IDC connectors help motor manufacturers migrate to aluminium

Paul Boughton

Tyco Electronics is introducing the cost-effective Mag-Mate insulation displacement crimp (IDC) interconnection system. Targeted at manufacturers of fractional horsepower (FHP) motors, the IDC system enables costs to be reduced because the same part can be used with both copper and aluminium magnet wires. Specific applications include motor windings, coil and bobbin connections, transformer windings and lighting ballasts.
Fabrizio Longo, Tyco Electronics product manager, says: "Many medium- and high-volume manufacturers of FHP motors for appliance, heating ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) equipment are evaluating a switch from copper to aluminium magnet wire to reduce raw material costs. Copper contributes on average about 30 per cent to the overall production cost of a FHP electric motor. Switching from copper to aluminium conductors can also reduce transportation costs, as aluminium is about one-third of the weight of copper. Our interconnection system allows manufacturers to easily and cost-effectively bridge the transitions many are making from copper to aluminium magnet wires."
Compared with copper, aluminium conductors have approximately 61 per cent of the conductivity and a small fraction of the tensile strength. In addition, handling properties differ, as the softer aluminium lacks the resilience of copper. The Mag-Mate IDC connector system compensates for these differences by providing a stable, long-term termination – made possible because of the two IDC slots that provide four gas-tight points of contact (two per beam).
Another benefit of the Mag-Mate connector system is that two magnet wires of the same size can be terminated simultaneously in one terminal. IDC technology reduces assembly costs by eliminating the need for soldering or stripping. The UL-recognised product terminates wire sizes ranging from 34 to 12 AWG for greater versatility. Product offerings include multiple lead wire attachment options and special versions that mate with RAST 2.5 IDC connectors.
This product family additionally offers slimline and miniature alternatives to meet the needs of customers with space constraints.
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