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Technical Paper

Flow Visualization and Measurement of Torque Converter Stator Blades Using a Laser Sheet Lighting Method and a Laser Doppler Velocimeter

A new experimental apparatus to visualize and measure the flow in the stator of a torque converter is proposed. A one-sided coaxial shaft constructed of an input shaft and an output shaft provides an open space inside the stator shaft for measurement. Through the window on the stator shaft, the flow in the stator can be directly observed. We also improved the laser sheet lighting method into the blade passage by using a mirror inside the blade. By visualizing the flow with the laser sheet lighting method, we found that the flow around the leading edge has different separation regions along the blade span. Furthermore, by using a laser doppler velocimeter, velocity vectors and turbulence intensities were measured in three stator blades of different thicknesses with the same camber line. The thickness of the stator blades affects the flow patterns.
Technical Paper

Numerical Analysis of the Torque Converter Stator Blade by the Boundary Element Method

The improvement of the torque converter performance necessitates an optimized design of the torque converter stator blade on the basis of a full understanding of the internal flow conditions. However, it is difficult to analyze the flow experimentally or theoretically because the three elements (a pump, a turbine, and a stator) rotate at different speeds and the flow circuit and the blade shapes are complex. Enough explication of the internal flow has not yet been made. This research has developed a new method of calculating the torque converter performance by taking the stator blade profile into consideration. The internal flow through the torque converter stator can be treated as a two-dimensional flow, and here the flow was analyzed as a potential flow. The analysis of the torque converter stator blade was made as follows.
Technical Paper

A New Tooth Flank Form to Reduce Transmission Error of Helical Gear

Transmission error is the main cause of gear noise in automobile transmissions, and recently can be estimated by numerical analysis [1]. First, in this report, we establish the accurate numerical analysis of transmission error by using FE analysis and Hertz's contact analysis of gear tooth stiffness. Secondly, on the basis of the established numerical analysis, we develop a new tooth flank form to reduce transmission error. The new tooth flank form aims to ensure the coincidence of meshing stiffness at all meshing positions. Finally, a validation test using an experimental prototype is performed, and we confirm that the estimated effect by the new tooth flank form has been obtained.
Technical Paper

Development of Compact, High Capacity AWD Coupling with DLC-Si Coated Electromagnetic Clutch

We have developed a high capacity electromagnetic clutch by means of Si-containing diamond-like carbon (DLC-Si) coating. The durability of the new clutch is enhanced up to 8 times higher than that of the conventional one. Such a superior performance is due to several tribological properties of the DLC-Si film and micro morphology on the clutch surface. In particular, the DLC-Si plays a significant role in maintaining the groove shape of the clutch and giving sufficient friction in fluid, which is required for a drivetrain device. Besides, our deposition process (using direct current plasma-assisted chemical vapor deposition) has afforded homogeneous DLC-Si-coated clutches in large quantities. These techniques have enabled us to reduce the number of clutch discs per coupling and achieve a more compact and higher capacity AWD coupling at a lower cost.
Technical Paper

On-Board Estimation of Vehicle Weight By Optimizing Signal Processing

The performances of some vehicle control systems are influenced by changes in the weight of the vehicle. In these systems, it is important to be able to estimate the weight without the need for special sensors. When we use physical models to do this, we have to provide estimates for two or more unknown parameters. In addition, since such a method is influenced by disturbances in the measured signals, it is difficult to maintain an acceptable level of accuracy. So, after analyzing the physical phenomena, we developed a new method that eliminates the influence of the disturbances from the measured signals and constructed an estimation system that has a minimum number of unknown parameters that was capable of providing a more accurate estimate of a vehicle weight. This method was applied to the braking force control of an automatic transmission and its efficacy was verified.
Technical Paper

Friction Characteristics Analysis for Clamping Force Setup in Metal V-Belt Type CVT

In order to increase the transfer efficiency in a metal V-belt type CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission), it is effective to lower belt clamping force from a current setting value. However, setting the clamping force too low will cause a macro slip (large belt slip). Thus, in order to set the clamping force to the proper level, the friction characteristics between the belt and the pulley (belt friction characteristics) must be understood in detail, and the macro slip threshold must be defined. In this paper, we shall propose a friction expression model for a metal V-belt type CVT and use this model to explain the speed reducing ratio dependence and speed dependence of the maximum friction coefficient (μmax). We shall also define the macro slip threshold in torque fluctuation environment.