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Porcelain fittings

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Porcelain Fittings

Connectors are small elements used in electrical installations of high and low currents. They are used for connecting, speeding up and facilitating the work of fitters. Generally, connectors can be divided into strip and installation ones. The latter are used for connecting electrical installation circuits, whereas strip connectors are used in electrical cabinets and are usually adapted for mounting on a TH 35 rail.

Porcelain connectors - a good alternative to plastic

Although plastic connectors are the most commonly used material in electrical installations and under normal environmental conditions thermoplastic material is quite sufficient, sometimes these elements have to meet higher demands. In that case thermosetting or even ceramic connectors - porcelain or soapstone with better resistance properties - should be used.

Ceramic connectors with or without fixing hole

Ceramics used in electrical engineering are made from rocks and minerals. The most commonly used is porcelain, which is made from kaolin doped with clay, finely ground quartz, feldspar and corundum (in particular as an insulator material). Another type is PZT ceramics produced from sintered titanium and lead zirconate and soapstone ceramics produced from clay, magnesite and talc as well as other minerals (e.g. saponite).

Ceramic connectors available on the market are mostly made of glazed electrical porcelain and soapstone. They differ not only in material composition, but also in construction. In terms of construction two basic types of porcelain connectors can be distinguished:

  • with a fixing hole,

  • without fixing hole.

Regardless of the composition of the ceramic from which the connector is manufactured, it may or may not be equipped with fixing hole(s) at the factory. The presence or absence of a hole is only of installation significance. Some porcelain connectors occur independently, their task is to connect wires and they do not have to occupy a strictly designated place within the connection, others, mainly for reasons of orderliness, but also because of the possibility of a short circuit, should be fixed, for example permanently to the housing.

Soapstone connectors instead of electrical porcelain?

Soapstone connectors comprise a wide group of materials manufactured from various rocks and minerals. Soapstone does not refer to a specific mineral composition and properties, but to a correspondingly high proportion of talc, which gives it its characteristic softness and ductility. Soapstone products used in electrical engineering must be characterised by good dielectric properties and resistance to high temperatures, so the connectors made of soapstone have appropriately selected parameters and composition.

Perfectly suited are, for example, soapstone connectors made of 90% saponite, which is shaped by heat treatment at a temperature of about 1300 degrees Celsius and together with additives allows to obtain a product which is non-flammable and shows resistance to high temperatures. Compared to traditional porcelain fittings, soapstone fittings made of saponite show:

  • higher density,

  • higher resistance to bending and compression (higher elasticity),

  • higher dielectric strength.

Thermoplastic and thermosetting fittings

Thermoplastic installation connectors are most commonly found in the electrical installation industry, where they are used to connect wires in boxes, light switches or distributors. They are usually made of polypropylene (e.g. threaded connectors Simet) and allow for easy adjustment to your needs (you can buy electrical cubes with the required number of tracks, but also cut them from the so-called 12-track). Their price is not high and they are sufficient for common applications.

Where conditions are more demanding, thermosetting connectors (e.g. Bakelite) will prove useful, as they are characterized by higher thermal resistance in relation to thermoplastic ones, and they are non-flammable and do not melt when exposed to temperature.