The Effects of Water on Cellulose-Based Frictional Surfaces in Automatic Transmission Clutch Plates 961917

A bench scale apparatus and accelerated test protocol were developed to evaluate the effect of contamination of automatic transmsission fluid by mg/kg levels of water on cellulose frictional clutch surfaces. The testing indicated that water added at levels as low as 600 mg/kg migrated to the surface of untreated paper frictionals and contributed to loss of the paper coating and erratic torque transfer properties. Treated, “high performance” paper frictional surfaces showed less physical damage but the same torque transfer effects from water contaminated ATF. A mechanism of the water coating, swelling and weakening the hydrophillic cellulose fibers, with subsequent destruction due to hydrodynamic shear was proposed.


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