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Technical Paper

Lubricant Flow and Temperature Prediction in a Planetary Gearset

This study introduces a method to examine the flow path of the lubricant inside a planetary gearset of an automatic transmission. A typical planetary gearbox has several load bearing elements which are in relative sliding motion to each other which causes heat to be released. The major sources of friction as well as heat are the meshing teeth between gears (sun/planet, planet/ring), thrust washers, thrust bearings and needle bearings. The lubricant performs the vital function of both lubricating these sliding interfaces and cooling these sources of heat, thereby preventing failure of the gearbox. The exact flow path that the lubricant takes inside a planetary gearset is unknown. Since the gearset is primarily splash lubricated, it is also not known how much lubricant reaches critical areas. A method is developed using computational fluid dynamic techniques to enable comprehensive flow and thermal analysis and visualization of an automatic transmission assembly.
Journal Article

An Analysis of Floating Piston Pin

Presented in the paper is a comprehensive analysis for floating piston pin. It is more challenging because it is a special type of journal bearing where the rotation of the journal is coupled with the friction between the journal and the bearing. In this analysis, the multi-degree freedom mass-conserving mixed-EHD equations are solved to determine the coupled pin rotation and friction. Other bearing characteristics, such as minimum film thickness, pin secondary motions in both connecting-rod small-end bearing and piston pin-boss bearing, power loss etc are also determined. The mechanism for floating pin to have better scuffing resistance is discovered. The theoretical and numerical model is implemented in the GM internal software FLARE (Friction and Lubrication Analysis for Reciprocating Engines).
Technical Paper

An Analysis for Floating Bearings in a Turbocharger

A comprehensive analysis has been performed for floating bearings applied in a turbocharger. It is found that Couette power loss for a full-floating bearing (the floating ring rotates) decreases with increasing inner and outer clearances, while its Poiseuille power loss increases with increasing inner and outer film clearances. In comparison with a semi-floating bearing (the floating ring does not rotate), a full-floating bearing can reduce both Couette and Poiseuille power losses. However, floating bearing is found to have a smaller minimum film thickness for a given dynamic loading from rotor-dynamics. The total power loss reduction for typical full-floating bearings ranges from 13% to 27%, which matches well with some published experimental data. In general, the speed ratio increases with increasing outer film clearance, while it decreases with increasing inner film clearance because of shear stresses on the outer and inner film.