A possible replacement for a torque converter

In summary: The inner turbine produces more torque than the outer turbine, so the transmission uses the outer turbine to send power to the wheels.
  • #1
Serj
94
0
I was reading up on torque converters. They looked very bulky and heavy. I was thinking perhaps a torque converter could be made better if it was simply two turbines and a tube of varing x-sectional area. The idea is a small centrifugel turbine pumps fluid through a pipe with a very small cross sectional area. The fluid flows at a high velocity. The tube expands and the fluid moves slower but at higher pressures. This slow high pressure fluid spins another turbine of equal or greater size of the first turbine. The second, or output, turbine has more pressure behind it so it has more torque.
Will this be better than a conventional torques converter? It would be lighter but the high speed fluid may cause resistance reducing efficiency. This could be reduced by giving the majority of the pipe a large x-sectional area, but that would would mean more weight from the extra metal needed to conatin those high pressures.
 
Engineering news on Phys.org
  • #2
You basically described the current Torque Converter design except you've added a requirement for a higher pressure pump (remember, the entire transmission uses the same pump and fluid so changing the pump requires a redesign of the valve body, actuators and accumulators as well) and a variable cross-section pipe.

Torque converters are actually very efficient now-a-days because newer cars include a lock-up feature when the vehicle is in third and/or forth gear. The lock-up prevents torque converter slip thus removing the source of ineffeciency from the system. At lower speeds the slip is needed for the torque converter to work properly (the engine spins from 5%(highly efficient) to 15%(race) faster than the transmission input shaft). The slip acts like the clutch in a manual trans. You can't dump a clutch and expect the engine to run well--most cars will stall if the clutch is dumped. You have the slowly let off the clutch. That's what the TC is doing.

[edit] Here: http://auto.howstuffworks.com/torque-converter.htm
Notice the outer shell is one turbine--the drive turbine-- and located in the center of the unit is a second turbine--the driven turbine. The flexplate connects to the outer shell, and the trans input shaft connects to the inner turbine. The outer turbine spins the fluid, and the spinning fluid drives the inner turbine.
 
Last edited:
  • #3


This is an interesting concept and could potentially be a viable replacement for a traditional torque converter. However, there are a few factors to consider.

Firstly, the weight and bulkiness of a torque converter is not necessarily a major issue as it is located within the transmission and does not significantly affect the overall weight and size of the vehicle. So, while a lighter and smaller alternative may seem appealing, it may not have a significant impact on the overall performance of the vehicle.

Secondly, the high velocity fluid in your proposed design could potentially create resistance and reduce efficiency. This could be mitigated by using a larger cross-sectional area for the majority of the pipe, but as you mentioned, this would add weight and potentially negate the benefits of a smaller and lighter torque converter.

In addition, the complexity and cost of manufacturing and maintaining this type of torque converter may also be a consideration.

Overall, while this concept may have potential, it would require further research and development to determine if it would be a more effective and efficient replacement for a traditional torque converter.
 

Related to A possible replacement for a torque converter

1. What is a torque converter?

A torque converter is a type of fluid coupling that is used in automatic transmissions to transfer rotational power from the engine to the transmission. It is typically made up of three main components: a pump, turbine, and stator.

2. Why do we need a replacement for a torque converter?

Torque converters have been known to have a few drawbacks, such as decreased efficiency and a limited power range. As technology advances and demand for more efficient and powerful vehicles increases, there is a need for a replacement that can overcome these limitations.

3. What are the potential benefits of a possible replacement for a torque converter?

A new and improved torque converter replacement could potentially offer improved efficiency, a wider power range, and smoother shifting in automatic transmissions. It could also result in better fuel economy and reduced emissions.

4. What are some potential replacements for a torque converter?

Some possible replacements for a torque converter include dual-clutch transmissions, continuously variable transmissions, and electric motors. These technologies offer different ways of transferring power from the engine to the transmission, potentially improving efficiency and performance.

5. When will a new torque converter replacement be available?

There is currently no set timeline for when a new torque converter replacement will be available. The development of new technologies can take several years and often depends on market demand and funding. It is also important to thoroughly test and refine any new technology before it is implemented in vehicles.

Similar threads

  • General Engineering
Replies
7
Views
2K
  • General Engineering
Replies
4
Views
2K
Replies
2
Views
663
  • Mechanical Engineering
Replies
4
Views
972
  • General Engineering
Replies
6
Views
2K
  • General Engineering
Replies
10
Views
2K
Replies
31
Views
2K
Replies
3
Views
1K
Replies
10
Views
4K
  • Mechanical Engineering
Replies
31
Views
2K
Back
Top