any engineers already know that one of the earliest World Land

Speed Records was set by an electric car, when the Belgian driver Camille Jenatzy took his bullet-shaped vehicle Le Jamais Contente to 100kph. In those days (1899), this was a fantastic speed and in 2018 the outright world speed record for a battery-powered car stands at well over 300mph. However, today’s EV engineers are

driven by consumer demand and focusing more on range and durability than outright speed. As EVs have evolved for public consumption, a new phrase has entered the conversation and it is said to reflect the biggest reason why the buying public continues to resist the current crop of extremely competent EV offerings. ‘Range anxiety’ is still proving a difficult challenge to overcome for manufacturers and a genuine ongoing concern. With battery technology sometimes

said to be holding back the rest of the EV package, attention has been focused on maximising the power available in other ways to improve the range and battery duration. Amongst the many effective ways of tackling the challenge, weight reduction has emerged as a key aspect in the quest for more miles and smiles per amp. So, advanced materials, including plastics, composites and lightweight alloys, have been at the forefront of EV development, and things look set to remain that way for the foreseeable future. As new materials and methods of

forming them have been trialled and either improved, approved or discounted for EV use, engineers have become increasingly aware that the process of

material that the fastener is being put into. Installing a compression limiter helps to prevent cracking and creeping in the host material as the fastener is torqued down and thus assists in maintaining the integrity not just of the individual joint itself, but the overall integrity of the complete part. In the EV environment, Fitsco states that its compression limiters are proving ideal for use in both body and chassis applications. For applications in firmer plastics and composites, such as structural members, it encourages manufacturers to opt for the ‘standard’ compression limiters. All Fitsco compression limiters are

putting them all together, or attaching necessary parts to them, has become more of a challenge. This has been especially true of

components which the EV manufacturer chooses to join by using threaded fasteners - because incorrectly torqued nuts and bolts can cause significant problems. Nuts and bolts tend to work loose if they are done up to a level below the specified value; but if they are installed too tightly they can deform the parent material, with potentially expensive and problematic results. To this end, Bridgnorth-based Fitsco

Industries has been busy developing a new range of compression limiters for use with threaded fasteners in plastics and composites, with some of the products already being tested by EV manufacturers. The compression limiter is a non-threaded device fitted between the head of the fastener being tightened down and the top surface of the host

manufactured at the Company’s factory in Shropshire to stringent ISO9001-2015 standards and are available with plain, grooved or knurled outers to suit most applications. The company has application specialists on hand to provide free assistance. Fitsco CEO Philip Schofield says: “The

UK continues to lead the field in automotive R&D and we’re involved in a number of exciting projects at the moment, some of them with EV manufacturers. Because we are a UK manufacturer selling UK-made fastening solutions, we’re always on hand to assist where we can in our chosen area of expertise. Fastening into plastics and composites appears to be a simple task at first glance, but, as many engineers have already discovered, it is another field where expert assistance and knowledge can have a dramatically positive effect!”

Fitsco Industries

Vehicle charging adapter testers M

etrel, the innovator in electrical test solutions, has a vehicle charging point test adapter to help contractors increase their share of an exponentially growing market. The EVSE Adapter A 1532 plugs directly into a charging points without opening the box. One of

the immediate advantages is that the adapter accesses the charge point in the same manner as an electrical vehicle and so testing the system as whole. It can thoroughly test the charging charge point by simulating the electric vehicle status, disconnected, charge ready, active charging (with and without ventilation) and pilot error just by turning a switch. The EVSE Adaptor can test installations with output currents up to 63A. From the first of January, vehicle charging points can be protected by either a RCD type B or a “RCD type A and appropriate equipment that ensures disconnection of the supply in case of a DC fault above 6 mA” according to the 18th Edition. While many testers can check type B RCDs, only Metrel is able to test the 30 mA AC and 6 mA DC called for in the 18th Edition.

22 FEBRUARY 2019 | ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING 

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