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research-article

Influence of Stator Blade Geometry on Torque Converter Cavitation

[+] Author and Article Information
Cheng Liu

Beijing Institute of Technology, National Key Laboratory for Vehicular Transmission, Beijing 100081, China
liuchengbit@gmail.com

Wei Wei

Beijing Institute of Technology, School of Mechanical Engineering, National Key Laboratory for Vehicular Transmission, Beijing 100081, China
weiweibit@bit.edu.cn

Qingdong Yan

Beijing Institute of Technology, School of Mechanical Engineering, National Key Laboratory for Vehicular Transmission, Beijing 100081, China
yanqd@bit.edu.cn

Brian Weaver

University of Virginia, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department, Rotating Machinery and Controls Laboratory, 122 Engineer's Way, Charlottesville, VA 22904-4746
bkw3q@virginia.edu

Houston G. Wood

University of Virginia, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department, Rotating Machinery and Controls Laboratory, 122 Engineer's Way, Charlottesville, VA 22904-4746
hgw9p@virginia.edu

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4038115 History: Received April 10, 2017; Revised September 15, 2017

Abstract

Cavitation in torque converters may cause degradation in hydrodynamic performance, severe noise, or even blade damage. Researches have highlighted that the stator is most susceptible to the occurrence of cavitation due to the combination of high flow velocities and high incidence angles. The objective of this study is to therefore investigate the effects of cavitation on hydrodynamic performance as well as the influence of stator blade geometry on cavitation. A steady-state homogeneous computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model was developed and validated against test data. It was found that cavitation brought severe capacity constant degradation under low speed ratio operating conditions and vanished in high speed ratio operating conditions. A design of experiments (DOE) study was performed to investigate the influence of stator design variables on cavitation over various operating conditions and it was found that stator blade geometry had a significant effect on cavitation behavior. The results show that stator blade count and leaning angle are important variables in terms of capacity constant loss, torque ratio variance, and duration of cavitation. Large leaning angles are recommended due to their ability to increase the cavitation number in torque converters over a wide range of speed ratios, leading to less stall capacity loss as well as a shorter duration of cavitation. A reduced stator blade count is also suggested due to a reduced torque ratio loss and capacity loss at stall.

National Research Council of Canada
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