The pace at which the electrical and electronic architecture of vehicles is being innovated is one of the major challenges facing the automotive industry. An increasing number of these systems enriches modern vehicles and makes them more attractive. At the same time, reliability is one of the automotive industry’s core strengths.
To meet this industry’s demands for intelligent, efficient and high-performing products and solutions that are proven in harsh environments, TE Connectivity has a division dedicated to developing interconnection and passive component technologies.
Terminals and connectors
TE Connectivity has been working on concepts for smaller terminals and connectors, based on its MQS contact family, since 2007. Initially, the NanoMQS terminal was developed and tooled to test electrical performance, and the first housings are now available for serial applications.
These products enable a reduction in printed circuit board (PCB) size for electronic components, smaller wires down to 0,13 mm2 and a reduced total connector package. These features combine to conserve energy and resources while reducing weight and, ultimately, CO2 emissions as well.
NanoMQS supports modular integration, with both primary and secondary locks positioned inline. This enables the connector system to be hybridised with the MQS terminal, PQ, MPQ and MQS 1.5. This unique product offers reductions of up to 50% terminal weight and up to 55% housing weight and package reduction, compared to conventional solutions.
In addition, the headers can be designed for press fitting, through-hole and SMD, with board termination technology to complement a wide range of product options.
Wire crimp termination
TE Connectivity has developed a crimping solution to the challenges of terminating stranded aluminium wires in vehicle applications. The LITEALUM crimp, its surface topography, and geometry have been specially tailored to the material properties of aluminium conductors.
Among other things, the durable electrical connection is not based on the residual stress in the crimp barrel. Instead, it is the partial cold-welding of aluminium and copper, brought about during the crimping process, which ensures the interconnection. As the residual stress of the barrel is below the threshold that could cause creep, a potentially problematic shrinkage of conductor material from the contacting area is avoided.
During the crimping operation, the edges of the serrations break up the thin oxide layer on the conductor and enlarge the interconnection area. During cold-forming, the cross section is greatly reduced (typically by more than 50%) to establish a solid intermetallic connection between copper and aluminium with excellent electrical properties.
By including the wire insulation in the crimp at the rear end of the barrel and compressing sealant deposits at the barrel’s front end, the finished crimp withstands cyclical salt spray tests combined with thermal shock – environmental conditions which would cause electrochemical corrosion of the aluminium.
LITEALUM crimps offer vehicle manufacturers, suppliers and harness makers a fully automated termination solution for aluminium stranded wires. Aluminium plays an important role in the vehicle E/E architecture because it offers weight benefits over copper conductors.
From a wire cross section of 1,5 mm2, LITEALUM crimping meets the valid automotive pull-out force requirements. By giving the crimp barrel and finished crimp connection a conical shape, any notching effect on the aluminium wire is prevented. As a result, the crimp has excellent bending fatigue strength.
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