The Working Principle of Ring Terminals

When dealing with electrical systems, cables, and devices, it is essential that you have the right types of connectors to establish complete circuits that can be relied on. Depending on the application and circuit in question, there are various types of connector components that one may use, each of which differ in their particular design, capability, and application. In the aerospace industry, it is common to work with ring terminals, those of which are regularly found within aircraft electrical system assemblies and similar systems. If you are unfamiliar with such products, it can be very beneficial to have a general understanding of their design and use so that you can better manage and maintain electrical components.

In their most basic form, ring terminals are simply connectors for electrical cables, designed to attach the end of a cable to a circuit. While this is the same role that every other electrical connector serves, the unique design of ring terminals sets them apart from other options. Unlike other types of connector components, ring terminals feature a circular ring at one end of the assembly.

The design of a typical ring terminal is fairly straightforward, consisting of a main body that is made up of an inner tube of conductive metal and a non-conductive outer layer that acts as shielding. Generally, the shielding will be made from materials like plastic, and a ring prong will protrude from one side of the body. As this protrusion serves as the point of connection for circuit attachment, it will be constructed from a similar conductive metal as compared to the terminal’s inner tube.

In order to use a ring terminal, it must first be attached to the end of the electrical cable that is to be connected to a circuit. To begin, the exposed end of the cable is placed within the ring terminal’s tube, and the connection of conductive materials may be secured through soldering or crimping. With crimping, the inner tube will be compressed so that it collapses onto the cable, holding it in place. Meanwhile, soldering is an attachment method where two conductive materials are secured together by melting a filler material that creates a joint upon solidifying. As the two processes require different tools and present varying characteristics, it is important to consider which method of attachment is best for your needs.

Once the cable and ring terminal are attached through soldering or crimping, the ring terminal is connected to a circuit point with a screw. The screw will already be present on the ring point, so it will need to be removed so that the ring terminal can be positioned over the point. Then, the screw is placed through the center of the ring prong, securing it in place once the fastener is tightened.

If you have an application that would benefit from a ring terminal, let our team at Paragon Purchasing supply you with competitive pricing and rapid lead times on products of unmatched quality. As you peruse our various offerings, be sure to utilize our online RFQ service for the means of requesting quotes on items of interest for your comparisons. With team members working around the clock for our customers, you can expect a customized response within 15 minutes of us receiving and reviewing your request. With our utmost dedication to quality control and export compliance, we proudly conduct operations with AS9120B, ISO 9001:2015, and FAA AC 00-56B accreditation. If you have any questions or concerns regarding our offerings or services, be sure to give us a call or email at your earliest convenience! We look forward to showing you how we can serve as your strategic sourcing partner!


November 20, 2023

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