When one is connecting various electrical systems and wires together, it is crucial that optimal organization is upheld for ease of maintenance, the rapid replacement of parts, and increased safety. One of the most widely practiced methods of interconnecting two or more wires is to use a terminal block, that of which is a connector capable of clamping conducting strips for the organization of wiring. As a terminal block can allow for multiple outgoing wires to join together with a singular incoming wire, such components can be highly useful. In this blog, we will discuss the functionality of terminal blocks, their most common types, and their applications for the benefit of your part procural needs.
While there are various types of terminal blocks that one may choose from, all provide the same functionality of allowing wires to be interconnected with safety and reliability. With their insulated body, terminal blocks can transfer electrical current for the means of allowing more than one wire to function simultaneously together. With their non-conductive material construction, electricity can be efficiently routed in a way that promotes safety. Nevertheless, each individual terminal block will differ in its basic design, and customers should consider current requirements, voltage requirements, wire compatibility, and the system’s surroundings before making a purchasing decision. Next, we will discuss some of the most common terminal block variations that one may choose from.
Disconnect Block: The disconnect block, otherwise known as a switch block, is a variation that features a knife switch. With such a design, circuits can be disconnected as needed without having to remove any wires from the assembly.
Fuse Holder: The fuse holder terminal block is beneficial for wires and systems that feature one or more fuses. In the instance that a short circuit occurs, the sections of wire that are connected to the fuse holder are the only ones that will be affected for increased safety.
Ground Circuit Terminals: Ground circuit terminals are beneficial for grounding systems and wires, and they are fairly interchangeable with standard terminal block designs. As such, they can be inserted into a block to protect the assembly as a whole.
I/O Blocks: When terminal blocks are intended to be used for devices and controllers that communicate, the I/O block is a useful type with its logic capabilities.
Thermocouple Blocks: Thermocouples are a type of temperature sensing device that detects heat through changes in voltage, and thermocouple blocks may be used to connect such components together. With consistent metal connections provided by the block, temperature readings can be made.
Sensor & Actuator Blocks: Similar to the thermocouple block, sensor and actuator blocks are designed for connecting photoelectric sensors, proximity sensors, actuators, and similar devices that have three to four wires at most.
Power Distribution Blocks: Power distribution blocks are fairly simplistic in design and use, serving for the termination of power cables.
Alongside the various types of terminal blocks that one may use, there are also different structure options that should be considered. Single feed-through structures are the most popular, allowing for wire-to-wire connections with one output and input contact. A dual-level terminal block, meanwhile, provides users with two levels of contacts for the simplification of a wire assembly. Three level structures are similar, simply adding another level of contacts. The final structure variation is the high-density terminal block, and they are often used for OEM applications where simplicity and ease of identification is important.
Features are also an important aspect of narrowing down terminal blocks, and products may vary in what they contain. Pluggable terminal blocks are quite useful for breaking circuits without unwiring or maintenance, only requiring the removal of a single plug. Stackability is also beneficial when space is a concern, allowing for parallel mounting. Alongside such options, other terminal blocks may provide a user with an indicator light, diode, or other features.
Terminal blocks are often found within industrial settings, commonly placed in equipment boxes. As some examples, terminal blocks support the functionality of control panels, refrigerators, electrical substations, blowers, electrical machinery, municipal lighting, variable frequency drivers, and any other machinery or system in which power is distributed. Once you have determined the various terminal blocks you need and the requirements of your application, let the experts at Aerospace Simplified help you source everything with time and cost savings.
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