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The Use of Bifurcated vs Slotted Terminals

Question: We are trying to understand the rationale for choosing to install bifurcated terminals for power lead attachments versus slotted terminals. For years we’ve designed with slotted terminals in PWBs for leaded component (hi-rel transistors and diodes) and stranded wire straps. But for solid power lead attachments we’ve always specified bifurcated terminals. Is there some logic (in the industry) to this “tradition”? Our drawings don’t call for the lead or wire to be wrapped in either case.

Also, what are your thoughts on placing multiple wires in a slotted terminal? Have you heard of this practice?

Answer: The use of either the slotted terminal or the bifurcated terminals is dependent upon the individual design engineer, whatever they want to use to accomplish their design.

Typically the bifurcated terminal is used as junction point as are the turret terminals to connect signals from one point to another. Whereas the slotted terminals are shorter and are at times soldered to the board itself. Being shorter provides more relief for height restrictions. From an electrical perspective I’m not sure there are any differences between the two types of terminals. Sometimes they are also used to secure components to adjust the signal from one point to another. Bifurcated terminals also allow you to bring wire up from the solder source side and make the connection of the solder destination side of the board.

You also asked about placing multiple wires in a slotted terminal?

Since the slotted terminal is so short, installing multiple wires many be difficult unless they are real small wires, like 26 AWG or smaller. This is just a guess on my part. As to whether or not it is done, I’ve not heard but I would caution about the height of the wire above the top surface of the slotted terminal as this would be considered a defective condition.