Beru f1systems, working in partnership with interconnect specialist Souriau, has revealed a process that facilitates the use of 30 AWG (American Wire Gauge) lightweight wiring systems in harsh motorsport environments—and brings a 12% weight savings.
The first applications are for Formula One racer sensor wires used for temperature and pressure senders and placed at various sites on the chassis and powertrain. No special terminals or expensive crimp tools are needed. Because the sensor units are low power, smaller gauge wires can be used. Although the initial application is in the exotic area of F1, Beru f1systems believes it could cascade down to other motorsport applications.
The need to reduce both weight and cost were twin drivers for development, said Beru f1systems Principal Engineer Gary Norman: “Working closely with an F1 team, we looked at how we could use 30 gauge wire to reduce weight whilst also considering the ever increasing cost restrictions with which the teams have to comply. Other technologies are available, but they require a tool that costs around $1500, a specific 30 AWG wire that is four times the cost of our solution, and they also need special terminals. These terminals limit the range of connectors available, resulting in weight or package compromises.”
The company’s background of applying technology and expertise to improve many aspects of vehicle performance led its specialists to demonstrate that effective gains in loom reduction could benefit other areas of the car without compromising reliability.
“The 12% weight savings achieved will allow engineers to distribute weight more effectively, increasing vehicle performance or reducing tire wear,” claimed Norman. He added that testing had demonstrated that its solution could withstand the SAE AS 39029 pull-off tests, and “the F1 team with whom we are working will use our solution on some of the harshest vibration applications on their car.”
Beru f1systems has identified a set of components as well as assembly parameters and sequencing that allows its technicians to use standardized parts and assembly tools, simplifying servicing and spare part stocking during the product’s life. Considering whole life cost is another area in which an integrator with design and manufacturing expertise can provide additional value over simple component providers or distributors, said Norman.
Many of Beru f1systems’ specialists have worked for race teams and fully appreciate the need to offer solutions that are simple to maintain and repair when sometimes operating many thousands of miles from their base.
“Having a solution that is both robust and cost-effective will see the technology used where light weight and minimum size are the driving factors,” added Norman.