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Solid Vs. Stamped & Formed Contacts

What Are the Differences Between Solid Contacts and Stamped & Formed Contacts?

Contacts are the metal pins and sockets inside connectors that help to establish electrical connections. There are various types of electrical contacts, with two that people primarily turn to — solid contacts and stamped and formed contacts. Each are produced with their own unique manufacturing processes and are implemented in different applications.

How Are Solid Contacts and Stamped & Formed Contacts Distinct From Each Other?

When battling consistently extreme conditions and heavy vibrations, one should choose solid contacts to carry them through. These are designed to work with large wires between 4 and 20 AWG, and are appropriate for aerospace, heavy duty machinery, and military vehicle applications, because of their exceptional performance and high reliability. The extraordinarily durable solid contacts are made with a cold heading process that combines solid copper alloys with nickel or gold plating. Those alloys are instrumental in both increasing conductivity and resisting corrosion. The process to manufacture solid contacts, using a technique called cold heading or cold forming, uses high pressure to push metal into the shapes of the die cavities. A heat treatment follows to strengthen them. To prevent corrosion, contacts are lastly polished before plating. Production costs for manufacturing solid contacts are usually higher than those for stamped and formed ones. This is due to the quality of the materials, and manufacturing processes. Solid contacts are known for their precision and tight tolerances, making them an ideal match for high-performance applications.

Stamped and formed contacts, on the other hand, are fabricated on a precision stamping machine. Their manufacturing costs and time are both often less than those for solid contacts. They are fashioned of thinner materials than the ones for solid contacts, using a die that stamps the shape into a flat sheet of metal. These contacts are then plated with nickel, tin or gold. Nickel is frequently employed for power and control circuits. Tin is a cost-effective and solderable material, making it a viable contact choice in consumer electronics, automotive connectors, industrial machinery, appliances, printed circuit boards, and telecommunications equipment. Gold plating works best for low voltage and amperage circuits like those utilized in data transmission and sensors. This contact type is commonly found in automotive, general purpose electrical, consumer electronics, and other applications where versatility is needed. They are lightweight solutions, best for applications where weight-sensitivity is crucial. The stamped and formed contacts are generally excellent conductors that terminate wires between 10 to 22 AWG. 

Stamped & Formed Contacts

Deutsch contacts are recognized for quality, reliability, mechanical strength, and excellent electrical conductivity. They feature a robust design packed with environmental resistance, to sustain in harsh environments, and wide temperature ranges. These connectors are constructed with advanced sealing technologies that safeguard against dust, moisture, and other contaminants. Their copper alloys and plating materials bolster the connector’s electrical conductivity, mechanical strength, corrosion resistance, and long-term performance.

In comparison to other manufacturers, the Deutsch contact brand is simplified with its Common Contact System. Deutsch contacts can be used interchangeably across many of the brand’s connectors. This provides consistency and reliability within the wire harness industry, reducing the number of terminals needed. Deutsch contacts feature customized solutions for specific applications, offering flexibility in design and configuration.

Ready to shop for Deutsch solid contacts and stamped and formed contacts? Visit BuyDeutsch for these and more than 1 million other genuine Deutsch and Amphenol products.

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