Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE credits
The increasing demand of light constructed vehicles as well as soaring price of copper metal owing to limited nature resources have been promoting the use of aluminium metal as an alternative conductor of automotive cables. This thesis work is to lay theoretical foundations for further research and development regarding the introduction of new automotive cables i.e. aluminium cables. Current application of automotive aluminium cables in automotive industry as well as failure analysis and evaluation approaches with respect to aluminium cables in automotive settings can serve as a baseline for further research regarding the implementation of aluminium cables in Scania products.
Before investigating probable substitutions in terms of automotive cable uses in Scania products as well as the following consequences, historic overview concerning aluminium cables in automotive applications is stated while major challenges and current technical progresses are established, indicating that large-sized aluminium cables such as battery cables have been implemented in some vehicles and the uses of aluminium cables in lower power segments are expected in near future.
Due to inferior strength of aluminium conductor as well as its poor contact behaviors while deteriorations by galvanic corrosion, oxidization or tension relaxes, etc, might occur in contact interface, interruptions in aluminium conductor and its termination are challenging the adoption of aluminium cables in present automotive cable harness system. In order to assess performances of aluminium cables in automotive vehicles, necessary evaluations shall be conducted from mechanical, electrical, thermal and chemical aspects. Attempts have already been made to examine behaviors of aluminium conductor in this thesis work, with results showing that aluminium conductor would behave poorly which is also in agreement with previous studies about failure analysis.