Characterizing the Effect of Automotive Torque Converter Design Parameters on the Onset of Cavitation at Stall
This paper details a study of the effects of multiple torque converter design and operating point parameters on the resistance of the converter to cavitation during vehicle launch. The onset of cavitation is determined by an identifiable change in the noise radiating from the converter during operation, when the collapse of cavitation bubbles becomes detectable by nearfield acoustical measurement instrumentation. An automated torque converter dynamometer test cell was developed to perform these studies, and special converter test fixturing is utilized to isolate the test unit from outside disturbances. A standard speed sweep test schedule is utilized, and an analytical technique for identifying the onset of cavitation from acoustical measurement is derived. Effects of torque converter diameter, torus dimensions, and pump and stator blade designs are determined.