A torque converter is used to transfer rotational energy from a prime mover, such as an internal combustion engine or an electric motor, to a rotating driven load. The torque converter normally takes the place of a mechanical clutch in a vehicle with an automatic transmission, allowing the load to be separated from the power source. It is usually located between the engine flywheel and the transmission.
In a torque converter there are at least three rotating elements: the impeller, which is mechanically driven by the prime mover; the turbine, which drives the load; and the stator (or reactor wheel), which is interposed between the impeller and the turbine so that it can alter oil flow returning from the turbine to the impeller.
The key characteristic of a torque converter (torque ratio) is its ability to multiply torque when there is a substantial difference between input and output rotational speed, thus providing the equivalent of a reduction gear.
The goal of this project was to increase torque ratio. Advanced CAE tools such as FlowVision have been used to optimize this parameter. It was a challenging task to carry out real time simulation of the torque converter with three rotating wheels (the impeller, the turbine, the stator) – and we have done that – probably, there is no similar project of the torque converter simulation!!!
The torque ratio was calculated. Our next step was to carry out optimization of the converter configuration – we created the blade design for the required value of torque ratio.