Electrical Crimp Consolidation

Paper #:
  • 2017-01-1646

Published:
  • 2017-03-28
Author(s):
Affiliated:
Abstract:
The surface oxide that naturally forms on aluminum wires is an electrical insulator and is difficult to displace during crimping. Consequently, many of the strands of within the crimped wire bundle can be electrically isolated from the terminal, which can result in higher than expected crimp resistance, less stable crimp resistance, and the potential for excess heating of the termination. Prior solutions employed additives such as brass powder to puncture the oxide film or features such as serrations that increase deformation and displace the film. Both solutions have drawbacks. Additives increase cost and process complexity and can serve as contaminants to adjacent processes. The required features can be difficult to produce and may require high crimping effort. This present work uses an electric field applied at the moment of crimp formation to puncture the surface oxide and allow the formation of conductive a-spots. Increased current flow then welds the wires together at the a-spots to increase electrical conductivity and stabilize the crimp mechanically. A simple nodal resistor model was developed to illustrate the theory of operation and to help predict the correct operating parameters. The process was implemented on a bench press with 6mm2 wire. Test data showed a significant reduction in crimp resistance over unprocessed crimps.
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