Market tendencies for automotive wires
The automotive market is changing. Since 1885, with the first internal-combustion car, this kind of engine is the dominant. Market is evolving each day, specially accelerated for Covid-19 crisis, revolutionized with more sophisticated electronic systems and pushing for electric cars in parallel with self-driving cars.
In 2019, 4.8M of electric vehicles were in use, more than 50% in China. Targets of reduction of the air pollution emissions and the stronger environmental sensibility by the users also help to increase this electrical car registration trend.
This tendency translates into the automotive parts manufacturers to provide more lighter and higher performing components, also in wire automotive industry. That means that new materials and formulations will satisfy these demands.
First time quality
Optimize manufacturing and assembly processes that maximize efficiency results an improvement in the achievement of first-time quality products and competitiveness. In wire production, there’s the tendency of increase speed, reduce the insulation thickness and reduce the length of the extruders – all factors with a positive impact against to the first time quality.
Covering technical needs, perfect dispersion and excellent dilution, the wire also have to have a low dosing levels, high speed production and improved processability – factors that impacts directly to the final costs.
Colour for automotive wires
Colours are an essential part of wiring industry. Colour coding identifies each wire so that its circuit and purpose can easily be distinguished when servicing or diagnosing electrical issues. The durability of the colour under the conditions of service must be taken into account, as the colour must be identifiable throughout the service life of the vehicle. Also, it’s needed to connect and identify terminals in wiring harnesses.
Due to the production speeds are constantly increasing, length of extruders reducing and insulation thickness as well, the challenge for colour masterbatches is to dilute and completely incorporate colour under these more exigent conditions. As well, colour concentrates have the challenge to be competitive with the compounds used by wire manufacturers.
Colour masterbatch also have to have a perfect dispersion, unifying the polymeric base with individually separated pigment crystals in the adequate melting point; helping to have a fast dilution, avoiding sparks or surface irregularities in the insulation; preventing to being rejected.
Colour intensity is also other important point. The easiest, but not cost-efficient, way to manage colour insufficiency is increase the LDR% to compensate it adding more masterbatch. To avoid that it’s important work with a highly concentrate colour masterbatches and with the correct pigments, these that gives you the correct colour intensity.
Compound formulations are changing too, posing further challenges to the colouring of cables which must meet highly demanding requirements on thermal, abrasion and ageing resistance, so, more technical materials; to insulate automotive wiring. According to the temperature classes, cables are subjected to extreme limits. With electrical cars, and especially self-drive cars, tendencies are provide a highly exposed resistance materials to head, radiation and conduction, due to the high quality and precision required.
Fluoropolymers, in the form of thermoplastics and elastomers, find a wide use in automotive applications, because of the combination of their high resistance to fuels, lubricants and to elevated temperatures. Fluoropolymers allows working at environmental temperatures from -40ºC to 200ºC, with an excellent resilience and UV transmission, providing a high energy radiation resistance and lightweight; two fundamental factors for electrical cars requirements.
Silicones are also everyday mostly demanded compounds, used in several kinds of automotive wire, as batteries or lighting – high-requirements wiring. Silicones allow working with a constant dielectric and dimensional stability dielectric properties from -80ºC to 250ºC. Long term vibration, head and fire resistance; low smoke emissions, non-corrosive and non-toxic combustion gases emission are other factors that make the interest in these materials more and more every day.
The high demand for electrical vehicles and the high-quality requirements of them is reflected in the demand for new materials or formulas with more benefits. In automotive wiring, new materials are gaining much traction in the supply chain, as fluoropolymers and silicones; both with high performance of temperatures, resistance and UV transmission, among others.
For colour masterbatches, Delta Tecnic is highly specialized in automotive industry, offering a high-quality colour concentrates with outstanding dispersion and dilution properties, paying special attention to the sparks reduction, extraordinary regularity of color and pellet size and shape; helping you to have a fastest and high quality production.