An insulated butt splice, also known as a heat shrink butt splice or simply a butt splice, is a type of electrical connector used to join or splice two electrical wires together. It is called a “butt splice” because it typically connects the ends of two wires so that they meet end-to-end, rather than overlapping or crossing each other.
The key feature of an insulated butt splice is the inclusion of heat-shrinkable insulation. Here’s how it generally works:
- Wire Preparation: To use an insulated butt splice, you’ll first prepare the wires you want to join. This usually involves stripping a small section of the insulation from each wire end to expose the bare conductors.
- Insertion: Once the wires are prepared, you insert them into opposite ends of the butt splice, ensuring that the exposed conductors meet in the middle of the splice.
- Heat Shrinking: The butt splice is made from a special heat-shrinkable material, often a type of polyolefin. When you apply heat, typically with a heat gun or a specialized heat shrink tool, the material shrinks and conforms tightly around the wires. This creates a secure and insulated connection.
The insulation provided by the heat-shrink material not only ensures a secure electrical connection but also protects the splice from environmental factors like moisture, dust, and chemicals. This can be crucial in preventing corrosion and maintaining the integrity of the electrical connection over time.
Insulated butt splices are commonly used in automotive, marine, and other applications where electrical connections need to be made in harsh or exposed conditions. They provide a reliable and environmentally protected way to join wires together, making them a valuable component in electrical work.