Ground Strap Braid Basics for Electrical Protection

A ground strap braid contains small strands of braided metal wires and terminals or connectors. These electrical protection devices have more strands of wire than a standard electrical cable but the strands are smaller in diameter. This provides a larger surface for greater heat dissipation and supports the higher amperages associated with electrical currents that travel short distances. By understanding a few ground strap braid basics, you can find what you need for automotive, industrial, and other applications.  

Ground Strap Braids vs. Wires and Cables

Wire and cable manufacturers use non-conductive materials such as plastic, rubber, or fluoropolymers to provide electrical insulation. That’s not the case with ground straps, where ribbons of braided metal do not have jacketing or insulation. An easy way to compare ground strap braids vs. wires and cables is to consider what’s under the hood in your car or truck. Standard battery cables feature jacketing and have fewer strands of wire that are larger in diameter. By contrast, vehicle grounding straps have more strands of wire that are smaller in diameter. This supports greater heat dissipation, higher amperages, and greater durability.

This increased durability is especially important in tough environments such as under-the-hood. Whether the braided ground strap connects the engine block to the chassis or the engine block to the negative battery terminal, there is repeated motion, movement, and vibration. For reliable electrical connections, however, the electrical braid must complete the circuit to support accessories like ignition systems. A standard battery cable is static but a ground strap will not fatigue with constant flexing. In addition to automobiles, applications for ground strap braids include planes and trains.  

Braided Ground Strap Design, Manufacturing and Selection

Ground straps are braided by interlacing multiple strands of flexible wire. Braiding creates a structure that is thicker and stronger than non-interlaced wires and that will resist twisting under load. Compared to a 4 AWG (4 gauge) battery cable, a ground strap braid provides greater resistance to breaking under load. In addition to mechanical strength, braided ground straps can optimize the use of available space in a small area such as an opening or panel. During manufacturing, flat electrical braids that started as tubular braids are flattened with a pressure roller for increased surface area.   

The flat braided cable in a ground strap is made of tinned copper wires that are terminated with metal connectors. Width and lengths are key wire measurements. Dipping bare copper wire in tin improves electrical conductivity, corrosion resistance, and solderability. If your application requires RoHS compliance, ground strap braids with lead-free solder are available. The metal connectors come in various holes sizes and buyers can specify the same or different stud rings for the A and B terminals. With a braided lug-to-lug ground strap, you can also specify orientation of the terminals.

The Best Ground Strap Braid

Falconer Electronics of Falconer, New York (USA) makes the braided ground straps that you need.  In addition to a wide variety of standard products, we offer instant quotes for custom ground straps. With our on-line quote builder, there’s no RFQ wait time and the entire process takes just 60 seconds. Thank you for reading this article from Falconer Electronics, and we invite you to visit these related resources for more information.  

Ground Straps: The Official Ground Strap Resource Guide

Not Using Ground Straps Can Be a Shocking Experience

Braided Ground Strap vs. Ground Wire: Make the Right Choice

Amazon’s Choice: Five Star Ground Straps Manufactured in the U.S. at Falconer Electronics

You Will Find Ground Straps on Planes, Trains and Automobiles

Library of Ground Strap Blog Posts at Falconer Electronics

Wrapping It Up

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