Tribodynamics of hydraulic actuated clutch system for engine-downsizing in heavy duty off-highway vehicles

Dolatabadi, Nader, Rahmani, Ramin, Theodossiades, Stephanos, Rahnejat, Homer orcid iconORCID: 0000-0003-2257-7102, Blundell, Guy and Bernard, Guillaume (2019) Tribodynamics of hydraulic actuated clutch system for engine-downsizing in heavy duty off-highway vehicles. Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part D: Journal of Automobile Engineering, 233 (4). pp. 976-993. ISSN 0954-4070

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Engine downsizing is desired for modern heavy-duty vehicles to enhance fuel economy and reduce emissions. However, the smaller engines usually cannot overcome the parasitic loads during engine start-up. A new clutch system is designed to disconnect the downsized engine from the parasitic losses prior to the idling speed. A multi-scale, multi-physics model is developed to study the clutch system. Multi-body dynamics is used to study the combined translational–rotational motions of the clutch components. A micro-scale contact model is incorporated to represent the frictional characteristics of the sliding surfaces. Although the clutch is designed for dry contact operation, leakage of actuating hydraulic fluid can affect the interfacial frictional characteristics. These are integrated into the multi-body dynamic analysis through tribometric studies of partially wetted surfaces using fresh and shear-degraded lubricants. Multi-scale simulations include sensitivity analysis of key operating parameters, such as contact pressure. This multi-physics approach is not hitherto reported in the literature. The study shows the importance of adhesion in dry clutch engagement, enabling full torque capacity. The same is also noted for any leakage of significantly shear-degraded lubricant into the clutch interfaces. However, the ingression of fresh lubricant into the contact is found to reduce the clutch torque capacity.

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