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Editor: John Mortimer
Wednesday, 7 September 2016
Torque converters now becoming lighter
Component supplier Schaeffler claims its iTC torque converter represents
a new generation of lighter-weight torque converters that are help reduce
A key feature of the iTC – or integrated torque
converterTorque converters become lighter, is a lock-up clutch integrated into
the torque converter turbine.
This makes the
system lighter and creates space for more efficient torsion dampers, such as
the centrifugal pendulum-type absorber developed by Schaeffler.
“The damper with
a centrifugal pendulum-type absorber in the torque converter significantly
improves the isolation of vibrations. This technology thus allows the lock-up
clutch to be closed at an earlier stage. In turn, both fuel economy and comfort
can be improved at the same time”, explains Uwe Wagner, vice president research
and development automotive at Schaeffler. “That is why the majority of the
torque converters used in future automatic transmissions will include a
centrifugal pendulum-type absorber”.
Compared to conventional
torque converters, the iTC also requires fewer components. As the entire axial
force of the turbine is transferred through the friction surface, this design
does not require an axial bearing between the turbine and the stator.
The number of
individual elements required for the application of torque to the torsion
damper and the integration of the piston into the turbine can be cut. This not
only makes the design lighter, it also allows more effective torsion dampers to
be designed using the available design envelope.
(multi-functional torque converter) is suitable for use in combination with
start-stop systems and can compensate for delayed response behaviour; so-called
savings of up to five percent can be achieved with the multi-functional torque
converter thanks to the optional idle disconnect function and early torque
eliminates the torque converter idling losses that previously had to be taken
into account, as the transmission can be decoupled from the engine, and this
converter arrangement also allows the mass moments of inertia to be distributed
in a more beneficial way, resulting in an improved isolation of vibrations in
all operating ranges. Because of the engine decoupling, the engine reaches
higher starting speeds at the moment at which the torque converter is
brand began developing torque converters in Bühl in 1990. Schaeffler
strengthened its market position in the USA with its own torque converter
development and manufacturing location in Wooster, Ohio, in 1998. Today, this
serves as a competence centre in Schaeffler’s global development network. Schaeffler invests further in China Meanwhile, Schaeffler is expanding its production capacity in China with an
investment in a new manufacturing location in Xiangtan.
The expansion is being panned in stages and
will begin with the construction of a manufacturing plant covering 20 hectares.
It will produce automobile parts and precision bearings, with initial output
planned for the end of 2018. An additional phase of expansion will see a second
plant constructed together with a logistics centre and a training facility.
Schaeffler first began investing in
manufacturing and R&D facilities in China in 1995.
Then, in April 2014, Schaeffler
began torque converter production at its plant in Taicang China, where the
one-millionth torque converter recently came off the production line.