Automotive Aluminum Wire... in your future?

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First found May 22, 2018

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IS ALUMINUM WIRE IN YOUR ^ FUTURE?
WHAT ARE THE
DRIVERS?
Coming Soon?
Coming Never?
2
MARKET DRIVERS FOR ALUMINUM… COST AND VOLATILITY
Volatile Copper Prices!
3
MARKET DRIVERS … COMMITMENT TO WEIGHT REDUCTION
Aggressive CAFE Standards!
4
ALUMINUM CABLE MEETS MARKET DRIVERS
Offers LOWER COST per Amp
Reduces exposure to volatile copper market
Provides up to 48% mass reduction over copper
Eases assembly - Lighter, easier vehicle assembly
Improves fuel economy
BUT…
ALUMINUM IS “DIFFERENT” THAN COPPER
IMPLEMENTATION HAS CHALLENGES
5
ALUMINUM CABLE A “HISTORY LESSON”
During the mid 60’s and into the mid 70’s copper was at an all time high
price level, which made it cost prohibitive for use in residential wiring.
Underwriters Laboratories had approved aluminum for interior wiring
purposes as early as 1945, providing it was installed properly.
Use at least one wire gauge larger than copper for each current rating
Use only approved switches, outlets, and fixtures
Use an oxide inhibitor as directed
Faulty installation, incompatible materials, and lack of maintenance led to
the notorious aluminum wiring fires.
Almost all reported problems involved 10 AWG and 12 AWG branch circuit connections
where installers did not follow the guidelines.
CONCLUSION: Aluminum termination is different from copper termination. Special
precautions / technologies are required, especially in harsh vehicle environments.
6
BUT IT CAN WORK IN VEHICLES
TIMELINE OF ACTUAL APPLICATIONS
1969 to 1985: Delphi
produces copper clad
aluminum battery cable
~35 million meters (USA)
1974 to 1989: Delphi
produces solid core
aluminum primary cable
~900 million meters (USA)
19xx to Present: Aluminum
battery cable with various
welding/bonding termination
technologies becomes cost
competitive (Europe and USA)
2011: Delphi implements
sonic welded aluminum
battery cable (USA)
2010: Toyota introduces
stranded AL primary cable
implemented in door
harnesses (Japan)
2000: G&G Introduces
plasma weld Al battery cable
for rear battery applications.
(Germany)
2000: BMW Introduces
friction weld Al battery cable
for rear battery applications.
(Germany)
7
HOW IS ALUMINUM CABLE DIFFERENT THAN COPPER?
Six important ways Al is more challenging than Cu.
1. Lower conductivity
2. Reduced break strength / flex
3. Oxides form an insulating layer
4. Differences in thermal expansion
5. Galvanic corrosion occurs
6. Stress relaxation and creep can loosen terminations
8
HOW IS ALUMINUM CABLE DIFFERENT THAN COPPER?
1. Aluminum has only about 60 percent of the
conductivity of copper
MUST UPSIZE CONDUCTOR
9
HOW IS ALUMINUM CABLE DIFFERENT THAN COPPER?
2. Due to reduced break strength and elongation,
aluminum is not optimal solution for vehicle
applications <0.75mm²
CURRENT USE LIMITED TO 18GA and LARGER
10
HOW IS ALUMINUM CABLE DIFFERENT THAN COPPER?
3. When exposed to air, aluminum oxides form an insulating layer on wire
surface (including inter-strand resistance)
TERMINATION MUST FRACTURE OXIDES TO PROVIDE
METAL-TO-METAL CONTACT
Representative SEM Photograph
of Aluminum Surface
11
HOW IS ALUMINUM CABLE DIFFERENT THAN COPPER?
4. Differences in thermal expansion
 Ratio of Al : Cu = 1.4 : 1
 Thermal cycling of a termination can create possible
voids and plastic deformation leading to loose
connections and higher contact resistance
DESIGN TERMINATIONS TO WITHSTAND
THERMAL CYCLING/SHOCK
12
HOW IS ALUMINUM CABLE DIFFERENT THAN COPPER?
5. Galvanic corrosion occurs when two different metals electrically
contact each other and an electrolyte is present.
MAY NEED TO SEAL TERMINATIONS TO INHIBIT CORROSION
Over 0.15V difference is not recommended for
exposure to electrolytes, humid or wet areas.
Aluminum is susceptible to corrosion.
13
HOW IS ALUMINUM CABLE DIFFERENT THAN COPPER?
STRESS
6. Aluminum stress relaxation and creep can
loosen terminations over time
DESIGN ROBUST ALUMINUM CONDUCTORS
AND TERMINATION SYSTEMS
TIME
14
DIVIDE AND CONQUER
3 RANGES OF DELPHI ALUMINUM CABLE PRODUCT OFFERINGS
Delphi's Aluminum Cable Constructions for Vehicle Applications
Cable
Primary Gauge
Compliant with Proposed ISO 6722‐2 Aluminum Cable Specification
Sizes
Core Construction
Termination Technology
Corrosion Protection
Annealed high strength, high Engineered CRIMP‐ONLY conductivity alloy
technology with new Sealant applied to crimp
terminal core crimp designs 19‐strand construction
0.75 to 2.5mm2
2
Intermediate Gauge
3 to 8mm
Power / Battery Gauge
10 to 160mm2
Annealed 99.5% pure aluminum alloy
New WELD + CRIMP technology with new Increased number of strands terminal core crimp designs
for flexibility
Annealed 99.5% pure aluminum alloy
Sealant applied to crimp SONIC WELDING technology Dual‐wall heat‐shrink (with used to connect all strands to sealant)
terminal
15
ARE WE COMING TO A “TIPPING POINT?”
… A “Tipping point” of being favorable to Aluminum?
Benefits
CHALLENGES
Where is the
balance point?
16
ARE WE COMING TO A “TIPPING POINT?”
-- We help by changing the implementation costs?
Benefits
CHALLENGES
Team of USCAR Will Develop the
Standard Processes
17
STANDARD PROCESS BY EWCAP?
YES!





USCAR Teams focus on standards to…
Accelerate technical development
Increase value of research investment
Improve quality / reduce cost
Provide common methods to foster growth
The EWCAP “Standard aluminum termination process initiative”
Started April 24……
………………will end Oct 1, 2012
USCAR initiative to standardize
processes, methods, and equipment
will make implementation more likely
18
STANDARD EQUIPMENT EXAMPLE
Possible applicator
of sealing material)
Possible “crimp” applicators:
Ult. weld, 2-step, spring loaded
Possible common
cutter technology
Possible common equipment
(keep current cutter / applicator)
19
NON-STANDARD EQUIPMENT EXAMPLE
Harness makers
will not accept AL
if terminal makers
have different
strategies
20
ALUMINUM WIRE - BEFORE STANDARDIZATION
Al battery cables in production starting in 2000 in Europe…
… used a different convention:
• Conversion from Cu to Al sizes was based on conductivity
• This created non-ISO sizes for Al cables
• A non-ISO (LV112-2) German OEM standard) for Al cables
was released
• Without ISO intervention, we’d have an unfriendly collection
of different wire dimensions for different regions
21
ALUMINUM WIRE STANDARDIZATION - ISO
ISO 6722-2 Al cable standard is in the final stage of approval
1. Al size conversion is based on cross sectional (CSA)
area (ISO sizes) to minimize the termination system
impact
2. Conductivity of Al cable reduced to approx. 60% of the
same size Cu cable
3. Al cable resistance requirements are based on CSA
4. Al cable sizes: 0.75 mm2 – 120 mm2, including primary
wire and battery cable sizes
22
Copper Vs. Aluminum (ISO metric) wire sizes
Cu size
mm2
Plain Copper Max
Resistance
mΩ/m
Max Resistance
mΩ/m
(Al)
Max Resistance
mΩ/m
(Al alloy)
Al size mm
0.5
37.1
0,75
41,2
43,6
1
30,8
32,7
2
0.75
24.7
1,25
24,8
26,3
1
18.5
1,5
21,2
22,4
2
15,7
16,6
1.5
12.7
2,5
12,7
13,4
2
9.42
3
10,2
10,9
2.5
7.6
4
7,85
8,32
5
6,57
6,96
6.15
3
4
4.71
6
5,23
5,55
5
3.94
8
3,97
4,2
6
3.14
10
3,03
3,21
23
CONCLUSION
Is Automotive Aluminum Wire in Your Future?
Yes... We cannot predict the date.
USCAR/EWCAP contact information:
[email protected]
Questions?
24
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