Electrical Lug Types 101: Applications and Selection
There are many types of electrical lugs available in the market. To make a true selection you should know their functions and applications. Because the connection type of the cable and cable lug is a critical issue in terms of the lifetime of the system to be installed. According to research, the majority of electrical failures are caused by connection failure. Using the right products will minimize these problems.
Before going deeper let’s define what a cable lug is.
A cable lug is a connection component that is used to connect the cable to the terminals of electrical devices. It provides convenience to the operators in assembly, maintenance, and repair processes.
The cable lug is used where there must be a permanent connection and where a direct connection is inconvenient or impossible to apply.
Now let’s go on with the types.
Types of Cable Lugs
The use of cable lugs varies by application and industry. There are lots of options for every installation scenario. Cable lug types are classified according to their body structures, cross-sections, and insulation.
1. Ring-type lug
A ring-type lug is an electrical connector used to terminate a wire or cable to a terminal block, switch or other electrical equipment. It consists of a metal ring with a hole in the center which is crimped or soldered onto the end of the wire or cable. The ring is then attached to a terminal block or other equipment using a screw or bolt.
The connection part of a ring-type lug is completely closed in a circle shape. It has a round structure and flat contact surface. It is used in the connection of low-voltage devices such as MCB, MCCB, and ACB. High-diameter versions can be used in medium-voltage applications.
Generally, it is made from high-quality pure electrolytic copper (sometimes aluminum) and it is lead-free electro-tin plated to prevent atmospheric corrosion. It has either single-hole or multiple-hole versions. Multi-hole lugs are best suited in applications where two or more bolts are needed to avoid rotation or movement of the lugs. Each terminal has a sight hole for visual inspection of the conductor inserted.
2. Fork-type lug
A fork-type lug is a type of electrical connector used to attach cables or wires to a device or terminal. It consists of a metal or plastic connector that is shaped like a fork with two prongs that can be inserted into a terminal block or a screw terminal.
Fork-type lugs are commonly used in automotive, industrial and electrical applications and are designed to provide a secure and reliable connection between the cable or wire and the terminal. They are available in a variety of sizes and materials including copper, aluminum and stainless steel. They can be crimped or soldered onto the cable or wire.
3. Pin-type lug
A pin-type lug is a type of electrical connector used to connect cables or wires to electrical equipment or devices. It consists of a cylindrical body with a hole drilled through its center for inserting a pin or bolt. The lug is typically made of copper or other conductive materials and is used to provide a secure and low-resistance connection between the cable and the equipment.
The connection part of a pin-type lug has a thin and long structure. It is shaped like a needle. It is designed to terminate conductors into contact blocks. It is used in the connection of terminal blocks and some electronic components.
4. Specific lugs
Besides, application-specific lug types such as fast-on type, hook type, and flat blade type are also available in the market. These lugs can be used in demanding applications.
5. Insulated lug
An insulated lug is a type of electrical connector that is used to connect wires to a power source or another wire. It is designed to provide a secure and reliable connection while also providing insulation to prevent electrical shock or short circuits.
The insulated lug has plastic insulation at the connection point. Insulation material can be PVC or nylon. The conductor can be brass or copper. It meets the highest safety requirements but maximum electrical ratings are low and generally used in low-voltage applications. It also eliminates the need to insulate the terminal using either tape or heat shrink tubing.
Color of insulation
6. Uninsulated lug
An uninsulated lug refers to a type of electrical connector that is not covered or protected by any insulation material. It is usually made of metal, such as copper or aluminum, and is used to connect electrical wires or cables to various electrical components, such as circuit breakers, switches, or bus bars.
Since uninsulated lugs are not covered by insulation material, they can pose a risk of electrical shock or short-circuit if they come into contact with other conductive materials or if they are not installed properly. Therefore, it is important to use appropriate safety measures and follow proper installation procedures when working with uninsulated lugs.
The maximum electrical ratings of the uninsulated lug are high. It is cost-friendly compared to insulated lugs and can be used in low and high ambient temperatures.
Using a cable lug is the most practical way of connecting two different points. But it must be selected correctly. Most electricians have witnessed failures due to wrong cable lug selection. You can use the types we described above according to the requirements of your electrical projects.