Sparks Electrical News

HellermannTyton’s SABS approved range of XLPE lugs and ferrules is designed for single and multi-core XLPE (cross-linked polyethylene insulation) cable applications and suitable for use in medium voltage distribution network such as utilities, power distribution and mining.

The benefits of using XLPE lugs and ferrulesIn general, lugs and ferrules are fixed to the cables and wires by inserting the conductor/s into the ‘barrel’ (tube) of the device and then ‘crimping’ (squeezing) the barrel onto the conductor/s to form a secure mechanical and electrical joint. In order to achieve this secure mechanical and electrical joint, the right lug or ferrule needs to be selected according to the cable used and the area of application.

Why use an XLPE lug and XLPE ferrule with XLPE cable?

• XLPE cable is a compacted cable, resulting in smaller core sizes than standard cable.

• The internal diameters of XLPE lugs and ferrules are smaller than standard lugs and ferrules to fit the XLPE core size and to prevent over-crimping.

• XLPE cables are used mainly in distribution networks to prevent moisture ingress.

• XLPE lugs have no inspection window, which aids the sealing of the cable end.

• XLPE lugs have a thicker wall, improving the crimp and therefore better heat dissipation (no hot joints).

• SABS approved (SANS IEC 61238-1:2003) lugs and ferrules.

Why standard lugs and ferrules should not be used on XLPE cables

• Standard lugs and ferrules need to be over-crimped or double crimped, which can cause hot spots and the lug to fail or burn-off.

• Over-crimping damages a lug and therefore limits the standard lug’s lifetime performance.

• Standard lugs and ferrules have an inspection window and therefore allow water ingress.

The benefits of using a hydraulic crimper

Whether you are buying or hiring an hydraulic cable crimper or cutter, following these guidelines helps prevent more than just tool failure and time lost on site. An example of this is incorrect crimping, which can lead to a number of issues with lug failure. If the tool is unable to properly crimp the lug to the cable, air pockets within the core can cause an increase in resistance leading to overheating and potentially a fire.

Typically, hydraulic tools are naturally robust given the nature of the tasks they are designed for. However, it is recommended that your tools are serviced and calibrated regularly. Also, the on-site team is reminded about the importance of pre-use checks and tests, as well as the dangers associated if a crimp is not undertaken carefully and correctly. When you hire or purchase a tool you should also check its condition as soon as you receive it, making sure there are no defects that could impact performance. Usually, tools distributed from reputable companies are calibrated, tested and guaranteed before delivery. However, checking yourself should be the final line of defence.

It is recommended you get your hydraulic tool calibrated and serviced every 12 months. Calibration will test the pressure of your tool using a manometer. The pressure measurement test will ensure the tool meets the recommended level of pressure to enable the correct crimping or cutting operation. If the tool does not meet the required minimum pressure, it needs to be sent to the manufacturer for service or repair.

If the tool is still under warranty, it will either be repaired or replaced at the discretion of the supplier. Generally this warranty does not cover batteries, neglect or misuse within abnormal conditions of operation. Regular servicing is recommended as a faulty tool is dangerous, and costly if you need to replace it. It will also take time to organise collection and delivery of replacement tooling, leading to increased time on site and a reduction in productivity, which could have a ripple effect down the line if essential work is reliant on the crimping or cutting of cables.



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