Terminal blocks comprise a modular housing with an insulated body that secures two or more wires together without the need for soldering. Terminal blocks are found in a wide range of applications, particularly electrical systems that require secure, well-organised, semi-permanent wire connections that can be easily swapped out. Read on for Hitaltech’s ultimate guide to terminal block selection.
Terminal blocks come in a variety of shapes, sizes and ratings. As well as promoting secure connections and enhanced wire management, terminal blocks are also an effective safety feature. They can be used to protect, isolate and ground other components in a circuit. Some terminal blocks also feature finger-safe connections as an added safety measure. These provide test points and can help to prevent electrical shocks.
Now, let’s answer some of your frequently asked questions about terminal blocks. The information provided here will give you a deeper understanding of what you need to consider when selecting a terminal block.
What amp terminal block should I use?
When it comes to terminal block designs, a crucial factor is the current rating. This is a measurement based on the conductivity of the terminals, cross-sectional area, and the corresponding heat rise. Operating at too high a current will eventually lead your terminal block to overheat and malfunction. So you should stick to using a terminal block that is rated for at least 150% of the maximum current expected in the system.
What are the different terminal block connector types?
There are various terminal block connector types available, with screw or screwless options, including:
PCB Mounted Terminal Block
PCB mounted terminal blocks, also known as ‘Eurostyle’ or ‘wire-to-board terminal blocks’, employ a clamp to secure a wire in a housing that is soldered to a PCB. PCB mount terminal blocks enable the easy and safe transmission of signals, data and power directly to the PCB. They are available either as single, dual or multi-level modules and in screw or screwless varieties.
Pluggable Terminal Block
Pluggable terminal blocks are preferable in applications that require a quick and reliable disconnect. The receptacle is soldered to the PCB, which creates a header for the plug side of the connector to connect to. Pluggable terminal blocks are extremely useful for hot-swapping and easy maintenance or inspections.
Screw Terminal Block
The screw terminal block is undoubtedly the most popular and widespread method for connection. As the name suggests, screw terminal blocks use a screw as the method for holding a cable or wire. Exercise caution, because over-tightened screws can damage wires and result in a poor or even dangerous connection.
Screwless Terminal Block
Another popular method for wire connection is the screwless terminal block. With this terminal block connector type, a connection is made by inserting wires attached to a ferrule, which can then be released by inserting either a specialised spring release device or with the aid of a small screwdriver.
Purchase terminal blocks from Hitaltech
Hitaltech manufactures a wide range of wire-to-board terminal blocks with pitches ranging from 2.54mm up to 19mm. Our impressive product range covers 8A to 125A with horizontal, vertical or angled mounting options. We have been creating high-quality connecting technologies and enclosures for over 35 years. Our vast range has been designed with our customers in mind, but we can also supply custom-designed products to suit.
If you would like to find out more about our products, including our connecting technologies and enclosures, please contact us today on +44 (0)1253 899910 or email email@example.com. The Hitaltech team is always on hand to answer any questions you may have.