The automotive environment is particularly demanding on connector performance, and is characterized by large temperature changes, high humidity and corrosive atmospheres. This paper presents an initial study of connector performance in terms of temperature profiles taken from road vehicles. The temperature profiles are then simulated using empirical relationships to allow prediction of connector performance. Wire harnesses have been investigated to seek evidence of the connector degradation predicted from the temperature data. Initial indications are that the wire harness shows the type of fretting behavior associated with the temperature changes. Evidence of fretting corrosion was found at the contact interface on tin plated terminals from sealed and unsealed connectors
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