Monday, May 12, 2014

Bending an Eyelet Terminal Without Tearing the Metal

I'm assembling something that requires cables terminated with crimp eyelets.  The only problems was that they needed to be bent to get the correct angle for the cable entry.  I could have ordered some, but they aren't too easy to get, so it was just easier to bend some of the ones I had.

Crimp Terminal
Crimp Eyelet Terminal

The first thing I tried was putting the terminal in a vice and using an appropriately sized screwdriver placed in the terminal to bend it without deforming the cable entry.

Crimp Terminal
Bending the terminal in a vice

The result of this attempt can be seen on the left in the image below.  There are two layers of copper in the tab, and because they are bent at such a sharp angle, the layer on the inside of the bend will be in compression while the one on the outside will be in tension, so much in fact that it will tear.  The solution to this is to bend the metal with a slight radius.  The result of this process can be seen on the right in the image below.

Crimp Terminal
Torn terminal on the left, acceptable terminal on the right
The easiest way to do this was to bend the terminal over the spine of a G clamp that I have.  It has a bevelled edge that will give the rounded bend that I'm looking for.

Crimp Terminal
Bending the terminal against a clamp spine
Crimp Terminal
The bevelled edge of the clamp spine

Here is the result.  I used some of the terminals that tore.  I'm not concerned from a mechanical strength or an electrical capacity point of view.  They should be more than adequate.  Now the wiring.  Sigh.

Terminal Block
Terminal block with crimp terminals

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