Aluminium Wiring Harnesses
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As the automotive industry becomes increasingly competitive and environmentally concious, the necessity of looking to alternative materials becomes increasingly critical. One of these alternative materials, aluminum wire, has been the focus of a lot of attention lately especially as copper prices continue to increase while the aluminum market remains steady. Price alone offers a compelling reason why modern aluminum conductors have a value proposition to offer.
Additionally aluminum cable is far lighter than its copper equivalent. Even in larger gauge applications, aluminum is lighter than copper. Replacing copper with aluminum as the wiring material allows us to greatly reduce the weight of components while maintaining high reliability. Weight is an important factor in material selection for hybrid and electric vehicles. Elimination of unnecessary weight is essential to making hybrid and electric vehicles viable.
The development of new aluminum alloys suited for automotive wiring harnesses has allowed us to overcome a number of technical problems. We have to consider some negative points of aluminum wire such as lower conductivity, lower strength, oxide layers on the wire surface and galvanic corrosion. To solve these problems Sumitomo group companies have developed an aluminum alloy for the conductor, terminals with unique serrations and anti-corrosion technology. To develop aluminum wiring harnesses we have improved crimping technology to ensure a reliable connection between wire and terminal. As this connection technology ensures the same quality as that in the copper harness manufacturing process, future expansion of aluminum harnesses can be expected.