Deutsch Heavy Duty Contact System


common_contact_system_34Common Contact System


Fundamental to the Deutsch connector series is the principle that all wires are terminated by a single contact system. The only variation in contacts is that dictated by wire gauge. The world „common“ describes the Deutsch contact system well. A solid contact can be assembled with the complete Deutsch connector family and applies to a common system of contacts, tooling, processes and terminations.


The basic system uses five contact sizes: 4,8,12,16 and 20. These are the only contacts that an O.E.M. or their supplier need stock in volume. The Deutsch contact is a solid, closed barrel, crimp type terminal, manufactured by a cold heading process using solid copper alloys for sizes 20,16 and 12. The contact is interchangeable within the complete Deutsch connector families and are selected based upon the user, s application. Stocking costs, engineering cost and termination costs are slashed, because the number of evaluations, test procedures, test reports, process standards, drawing notes, etc., is reduced if not eliminated.


By selecting the common Deutsch contact system, the only one style of tool is needed to remove wires. In designs like the DT Series connectors even this tool is eliminated. One or two types of hand crimp tools are used to crimp the five different sizes of contacts to the wire end. For automation, semi and full automatic crimping equipment is available that will process thousands of wire termination per hour.


Using the Deutsch contact means that the way an O.E.M. supplier attaches a wire to this terminus never varies. This procedural standard allows harness assemblers to become highly proficient in terminating Deutsch connectors.


The selection of Deutsch connectors means that the contact termination system will be the same, thus reducing the chance of errors in the harness assembly. Performance, reliability and maintainability are critical to any electrical system. The use of a common contact system eliminates many of the failures reported in harness where hundreds of different types of terminations are used. The end result of selecting Deutsch is increased profits and long term performance.

The Crimp Concept


Crimping may be defined as the art of joining a conductor to a pin or socket contact by controlled compression and displacement of metal. It has been used for many years.

In a good crimp joint there is a mutual metal flow causing symmetrical distortion of wire standards and contact material. The mil cross-section area is but slightly reduced and all voids are practically eliminated. Such a joint is similar to a cold weld. Mechanical strength and good electrical continuity are established. Because of the new environments to which electrical connectors are subjected there has been a drastic change in thinking relative to the use of precision crimp joints in preference to solder.


Crimping has become an increasingly important jointing method in multi contact connectors and junction devices. It is now the dominant termination method, for some very good reasons:

  • Since no wet process is involved, corrosion is not a problem. No adhesives, fluxes or additives are used.
  • The human element is virtually eliminated in making the joint. Strength, accuracy and over- are reliability of a crimped connection are controlled by the crimping tool, not the operator. The tool releases the contact only after the full crimping cycle is completed. No special training is required. The tools are relatively inexpensive.
  • With smaller gauge wire, the crimp is as strong as the wire itself.
  • The joint can be inspected visually. Viewing the wire through an inspection hole in the contacts makes inspection quick, easy and sure, both by the operator and the inspector.
  • The crimping tool is universal, it accepts both pins and sockets of many types.
  • Plating thickness on contacts is not restricted, as in solder joints, so better corrosion resistance and contact reliability are achievable.
  • Crimping can be done anywhere, even in the field, without special preparation. Terminations are required or modified in the field exactly as in the shop, using the same tools and the same techniques and with the same ease of operation and same certainty of results.
  • Surface cleanliness is not critical.
  • Total installed and maintenance costs are lower since joining is quick and easy.

4 -intender crimp, Cross-section Across AxisCRIMPING CONFIGURATIONS

There are many different types of crimps employed today. These range from the terminal fold-over tab type of crimp to the single indent crimp , hex crimps and finally the standard four indenter crimp. The four indenter crimp provides the most uniform displacement of wire and contact material. The wire strands and the contact material are formed together in a solid mass with little or no reduction of the mil area of the wire strands. A minimum of voids exists and very little extrusion of the wire strands has taken place.


Octatadent - Horizontal Cross-sectionConnectors utilizing crimped contacts usually permit the removal of these contacts several times so that modification, circuit changes or replacement of contacts may be made with the little difficulty and with the same quality assurance as in production line assembly. Crimping may be accomplished either with hand tools, power tools or automated power tools. Repeatability of the crimp operation is characteristic provided precision crimping tools are employed. These tools must be capable of being gagged to insure that proper crimp depth are maintained. Inspection holes in each contact permit quality control personnel to view the wire strand ends thereby assuring that the conductor is properly positioned in the crimp barrel.


Contact Specification


Materials: Solid copper alloy
Termination Method: Crimp
Manufacturing Method: Cold-headed
Finish-Standard: Nickel plated
Finish Options: Gold, Tin


  • Solid shoulder for high tensile strength pin retention.
  • Nickel plated as standard for corrosion resistance.
  • Inspection hole for conductor stand visibility.
  • Insulation cup not required due to integral wiring sealing connector grommet design.


Material: Solid copper alloy with stainless steel sleeve.
Termination Method: Crimp.
Manufacturing Method: Cold-headed.
Finish-Standard: Nickel plated.
Finish Options: Gold


  • Solder is not recommended, eliminating flux corrosion and reducing assembly costs.
  • Wire lead-in chamfer for 4, 8, 12, 16 and 20 AWG wire entry.
  • No retention tangs required, eliminating contact damage and the need for secondary locks.

Crimp Inspection


The following information is provided as an aid to manufacturing facilities which terminate Deutsch crimp type contacts. The term „typical“ is used to illustrate expected tensile strength results when crimp tooling is in good working order and properly calibrated. The term minimum is used to illustrate appoint at which tooling is suspected of having excessive wear, insufficient air pressure, bad calibration , etc. Minimum does not imply that the crimp is unacceptable, only that an adjustment should be made.

The manner in which the tensile test is performed is important in oder to attain valid test results. A axial load of 1.0 in./min. should be applied starting from zero pounds until there is wire/contact separation or wire breaking. Care should be taken not to clamp holding jaws on the crimp barrel.


Crimping tools are, in some cases, more expensive than soldering tools, bit this is more than off-set by the lower total installation and maintenance costs resulting from the simplicity and rapidity of the crimping operation. However, controls are required to make sure first, that the operator uses the proper crimping tools designed for the type and size contact being crimped ,and then, that the pin or socket is properly inserted into the contact. The usual procedure is to insert the wire into the open end of the contact, then close the crimping tool, thus crimping the wall of the contact into the wire at several points around the circumference.

Acceptable CrimpWhen completed, correct assembly can be checked visually. The removed insulation should expose a conductor length that will pass beyond the inspection hole in the contact and still reveal 1/32“ to 3/32“ of conductor between the contact and the insulation on the wire. The operator and inspector can thus check for:

  • Damaged wire strands.
  • Missing wire strands.
  • Wire strands not entering the contact barrel.
  • Wire not inserted to the proper depth in the contact.

When the correct tool is used for crimping, a good termination is assured. However if there is question as to the tool, s condition, the distance across the indent bottoms can be measured. This is called the „T“ dimension (T for terminal). There is a corresponding „Go - No - Go“ gauge for measuring the positioning of the tool indentors, the „G“ ( gauge) dimension.



Size & Type
Wire Gauge Minimum Tensile Strength 1 in/min Pull Typical Tensile Strength
4 PIN 6 300 lbs. 500
4SOC 6 300 lbs. 500
8 PIN 8 125 lbs. 250
8 SOC 8 125 lbs. 250
8 PIN 10 90 lbs. 200
8 SOC 10 90 lbs. 200
12 PIN 12 75 lbs. 120
12 SOC 12 75 lbs. 120
12 PIN 14 70 lbs. 95
12 SOC 14 70 lbs. 95
16 PIN 16 25 lbs. 45
16 SOC 16 25 lbs. 45
16 PIN 18 25 lbs. 35
16 SOC 18 25 lbs. 35
20 PIN 20 20 lbs. 25
20 SOC 20 20 lbs. 25



Size & Type Contact Part Number AWG Range DIA Over Insl. Min / Max Recommended
Strip Length
Crimp Tool
.280 .292 .461 ± .031 HDP-400
.190 .240 .461 ± .031 HDP-400
12 PIN
12 SOC
.134 .170 .253 ± .031 HDT 48-00
14 PIN
14 SOC
.100 .134 .250 ± .312 HDT 48-00 
16 PIN
16 SOC
.100 .134 .250 ± .312 HDT 48-00
20 PIN
20 SOC
.040 .095 .156± .218 HDT 48-00



  1. Strip (see recommended strip lengths ) insulation from wire.
  2. Raise selector knob and rotate until arrow is aligned with wire size to be crimped.
  3. Loosen lock nut, turn adjusting screw in until it stops.
  1. Insert contact, turn adjusting screw counter clockwise out until contact is flush with indentor cover. Tighten lock nut.
  1. Insert wire in contact, contact must be centered between indicators, close handles until handle contacts the stop.
  1. Release handles and remove crimped contact
  2. Insert terminal to insure that all strands are in crimp barrel.

NOTE: Tool must be readjusted for each type/size of contact.

WIRE TERMNATION - Do, s and Donts

Do, s

  • Check strip lengths.
  • Protect wire strands.
  • Gauge the crimp indenters.
  • Check crimp selector for correct wire size settings.
  • Tensile pull test.
  • Specify Deutsch manufactured terminals.
  • Check crimp locations.

Don, ts

  • Add solder.
  • Apply heat.
  • Leave exposed conductor wire strands.
  • Overcrimp.
  • Rely on T-Dim measurements only.
  • Use „ Field maintenance“ crimp tools for volume production.
  • Buy bogus terminals.

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