Development of High Strength Aluminum Wires for Low-Voltage Automotive Wiring Harnesses
The weight of wire harnesses increases with the growing number of systems used in the vehicle in recent years. For the purpose of reducing the weight of wire harnesses, aluminum instead of the conventional copper is getting popular as a wire conductor. The conventional Al wire, however, is not able to be used for small gauge wires such as the sizes of 0.35mm2 and 0.5mm2 and wires used in the engine compartment due to its insufficient conductor strength. For this reason, we tried to develop a stronger aluminum alloy that has conductor strength equivalent to or stronger than that of copper. For the first time in the industry, we have successfully developed a high-strength aluminum alloy wire. Starting with the application of 0.35mm2 wire for engine wire harnesses, we began mass production in April 2015. This paper reports the development of high-strength aluminum alloy that can be used for small gauge wires and wires used in the engine compartment.