New automobile models continue to stimulate the economy and excite consumers. It's clear that innovative electronics and improvements in fuel economy will be a significant factor in future growth.
Today's vehicles rely on electronic components for almost all functions. Demand is strongest for those electronic functions that benefit drivers directly such as safety, entertainment, information, and comfort. PMX high precision copper alloys are used for vehicle wiring harnesses and associated connectors.
There are more than 50 pounds of copper in a typical automobile. Approximately 40 pounds are used for electrical and electronics. About 1500 copper wires are installed on a typical car. The motor and increased electrical functions on hybrid and electric vehicles more than double the amount of copper used for wiring and connectors in these types of vehicles.
Automotive manufacturers and their key suppliers are constantly investing in research and development especially in the area of increasing fuel efficiency. Engine downsizing and new power management systems to reduce weight and still maintain acceptable power and performance continue to drive applications for automotive connectors used in powertrain applications.
PMX works with most of the leading automotive connector suppliers to develop high conductivity copper alloys that can function effectively for over 100,000 miles at elevated temperatures. Different connector and interconnect applications require specific physical and mechanical properties. We have been successful in developing cost-effective copper alloys that maximize current density and are reliable at increased operating temperatures in miniaturized designs. For more technical information, download the PMX High Precision Copper Alloy Guide.
Today, electrical and electronic components account for about 20% of a vehicle's value. By 2015, this proportion is forecast to grow to more than 30%. Clearly, innovation will drive some of this growth. For example, future navigation systems will not only recognize the route, but also factor in traffic jams and road construction. Vehicles will be able to automatically park and lane recognition systems will keep the vehicle in its lane.
Our automotive connector alloys have made vehicles more fuel efficient, safer, and more fun to drive. Copper continues its remarkable record as an integral part of mankind.