More sustainable transport systems are a key priority today, especially as the aviation sector looks to move towards net zero goals. However, this represents a considerable challenge, as this is an industry that is currently responsible for a large volume of global carbon emissions. One obvious switch has been towards using fuels that are zero carbon emitting, such as hydrogen and electronic batteries, both of which have their challenges. As a result, a total rethink of the modern aircraft is under way to help achieve net zero aviation – and moulded cable assemblies have a big part to play in this.
New aircraft design, new cables
In bringing to life the vision of netzero aviation, designers will have to go through a process of optimising flight characteristics to improve efficiency. It’s going to be important to replace weighty hydraulic systems with lighter electronic systems, for example. It’s also likely that we’re going to see many more electrical systems operating at up to 1kV, which will create far more control and, consequently, efficiency. All of this will establish the need for a more sizable installed base and range of cables that are responsive to the very specific needs of the aviation sector.
Bespoke moulded cable assemblies
There are many advantages to any application in using bespoke, moulded cable assemblies but especially in the aviation sector as it seeks to meet net zero goals. This type of cabling is much more robust than off-the-shelf products, for example, and can be designed and tested for the very specific challenges of aviation, from thermal expansion and contraction through to condensation and the issues of extreme exposure. It also has a range of other essential benefits including:
- Offering a lightweight solution that will be more conducive to the new, more efficient design of planes. Bespoke moulded cable assemblies provide data, power and control for critical aviation systems in a lightweight form.
- Durable and long-term. This type of cable assembly is created and manufactured so that it will continue to perform for the entire life of an aircraft. It will also come with minimal maintenance obligations – in effect, it’s possible to fit and forget bespoke moulded cable assemblies.
- Flexible and adaptable. Moulded cable assemblies can accommodate contraction or expansion, as well as partial discharge at altitude.
- Protected at all times. Cable assemblies like these ensure that there is no ingress from dust or moisture and that cables are guarded against stress as well as chemical or biological contamination.
- Lower costs and longer lasting. Moulded cable assemblies will add only a small weight penalty in comparison to other types of electrical harnesses that could be found in aircraft wings, making it much easier to achieve a more lightweight design. They generate lower through-life costs as well and come with increased reliability and levels of safety.
Moulded cable assemblies are going to be a critical part of the journey that the aviation industry is taking towards net zero. From lighter weights to increased durability, they have a key part to play in this vital evolution.