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Research Papers: Electronic Cooling

Design Optimization of Electrical Power Contact Using Finite Element Method

[+] Author and Article Information
Amine Beloufa1

 CRISMAT, UMR6508, ENSI de Caen. 6, Boulevard du Maréchal Juin, 14050 Caen, Francebeloufaamine@yahoo.fr

1

Corresponding author.

J. Heat Transfer 134(1), 011401 (Nov 08, 2011) (15 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4004713 History: Received October 20, 2010; Accepted July 16, 2011; Published November 08, 2011; Online November 08, 2011

Automotive connectors in modern car generations are submitted to high current; this can cause many problems and requires the minimization of their electrical contact resistances. The new major contribution of this work is the optimization by finite element method of contact resistance, contact temperature, design, and mechanical stress of sphere/plane contact samples. These contact samples were made with recent high-copper alloys and were subjected to indentation loading. Experimental tests were carried out in order to validate the developed numerical model and to select the material which presents a low contact temperature and contact resistance. Another model with multipoint contacts was developed in order to minimize electrical contact resistance and contact temperature. Shape optimization results indicate that the volume of contact samples was reduced by 12%. The results show also for the model with multipoint contacts that the contact resistance was reduced by 41%, contact temperature by 22% and maximum Von Mises stress by 49%. These several gains are more interesting for the connector designers.

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Copyright © 2012 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figures

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Figure 1

U-shaped samples

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Figure 2

Elastoplastic behavior law for different high-copper alloys

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Figure 3

Experimental bench for measuring contact resistance and contact temperature under contact forces (20, 50, and 100 N) and applied current (50 and 100 A)

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Figure 4

Thermal, electrical and mechanical boundary conditions

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Figure 5

Algorithm for solving thermoelectro-mechanical problem using the indirect coupling method

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Figure 6

Temperature variation for different copper alloys (a) current = 50 A and (b) current = 100 A

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Figure 7

Von Mises stress, temperature and electrical resistance distributions on the half of contact samples under FC = 100 N and I = 100 A

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Figure 8

Transient numerical and experimental variation of (a) contact temperature and (b) electrical contact resistance

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Figure 9

Numerical optimization process

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Figure 10

Mesh and Von Mises stress distribution in the contact zone (a) initial model and (b) final optimized model

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Figure 11

Comparison results between model with five contact points and model with one contact point (a) Von Mises stress distribution and (b) electrical resistance distribution

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