This article starts with the four basic structures of the automotive connector, introduces the design standard of the automotive connector, analyzes the stability of the automotive connector, analyzes the three failure modes of the automotive connector, and interprets the car connection. The development of the device, and finally for the market demand brought by this development, the corresponding automotive connector application examples are given.
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The form and structure of the automotive connector is ever-changing. It is mainly composed of four basic structural components: contact, housing (depending on the type), insulator, and accessories. These four basic structural components enable the automotive connector to act as a bridge for stable operation.
The contact piece is the core part of the automotive connector to complete the electrical connection function. The contact pair is generally composed of a male contact and a female contact, and the electrical connection is completed by the insertion of the female and male contacts. The male contact is a rigid part that is cylindrical (round pin), square (square pin) or flat (tab). Positive contacts are typically made of brass or phosphor bronze. The negative contact, that is, the jack, is a key component of the contact pair. It relies on the elastic structure to elastically deform when it is inserted into the pin, and generates an elastic force to form a close contact with the male contact to complete the connection. There are many types of jacks, such as cylindrical (groove, neck), tuning fork type, cantilever beam type (longitudinal slotted), folded type (longitudinally slotted, 9-shaped), box-shaped (square jack) And a double-curved wire spring jack.
A housing, also known as a housing, is a housing for a car connector that provides mechanical protection for the built-in insulated mounting plate and pins and provides alignment when the plug and socket are mated, thereby securing the connector to the device on.
Insulators, also commonly referred to as automotive connector bases or mounting plates, function to position the contacts in the desired position and spacing and to ensure insulation between the contacts and between the contacts and the outer casing. Good insulation resistance, withstand voltage performance and ease of processing are the basic requirements for the selection of insulating materials into insulators.
Accessories are divided into structural accessories and mounting accessories. Structural accessories such as collars, positioning keys, locating pins, guide pins, coupling rings, cable clamps, seals, gaskets, etc. Install accessories such as screws, nuts, screws, coils, etc. The accessories are mostly standard and general.
With the rapid development of the automobile industry, various functional parts and various components on the automobile are constantly developing in the direction of intelligence, refinement and reliability. The design, design and materials of the automotive connector are also proposed. Higher requirements, with certain design standards.
Automotive connector design standards
Automotive connectors must comply with the USCAR-20 standard, which is the performance standard for automotive electrical connector systems, which stipulates that the electrical connector contact surface of the automotive connector is always reliable throughout the life cycle, including the following nine factors:
1) The material of the connector contacts is stable and reliable;
2) The positive force is stable;
3) The voltage and current of the circuit are stable;
4) The temperature requirement is within the specified range, including the surrounding temperature and its own temperature rise;
5) better robustness;
6) It must be the same as the connector for high-speed long-distance communication computer, and the car connector must be able to work reliably under harsh conditions;
7) Connector insertion force: 20.5kg or less;
8) Connector retention: 2.5kg or more;
9) Heat resistance: -40~120Â°C
A typical light vehicle has approximately 1,500 connection points, of which 50% to 60% are used for critical power distribution functions. Automotive connectors are used in increasingly harsh environments, including temperatures (down to minus 40 Â° C, up to minus 155 Â° C), vibration, oxidation, and frictional corrosion, demonstrating the importance of design challenges.
In fact, this thing is not easy to do. Most commercial electronic components are most troublesome when they fail. However, if there is a problem with the connection of key auto parts, it will cause the fire alarm, brake or airbag to malfunction. Lead to serious consequences.
Connector manufacturers must identify and analyze physical and mechanical phenomena in the environment that may affect connector performance. In order to evaluate the stability of the connector, the connector manufacturer implemented a detailed test procedure in accordance with the application conditions specified by the car manufacturer. In the event of a connector failure, it can be determined to be one of three failure modes: friction corrosion, electrical failure, and connector insertion problems. The following is an introduction to these three failure modes.
Three failure modes for automotive connectors
Corrosive gases, high humidity and strong oscillations are the three conditions that cause oxidation and frictional corrosion and lead to connector failure. These environmental factors can have a significant impact on tin and lead-tin contact surfaces, as is the case with 90% of connector surfaces.
The problem of cable and terminal connections is one of the main causes of warranty and connector system failure. For automotive wiring systems, crimping is a very common method for connecting terminals to cables. This process has proven to be reliable. Compared with the welding method, it is more economical and simple to operate in terms of improving the crimping reliability.
Improper plugging of the connector may cause connector failure when wiring is installed in the vehicle at the assembly plant. To overcome this problem, design engineers have developed a variety of connector locking devices. Another option is to use a patching aid to simplify the insertion process of larger connectors.
For detailed car connector failure mode, please refer to the three failure mode analysis of connector durability.
As consumers demand more and more electronic functions inside the car, and the electronic functions that can be provided inside the car are becoming more and more abundant, the car connector becomes the fastest growing segment of the automobile parts. Below is a summary of the development of automotive connectors.
Development of automotive connectors
At present, global automotive connectors account for about 15% of the connector industry, and it is expected to occupy a large proportion in the future driven by automotive electronics. In terms of product cost structure, China currently uses an average of only a few hundred yuan for each car. The cost of connectors for each car is about $125 to $150. The Chinese automotive connector market also has Great development potential. In the future, each car will use 600-1,000 electronic connectors, which is much larger than the number used today.
The huge potential of the market has attracted great attention from foreign manufacturers. Major automotive electronics companies such as Tyco, Delphi and FCI have stepped up their investment and layout in the Chinese connector market. Delphi even moved its center of automotive connector business to Shanghai. China is expected to become an important production base for future global automotive connectors. In addition to the existing well-known international major factories, other manufacturers that have not yet set up factories in China will gradually establish a production base in China to supply local auto parts manufacturers due to the continuous improvement of local demand, localized procurement, and cost advantages. need.
In addition, electric vehicles and hybrid vehicles use large-capacity lithium batteries, and their operating voltage ranges from 14V to 400V to 600V in traditional automobiles. Therefore, comprehensive improvement of automotive electronic and electrical architecture is required, and connectors are the first to bear the brunt. The new energy automotive connector market has become a big niche market.
The three major trends in the development of new energy automotive connectors are: first, green, second, security, and third, connectivity.
Since new energy vehicles are "green" cars, connectors are also required to be green. In terms of safety, due to the ability of new energy automotive connectors to withstand up to 250A and 600V, the high standard of protection against electric shock is obvious. At such high power, electromagnetic interference is another important issue. In addition, the plugging operation of the connector can cause arcing, which can seriously jeopardize electrical connections and electronic equipment, and may cause the car to burn, which requires special design and development of the connector.
New energy automotive connectors must meet strict design requirements to meet their high performance requirements. For example, in the case of exposure, high voltage must be prevented from penetrating, which requires a certain air gap to be retained. In the case of high voltage and high current, The temperature rise should not exceed the rated value; the weight, strength and ease of processing should be considered when selecting the outer casing material, and how to maintain the stability of the material properties of the connector terminals at different temperatures and how to ensure the necessary electrical conductivity are considered.
In terms of connectivity, the importance of high-speed data transmission is becoming more and more important due to the continuous expansion of automotive entertainment systems. For example, on some models, the camera is mounted on the reversing mirror to give the driver a wider view, which requires the connector to transmit more data. Sometimes a connector is needed to solve the problem of transmitting GPS signals and broadcast signals at the same time, which requires an increase in data transmission capability. At the same time, the connector also needs to withstand high temperatures, because the car engine is usually placed in front of the car, although there is a firewall to protect, but some heat will be transmitted, so the connector can withstand high temperatures.
With the increasing use of automotive connectors, the trend of the synthesis of automobiles has made the integration of connectors more and more high. Due to the design requirements of the space of the car, the connector is also required to have a smaller volume. Taking up a lot of space, more and more signals are received by a single connector. In general, the automotive connection system will be developed in the direction of electronic control modules. On the basis of safety and connectivity, miniaturization, intelligence and integration are the future development trends of connectors. Here are some examples of automotive connectors that meet market needs.
Automotive connector application examples
At the Shanghai Electronics Show in Munich, Tyco Electronics brought the latest developments â€“ the 050 series terminals and connector systems for automobiles. Tyco Electronics' new 050 series terminal connection system has achieved significant technical improvements in miniaturization and weight reduction, reducing the package volume by 70%, weight reduction by 50% and height reduction by 50% compared to the previous 064 series. It is believed that such a miniaturized connector has very important practical value for energy saving and emission reduction of automobiles.
For the safety and miniaturization of automotive connectors, FCI has developed innovative molded case solutions - APEX-280 and RCS-800 connectors. One of the innovations is the patented interlock: ensuring that power is removed as soon as the connector is removed â€“ and the unique â€œtwo-stepâ€ release process provides sufficient time for the interlock to operate, so that when energized There will be no disconnection. The user does have to perform two separate actions, with a five second delay between disconnecting the power and unplugging the connector. These novel safety devices also have many other features. The terminal is fixed behind the plastic protective hole to prevent finger contact. FCI's ErgoMate gear axial connection system significantly reduces the matching force while helping to achieve a smaller size solution. Once the pair is in place, the secondary lock of the connector will be closed to ensure a 100% stable connection. In addition, with a high level of shielding and sealing protection, a compact and compact design is achieved.
In addition, FCI's RCS-800 terminals are also suitable for automotive connector safety and high connectivity. Its new 8mm round terminal design makes more efficient use of space than flat terminals with the same current carrying capacity. These circular RCS terminals have many contact points and can operate at currents up to 250A or even higher depending on the user's requirements. In addition, special surface coatings prevent damage from arcing. On the other hand, plastic caps provide IP2-x protection against the risk of electric shock operators.
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