Cables and wires, which are critical in any electrical driven system, are exposed to constant mechanical stresses. For example, in automobiles and aircrafts, electrical cables and wires are routed through different sleeves and inserted through panels as part of the assembly. As a result, it is critical to test the strength of wire insulation under different operating conditions, including high temperature, low temperature, high pressure, moisture, etc. Furthermore, OEMs are looking to characterize the strength of the insulation materials, along with the voltage and resistance measurement. This is critical to understand how mechanical load impacts the electrical performance of the cables and wires used.
Instron’s 3-point and 4-point flexure fixtures are recommended to perform bend testing of cables and wires. Bluehill® Universal software is implemented to set-up quick and easy methods to run bend tests at certain end-of-test conditions. Furthermore, Instron custom fixtures are designed for specific applications, such as cutting of cables and wires, to understand the load at which the current or voltage is lost. In several other cases, manufacturers are also looking to measure the strength and flexural displacement of cables to understand the mechanical load insulation materials can sustain, and the maximum distance the cable harnesses can bend before break. To simulate environmental conditions, Instron offers environmental chambers to run at high and low temperature conditions.