The Difference Between Soldering and Crimping

When establishing a cable network and working with various connectors, it is important that such components are attached to one another in the correct way. If the wrong method for cable and connector attachment is carried out, the resulting connection may either be unreliable or outright non-functional. Cable connections are typically executed through one of two methods, those of which are crimping and soldering. As both methods involve different tools and procedures, it can be very beneficial to have a basic understanding of each.

Soldering is one of the most traditional means of terminating wire assemblies, and it is also very economically feasible. For soldering parts together, an alloy made from lead, tin, brass, or silver is melted and cooled into what is known as a solder cup. As this cup cools over a wire conductor and contact, bonding may be achieved. Generally, soldering is best used for general applications and industrial processes, ensuring that a reliable signal and power connection may be established and upheld.

As compared to similar methods of wire termination, soldering does not require specialized tools or industrial supplies, rather only needing a basic kit. Nevertheless, it is important to know the potential downsides of soldering before making a decision. As soldering involves the use of heat, temperatures may rise in the contacts, connector, or cable. If heat surpasses operational thresholds, issues or damage may occur. Soldered connections are also fairly sensitive to corrosion and vibration if improperly formed, warranting caution in the case of harsh environments. When correctly installed, however, soldered connections should not face such major issues. Lastly, soldered connections can be time-consuming to produce, making them a balance between time and cost.

Unlike heat based processes such as welding and soldering, crimping relies on the application of pressure to complete an installation. With the use of crimping tools, a contact and wire may be placed within the tool before squeezing the handles together, forming a solid connection. Typically, crimping is best used for wiring systems that may be located in more harsh environments.

As compared to soldering, there are various benefits that crimping presents. For one, crimping is very fast and simple, allowing installation to be carried out manually or automatically depending upon whether one has simple tools or robust industrial automation and controls. Secondly, the connection established through crimping is air-tight and sealed, meaning that the connection is well guarded from contaminants such as sand, dirt, dust, and moisture. As a last major benefit, crimping is generally more consistent due to its method of installation, often meaning that it can be more reliable to carry out.

Despite such advantages, crimping is not without its own drawbacks. For one, crimping requires specific tools to be used depending on the contacts in play, meaning that such supplies can be more expensive. Additionally, the process must be carried out correctly or the connection will falter. Nevertheless, a correctly established connection will avoid electrical failure, and sensitivities may be remedied through the addition of various cable components like backshells.

Whether you decide that you need crimping or soldering products, Industrial Automation Parts can help you source all the industrial supplies that you require with unmatched pricing and lead-times. As a streamlined industrial supply purchasing platform, we present over 2 billion items for our customers. All offerings have come from reliable manufacturers that we trust, and all shipping times are expedited through the use of our robust supply chain network. If you would like to first begin with a quote on items for your comparisons, we ask that you fill out and complete the RFQ form provided on our website. Once received, a member of our staff will reach out to you in just 15 minutes or less to continue to process.


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