Resistance Welding for Automotive Wiring Harness Connection - Small Gauge Cables 2012-36-0153
Miniaturization is an important trend in many technology segments, once it can enable innovative applications generating new markets. This trend was begun in electronics industry after World War II and has spawned changes into automotive sector also. For Automotive Wiring Harness, miniaturization is clearly presented in most of the components, mainly because of its benefits like the potential of mass reduction, cost reduction and efficiency improvement. Furthermore the main voice of customer points to cable gauge reduction that represents a considerable challenge for connection manufacturing process due to quality control limitations presented by conventional crimp process for 0,35 [mm₂] cables and smaller. According to that, the scope of this article is to present, in details, a manufacturing process optimization for an alternative and more robust technology of joining copper stranded cables to tin brass terminals used on automotive wiring harness, Resistance Welding. This technology shows significant advantages over mechanical crimp process, mainly in regard of electrical performance due to the "zero resistance" effect. As consequence there is a significant improvement on signal stability over time, which can be critical for many applications like sensors. Besides enabling the use of small gauge cables and providing a better quality process control for this range of connections. Paper conclusion presents robust optimum regions for this connection Pull Force Resistance and Heat Affected Zone considering as the main input variables Electrical Current and Electrode Force.