1996-02-01

The Flow Field Inside an Automotive Torque Converter: Laser Velocimeter Measurements 960721

The 3-D flow field inside an automotive torque converter was measured using laser velocimetry. For the tests, a torque converter completely machined from Plexiglas was operated at the 0.065 and 0.800 turbine/pump speed ratio, and detailed velocities were measured in 13 planes throughout the torque converter. Digital shaft encoder information was used to correlate measured velocities with the pump/turbine angular positions to generate blade-to-blade profiles, 3-D vector plots, and contour through flow plots. Results showed large flow separation regions, jet/wake flows, circulatory secondary flows, and significant flow unsteadiness in all three torque converter elements (pump, turbine, and stator). From the measured velocities, torque converter performance parameters such as mass flows, input/output torque, element incidence angles, slip factors, and vorticities were determined. Mass flows were seen to be consistent between the elements and torque results agreed well with shaft load cell measurements. Incidence angles and slip factors deviated significantly from conditions at the design point.

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