Rolled products for the automotive industry
Time to read: 3 min
Rolled products for the automotive industry

Temperature resistant alloys for hot contacts

Modern vehicles are featuring ever more electrical and electronic systems. This places the greatest demands on the fitted electrical connections. As a globally leading manufacturer of plug connectors TE Connectivity (TE) places its trust in Wieland rolled products for its latest generation of successful products – this joint development work is paving the way into the future of mobility and connectivity.

"The car of today is evolving more and more into a computer on wheels. This trend will find an extra boost from the development of autonomous driving in the future", says Martin Bleicher, Director Global Engineering at TE. And this in turn will fuel the demand for electrical connections in the vehicles and hence for high performance materials and engineered surfaces that first make these requirements possible. A fully equipped modern upmarket car today contains up to 5000 electric contacts, in addition to 100 fitted control systems which, in response to the absence of lead in soldered connections, generate additional demand for flexible press fit contacts.

This wasn’t always the case. Cars built in the 1960s and 70s had only 200 electric contacts, and a control system was unheard of. The cable harness was considerably smaller and simpler in design. “Today’s cable harness including all of its components is often the most expensive component in a vehicle, and constitutes up to 30% of the total value,” explained Stephan Groß, Senior Manager at the Technical Marketing department for rolled products at Wieland.

Martin Bleicher
»Thanks to its copper alloys, Wieland has had a good share in the success of TE Connectivity.«
Martin Bleicher
Director Global Engineering bei TE Connectivity

TE relies on the excellent relaxation resistance of Wieland high performance materials

Having left their teething troubles behind, highly specialised electrical connections are today being developed for the steadily growing requirements – specifically with respect to the temperatures for installations close to the engine and increasing vibration levels. In addition, the higher packing density forces approaches to miniaturised solutions that allow mounting also without plug-in aids. This needs workable, conductive materials with surface finishes, the highest strengths, and relaxation properties fulfilling the requirements. Today’s relaxation requirements are as high as 180 °C / 8000 h for contacts, and 150 °C / 100,000 h for relays.

Stephan Groß

Hello, I am Stephan Groß.
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Joint development for successful products

Following the success in the field of signal contacts, TE intensified its cooperation with Wieland and jointly advanced the development of the successor generations from the outset. "Wieland is a premium partner in finding solutions to our challenges in the field of contact systems. The research and development opportunities that Wieland has, combined with the first-class know-how in the field of rolled products, are what we particularly appreciate about the cooperation", says Martin Bleicher, Director Global Engineering at TE.

Wieland is already involved in the selection of alloys and provides support during the sampling phase, qualification and start of production in order to clarify the material-specific aspects. Thanks to the expertise of both companies, innovative successful products have been created with the   Multispring press-fit contact and the signal connectors Nano MQS and Pico MQS. "The contacts are primarily characterized by the small installation space required. In addition, innovative material solutions ensure that the performance parameters challenging for this size are maintained," says Bleicher.


eMobility and autonomous driving – Wieland and TE pave the way into the future

The next contact generation from the partnership between TE and Wieland is already in the starting blocks. After all, requirements are constantly changing. Trends such as infotainment in the car or eMobility demand more and more electrical connections in the vehicle - and miniaturization. In the future, solutions for autonomous driving will pose major challenges for components and call for 100 percent error-free technology.

Trends such as the reduction of emissions and weight, greater safety requirements, and increasing connectivity are defining the future and demanding high quality electric contacts. An expert in plug connectors, Wieland provides advice on the material aspects and supports the industry with a high level of expertise, from the development to mass production.


Remark: TE Connectivity, TE, TE connectivity (logo), Multispring, MQS, NanoMQS and PicoMQS are trademarks

At a glance

  • The car is evolving into a computer on wheels and needs more and more electric connections of ever higher quality.
  • Thanks to its high innovative density, TE Connectivity has become a world market leader – also thanks to the materials and, above all, the advice and development expertise of Wieland.
  • Together these two companies have incorporated the trends of electromobility and autonomous driving and are paving the way into the future of mobility and connectivity.