Myers, M., "Aluminum Cable Automotive Harness ‘Open’ Crimp Termination Functionality Across the Al Cable Size Ranges (small, mid, large)," SAE Technical Paper 2017-01-1645, 2017, doi:10.4271/2017-01-1645.
Harness and terminal manufacturers are working to support the Automotive industry’s need to reduce energy consumption (and costs) via weight savings initiatives by converting from Cu to Al electrical cables within the traditional open style cable harness termination manufacturing environment. As the Automotive industry is fully aware, terminating nominally same sized Al cable to existing Cu cable designed terminals is neither a functional, nor a reliable, equivalent option – termination design changes are required to be able successfully qualify any such Al cable to Cu terminal connections for Automotive applications. In addition, the harness industry are looking for any new Al ‘open’ crimp termination designs to work well within the existing manufacturing and connector/harness design environment; e.g., ‘open’ crimp termination, on par termination process speed, no post-treatment, etc. As the industry has moved forward, it has been determined that there three Al wire dimension regimes (small: 1 mm2 or less, LITEALUM mid, and large: 10 mm2 or greater) that have distinct ‘open’ crimp termination design challenges. These termination design differences have to do with how Al wire terminal design characteristics respond to the electrical (e.g., making and maintaining stable connection through the Al oxide), environmental (e.g., corrosion prevention), and mechanical (pull forces) performance requirements of the Automotive industry. The progress through the challenge of extending the ‘open’ style Al cable crimp terminals performance provided by the mid-size (2.5 and 6 mm2) Al cable LITEALUM product line across the small and large Al cable size regimes (small, mid, and large) will be shown.