A ribbon wire or ribbon cable is a flat, wide strip of cable that contains multiple wires inside its insulation. If the wire becomes damaged by way of severing, the ribbon will not be able to achieve a proper connection. In order for the ribbon to perform, each of the multiple wires inside must be fully connected along the entire length of the ribbon to the components. Easily repair a broken ribbon wire by recreating the wire connections with a metallic conductive substance.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Fine grit sandpaper
- Flexible tape
- Conductive epoxy resin mix with silver-loaded resin and hardener
- Flathead jeweller's screwdriver
Sand one side of each half of the broken wire using very fine grit sandpaper. Remove just enough of the ribbon to expose the actual wires inside.
Lay both pieces of ribbon wire with the sanded side facing upward. The damaged ends should be touching each other.
Place a small piece of flexible tape to secure the ribbon wire together from the bottom, not sanded side.
Tape the ribbon down to the table to prevent it from moving. Ensure you leave the damaged ends of the wire uncovered.
Prepare the conductive epoxy resin by mixing the silver-loaded resin and hardener together. You will only need a very small amount if you are fixing just one ribbon wire.
Dip a flathead jeweller's screwdriver into the prepared epoxy and apply it to the ribbon wire. The epoxy should run in thin lines to connect the severed ribbon wires.
Adjust the temperature in the room where the ribbon wire is being repaired so it is no colder than 30 degrees Celsius. Leave the epoxy to cure for 24 hours at this temperature.
Pull off the tape holding the ribbon to the table and wrap the cured epoxy with new tape. Make sure the repair is completely covered.
Tips and warnings
- Use a pair of fine tweezers instead of a screwdriver to apply the fine lines of epoxy.
- Do not let the epoxy wire connections run together or the ribbon wire will not be repaired correctly.
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