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Delphi and ElectriPlast working on lightweight replacement for copper wiring

By: Rhoda Miel

June 26, 2013

ElectriPlast Corp. and Delphi Automotive plc have agreed to jointly develop a lightweight wire and cable system for the auto industry, which could replace existing standard copper wiring.

ElectriPlast, a subsidiary of Integral Technologies Inc. of Fort Washington, Penn., developed an electrically conductive composite using polybutylene terephthalate and nickel-plated carbon fiber. Troy, Mich.-based Delphi is a major supplier of automotive wiring, including injection molded connectors and other plastic components.

The co-development agreement announced in a June 25 news release calls for the two companies to develop a cost-effective and lighter replacement for copper braided wiring.

The two companies have worked separately on lightweight alternatives, with Delphi introducing an aluminum-based wiring while Integral's ElectriPlast composite was used on Fisker Automotive Inc.'s Karma electric car.

Production of the Karma ended in 2012.

Integral has also signed a separate agreement with Hanwha L&C of Seoul to sell and distribute its conductive plastics in South Korea, China, Taiwan and Japan. The deal gives Hanwha — a maker of interior and exterior auto plastics — an exclusive market in South Korea.