Development of Clutch Systems for Commercial Vehicles 2004-01-3252
When a new commercial vehicle project begins or some changes are necessary in the current products, the development of clutch pedals has a strong dependence with the powertrain characteristics which generally affects the clutch behavior and its actuation system. Although theoretical analyses are always taken into consideration, experimental procedures in bench tests and vehicles play an important role in the determination of new configurations for the clutch actuation system. Nowadays cost reduction, unification and quality gains must be considered in the project and development process. The above considerations mean that the work in bench tests regarding clutch actuation systems must be emphasized to simulate their behavior in the vehicle. So, in this paper we describe equipment and experimental procedures in the lab, as well the necessary physical parameters to study and simulate the whole clutch system and the actuators to achieve the real and correct use in vehicles in different applications. With data from the lab we show the studies in the vehicle to get the physical parameters target under some boundary conditions (pedal displacement, maximum bearing engagement (“kiss”) point, etc) with the purpose of satisfying our and customers' comfort requirements in the vehicle segments. We conclude the paper making some recommendations regarding clutch pedals development based in our experience of several years working with commercial vehicles in different applications.