What are USCAR-Approved Interconnects?
Meet the Connector: USCAR-Approved Interconnects
USCAR connectors are part of a wide range of interconnect products that meet the specifications of the United States Council for Automotive Research (USCAR), a collaborative automotive research company founded in 1992 to “strengthen the technology base of the U.S. auto industry through cooperative research and development.” Comprised of a number of technical teams, USCAR strives to develop industry-wide automotive testing standards to prepare for technological advancements and challenges in new vehicle development. USCAR’s work is particularly focused on advanced propulsion, electrical and electronics, energy storage, hydrogen fuel cells, manufacturing, materials, and safety. Its main research centers on advanced propulsion, electrical & electronics, energy storage, hydrogen fuel cells, manufacturing, materials, and safety.
Its member companies are Ford, General Motors, and Stellantis. Interconnects fall under the electrical and electronics category of USCAR’s research and falls under the guidance of EWCAP (Electrical Wiring Component Application Partnership). EWCAP’s technologies include:
- Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning
- Electrical Power Systems
- Electrical Wiring Components
- Electronic Module Testing and Validation
- Energy Efficient Computing
In addition, USCAR’s energy storage arm, USBCA, focuses on EV technologies, including energy storage, charging, and battery systems, including:
- Battery Recycling
- Beyond Li-ion
- On-Board Charging
USCAR-approved interconnects include sealed and unsealed connectors (multiple sizes and hybrid versions), specialty connectors (HSD, coaxial, USB, high-voltage, airbag, Ethernet, and trailer tow), and wire harnesses.
USCAR specifications span every major electrical and electronic system in modern automotive applications, and have undergone multiple revisions, with products available on the market spanning several decades. USCAR specifications cover product materials, testing practices, component performance, ergonomics, manufacturing equipment, shipping practices, and other parameters related to the automotive industry. Individual specifications are described using a numbering system that ranges from USCAR 1, which covers Salt Spray Testing and Evaluation of Fastener Finishes to USCAR 49, which covers performance testing of electrical terminals, connectors, and components for mini coaxial-style cables. Revisions are continually made and indicated with a dash followed by a number indicating the number of the revision. Example: USCAR 15-5 is the fifth revision of the performance specification for automotive RF connector systems.
USCAR-2, Performance Specification for Automotive Electrical Connector Systems, applies specifically to connectors. This specification covers performance testing at all phases of development, production, and field analysis of electrical terminals, connectors, and components that constitute the electrical connection systems in road vehicle applications that are low voltage (0 to 20 VDC) or coaxial. Incomplete (mechanical) specifications for jacketed twisted pair connectors are also provided. These procedures are only applicable to terminals used for in-line, header, and device connector systems. They are not applicable to edge board connector systems, twist-lock connector systems, >20 VAC or DC, or to eyelet terminals.
Markets, Sectors, and Applications
USCAR specifications have been designed specifically for components used in automotive applications. However, the harsh environments of automotive manufacturing and operation calls for very high reliability and durability, making USCAR connectors suitable for other industries where miniaturization, ruggedness, reliability, and performance are required.
Amphenol, Chief Enterprises, ept, Hirose Electric, IMS Connector Systems, JAE, Kyocera AVX, Molex, TE Connectivity, Aptiv, HellermannTyton, Yazaki
See our USCAR-Approved Interconnects Product Roundup
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