Thursday, November 25, 2010

No. 199: Aluminum wire harness for vehicles (November 26, 2010)

Furukawa Electric will start mass production of aluminum wire harness for vehicles in Indonesia and Vietnam in 2011. Aluminum wire harness is about 40% lighter than copper wire harness. The electric vehicle and the hybrid vehicle carry more electric components than the gasoline vehicle, it has been a critical issue to make wire harness lighter. The company will produce the intermediate materials from aluminum alloy in its company established jointly with Toyoda Tsusho and local capital, and process them electric wires in Vietnam. The scheduled production capacity is six tons per month, and finished products will mostly be shipped to Japan. The aluminum alloy contains magnesium, iron, and copper for higher electric conductivity, more strength, and better flexibility. The conductor of aluminum wire harness weighs half as copper wire harness. Even if it is coated for insulation, it is about 40% lighter than copper wire harness. Furukawa Electric wishes to reduce the production cost to the same or lower the level of copper wire harness by dint of mass production in several years. Aluminum wire harness will be used for power transmission to the motor and information exchange of the sensor. A vehicle carries about 40 kg of wire harness, and the weight of wire harness can be reduced to two thirds if aluminum wire harness is used for the two purposes.

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