are designed to meet various needs. A sturdy metal box with adjustable compartments is provided with the purchase of the kit.
Buchanan Construction Products
The Power-Connect mechanical lug line includes lugs that are UL-listed for 600VAC for wire ranges of 6 to 14AWG through 1000 to 500kcmil cable, and are acceptable for use to 2000V. Lugs are dual-rated for both aluminum and copper conductors and are electro-tin plated, made of high-strength aluminum alloy.
Ideal Industries, Inc.
Wet location connector
Called Twister DB Plus Wire Connector, this new product is UL 486D listed and CSA C22.2 #198.2 certified, and is suitable for multiple applications including irrigation, marine, municipal water treatment, etc. The compact size enables it to fit easily into electrical enclosures. The connector splice is sealed to prevent corrosion and any contact moisture even when buried. Handles a wide range of wire combinations from three No. 20 to four No. 12 gauge wire conductors.
The ISO 9001 line of certified compression electrical connectors, including UL/CSA-certified compression lugs and splices, wire ferrules, specialty products, and application tooling, is available.
Line includes heavy-duty aluminum compression lugs, sleeves, and sleeves. Types UCL and 2UCL aluminum compression lugs and Type UCS aluminum compression sleeves provide maximum conductivity and excellent crimping characteristics. The lug and sleeve barrels are chamfered for easy conductor insertion, and are prefilled with DE-OX to prevent formation of oxides.
Nonmetallic marine connector
The 30A, 250VAC nonmetallic connector (Catalog No. 3809P) and Male-Inlet (Catalog No. 3799P) are new products for marine and industrial applications.
M-R-S Power Systems
Introduced is the Steel City Brand Bullet Fitting for commercial-grade applications. This liquidtight non-metallic body has corrosion-resistant nylon construction and a captive-sealing "O" ring. The fitting ferrule accepts variations in conduit dimensions.
Thomas & Betts
Combined power and signal connectors
These hybrid multipin connectors combine into one unit that has capability of terminating power and control signals. Available in various pole combinations of 4 power and 6 signal contacts for 35A/16A; 6 power and 6 signal for 40A/16A; 4 power and 2 signal for 80A/16A; and 6 power 6 signal with 3 of the power rated 100A, 3 rated 40A and 6 signal rated 16A.
Pin and sleeve connectors
New DuraGard connectors, receptacles, and plugs provide a waterproof electrical connector system. Features pin and sleeve design contacts for safer, more reliable connections than bladed devices. The 600VAC-rated connectors are available in 20, 30, and 50A ranges.
M-R-S Power Systems
This device is equipped with silver/nickel spring loaded pressure contacts, actually performs the function of a nonfused disconnect switch. A load is broken simply by pressing a button. The Decontactor is UL 98/508-listed as a nonfused disconnect switch and is considered a manual motor controller and branch circuit disconnect switch.
Aluminum stacking terminals
A new, expanded line of tubular aluminum stacking terminals has been released. The special tongue configuration of the HYLUG YAS (straight) and YASO (offset) stacking terminal is designed for 2- or 4-hole applications. Up to 8 conductors can be stacked on one 4-hole NEMA transformer or equipment pad. YAS and YASO accommodate copper, aluminum and ACSR in conductor range sizes No. 6 through 750kcmil. Capable of being installed with a minimum number of die sizes.
Pin and sleeve products
This line of pin and sleeve wiring devices includes plugs, connectors, inlets, receptacles, and mechanical interlock devices. Devices are suitable for applications where quick hookup and disconnect capabilities are required. Product line is available from 20 to 100A, up to 600V North American rating.
These sealed connectors are pre-filled with a custom silicone sealant that prevents corrosion and oxidation of wire ends, a leading cause of sparks and fires, by completely surrounding and coating the wires upon insertion into the connector. The prefilled silicone sealant reduces heat build-up.
King Safety Products
Hazardous area interlocking receptacle
The new C2SR Series hazardous area compact interlocked Arktite receptacle, suitable for Class I, Div. 2, Groups B, C, and D and NEMA 4X environments, is equipped with the new RSWP Series factory-sealed industrial control switch. Mechanically interlocks so that the plug may not be withdrawn under load or the receptacle turned ON unless the plug is engaged. Available in 30, 60, and 100A versions up to 600V.
The MCR/MCX Series of connectors for termination of continuous corrugated and interlocked armor cables provides an easy, fast, and safe method of installation and uses heavy-duty nickel-plated brass construction for superior corrosion protection. Also, Sure-rite "O" ring seals out moisture, eliminating armor corrosion. Both connectors are UL-listed and CSA-certified.
Killark Electric Mfg./Hubbell
The WSR/WSRD Series, a competitively priced line of switched receptacles, is engineered to meet the demands of raintight or watertight nonhazardous electrical applications. With a 600V rating, the product line can be used for NEMA 3, 3R, 4, and 4X applications. Designed for use with Powertite ACP and CPH plugs, this line is available in 30, 60, and 100A fused and nonfused configurations.
The Mini-Change Molded Tee, designed with features that enhance sensor bus system performance, incorporates flex circuit technology, which eliminates unnecessary connection points and minimizes resistance on the bus line. Also incorporates a contact design that features four female contact beams and a stainless steel sleeve.
Called the "Crossover Connector," this product is easy to install and fully reusable. Features set screw terminals that simplify wiring connections and eliminate wiring errors. The two halves of the connector are color-coded and marked with a large letter "N" indicating the neutral to an installer.
Pass & Seymour/Legrand
Portable labeling machine
The Model 4000XL electrical labeling and bar code machine prints custom durable polyester sticky-backed labels on the job. Prints multiple lines of text in different styles, sizes, and colors up to 1 in. wide. Runs on standard "C" cell batteries or optional AC adapter and is easy to use.
DIN 43650 connection devices is available to meet the needs of industrial automation. Recommended for applications where quick disconnect capabilities are required. Available in five families: 18 mm to 8.0 mm. Options include surge suppression, LED indicator lamps, PVC or PUR cable, and Micro-Change or Mini-Change connectors.
This new U-Line Interchanger plug is UL-listed for use with Appleton U-Line explosionproof, blade-type receptacles, and is UL-classified for use with similar Killark Acceptor UGR series and Crouse-Hinds "ENR" series receptacles. It also fits ordinary location (NEMA 5 or 6) receptacles. In addition, the one-piece, copper-free aluminum housing withstands punishing corrosive environments.
Due to recent NEC Code changes, the TMCX Terminator cable fittings are now suitable for use in approved Class I, Division 1 hazardous locations. Product provides an effective and efficient way to terminate Type MC metal-clad cable.
Crouse-Hinds Div./Cooper Industries
These low-cost self-sticking permanent vinyl labels identify fiberoptic cable. Once the labels are affixed to innerduct, which houses the fiberoptic cable, they alert others to the presence of this cable. Stock No. VFOL-300, size 3 x 1 1/2 in. fiberoptic labels are used for innerduct 1 in. O.D. and larger. The smaller size, stock No. VFOL-175, size 1 3/4 x 3/4 in. fiberoptic labels are used for innerduct less than 1 in. O.D.
Visual Identification Products
A versatile on-demand printer with a complete line of supplies is now available. The Dura-Mark PTR2 unit is fully compatible with Pan-Mark 2.0 for Windows labeling software, providing an easy way to create custom legends for a wide variety of labeling applications.
All-purpose safety sealed connectors use an insulating silicone sealant coat that seals each splice. Product eliminates the potential for failures or fire caused by flashover, sparking, or corrosion, and provides flashover protection in excess of 20,000V.
King Safety Products
Nonmetallic power interrupters
These power interrupters prevent arcing and are manufactured in nonconducting, noncorrosive plastic. They are available in configurations ranging from 20A to 60A for hospital- and standard-grade applications. Come in 3-wire at 10 or 20A, 4-wire grounding at 20 or 30A, 4- and 5-wire grounding at 20 and 30A, and 4- and 5-wire grounding at 60A options.
Pass & Seymour/Legrand
Pin and sleeve connectors
Designed for high-pressure applications, the waterproof Dura-Gard connectors, receptacles, and plugs do not require weather boots or adapters. A sealing system protects the wiring compartment and interior of every device. The 600VAC-rated connectors are available in 20A, 30A, and 50A ranges. Six NEC 210-7 polarization options to meet OSHA standards in each current range are offered.
Thomas & Betts
Miniature connector products
This product line includes molded-to-cable Mini-Line and Micro-Mini five pole male and female connectors factory-molded to standard DeviceNet cable lengths. The Micro-Plex 4- and 8-port interconnect distribution systems are also available with quick disconnect or drop cable.
The OKLIP mechanical run-and-tap overhead connectors feature the compact Type KVS, which joins copper or copper-weld conductors in one cavity. It is UL-listed and CSA-approved. Type KVSW is similar to KVS, except for a high copper alloy spacer that separates run-and-tap conductors.
Cam-Lok "J" Power Series of single-pole cable connectors provides the means to quickly connect and disconnect power systems safely. The single-conductor plugs and receptacles are insulated in a specially formulated elastomeric material for watertightness and safety. In addition, the field-attachable plugs are available in vulcanized and nonvulcanized styles in three cable ranges.
Power distribution units
The new MGW Series of power distribution units are modular in design, UL-listed, and available in indoor or outdoor models. The modules are hardwired to a terminal block inside the unit. Using outlets of different capacity, 20W to 60W output ratings are available.
Gull Wing Industries
The Twister Wire Connectors have a wide wire range capacity to size ratio, covering 95% of the sizes and combinations electricians encounter. Unique design makes them easy to apply with a nutdriver or by hand. Fluted swept wings increase torque for fully seated connection. UL-listed and CSA-recognized.
The DW-110 Dual Wall Heat Shrinkable is a flexible, cross-linked polyolefin tubing featuring a meltable inner lining, that flows with the application of heat to seal components encapsulated within. The meltable inner liner binds to a variety of plastics, rubber, and metals.