Numerical and Experimental Studies of Automotive Connector Behavior

R. El Abdi, N. Benjemaa, and M. Beloufa (France)


Modelling and simulation methodologies, Automotive connectors, Finite element code, Insertion force.


Automotive connector aging was studied in the literature, but none of these studies is completely satisfactory for finding the relation between the insertion force, contact surface and spring deflection after several insertion phases. The main objective of this work is to find and establish a correlation between insertion parameters and fatigue behavior using numerical and experimental approaches. This study is concerned with automotive connectors made of a copper with a tin coating two micrometers in thickness. The evolution of insertion force, spring deflection and contact surface versus the insertion extraction operation number, will inform about the connector fatigue behavior. Using a microbalance, we have weighed the sample beforehand and after experimental insertion test, to quantify the mass loss and the wear evolution. In addition, the wear shape is analyzed. The connector includes four spring lamellas in each side and the pin has flat shape. Due to the friction effect and after several insertion-extraction tests, eight tracks are visible. Using a scanning profile-meter, the length, the depth and the width of the track can be measured. At the same time, a numerical analysis using the Finite Element Code Ansys is used with an elastoplastic behavior law to find the fatigue law, to measure the contact surface and predict the wearing surface for used materials which can support a long connector use period. The selected assumptions which were introduced in numerical modelling lead to a good correlation with the experimental results.

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