What is Torque Converter and Its Execution
- Jun 01, 2022
So, you might come across the term manual transmission, where an engine is linked to the transmission through a clutch. A car might not stop if this connection breaks down. But automobiles working on the automatic transmission which have no clutch uncouple the transmission from the engine. Then one stumbles upon the thought that how cars work? Here, comes the answer and it is a prodigious device termed as a torque converter. The name itself might define that it is completely a technical related concept. But there are many exotic things to know about this device. So, it is the exclusively designed car component that holds utmost prominence and one has to learn more about this. Let’s dive into the concepts of a “Torque Converter”.
What is Torque Converter?
A torque converter is the solidly manufactured donut-shaped device that connects the engine and the transmission. Two curved plates are placed inside the device facing in opposite directions. The inner space in the device is filled up with fluid where this transmits the power from the engine to the transmission. Fluid-driver car operation might seem to be somewhat different. But, in general, the engine propels the impeller turbine that transmits this fluid to the turbine. A torque converter works in the perfect way when the blades are specifically manufactured to augment energy transmission, decrease turbulence factor and heat generation.
To be clear let’s go with the example that two fans facing in opposite directions. When one is switched on (engine), it automatically drives the second one (transmission). When both the fan blades are in a similar weight, the spin rate of both will be the same. And the fan blades of the car operate in the same scenario. There come many other examples very much alike to the operation of a torque converter where those are more energized, along with the stator that assists in the transfer of the fluid back to the impeller turbine to increase the energy efficiency. Even lock-up converters are also available where that lock-up the converter at corresponding RPM and it automatically spins along with the engine.
Hydraulic Torque Converter
Hydraulic transmissions work on the principle of liquid transmission that generates rotary motion or turning power (torque). There come two kinds of hydraulic power transmissions
- Hydrokinetic – It works on the concept of hydraulic coupling that uses the kinetic energy of the liquid to create motion.
- Hydrostatic – It uses pressure energy the liquid to create motion.
Hydraulic coupling is a kind of device that connects both the rotatable shafts. It has a vaned impeller that is placed on the drive shaft which is in the opposite direction to the vaned runner, both the impeller and runner are placed in the container that is filled up liquid. When the turning of the driven shaft is free from resistance, then the driven shaft will rotate at the similar speed of the drive shaft. When a certain load is placed on the driven shaft it slows down and turning moment which holds the same magnitude rate on both the shafts will be created.
Basically, in the hydraulic coupling moment, when the normal load is placed, then the driven shaft speed is 3% minimal to that of the driven shaft speed. As there exists no power-driven connection between the runner and the impeller, it does not create any kind of vibrations or shockwaves.
How does a Torque Converter Work?
In a detailed view, this article clearly describes the functionality of a torque converter. Basically, there are three essential components and those are:
The impeller in the torque converter also called a pump. The impeller is filled up with fluid and it rotates with the engine crankshaft. The more the spin rate, the more pressure is developed, and it drives fluid in a faster way.
The fluid from the impeller flows into the turbine and it spins the turbine blades. As the fluid flow is a continuous process, it transfers from outer to the inner section of the turbine and then turns back to the impeller. This fluid movement from the impeller to the turbine develops a motion called coupling.
After the fluid returns to the impeller, the stator comes into action. It is the other series of the fins which is placed in between the turbines on the transmission shaft. The blades of the stator are positioned so that the fluid movement changes its direction and get directed to the impeller. So, when the vehicle breaks down, then the stator’s one-way clutch lets it stop spinning that disrupts the hydraulic connection.
Apart from these components, the other the phases of the converter operation are:
Even the impeller receives power from the engine, it does not have rotation as the driver places pressure on the brake for example in the condition of a stoplight. The vehicle will be in no motion, but it does not stall.
This acceleration happens when there is the removal of the driver’s foot from the brake and placed it on the gas pedal. Then the impeller starts to rotate too fast and there exists more variation in the speeds of the turbine and impeller. So, this variation develops torque that enhances the acceleration of the vehicle.
When the vehicle reaches cruising speed, the rotational speed of both the turbine and impeller becomes the same and the torque development reduces slowly. Here, the torque converter just acts as fluid coupling and the automatic transmission locks up the turbine to the impeller. So, this process allows the vehicle to be away from power loss and maintains a smooth trip. As the impeller is placed on the torque converter, and this is connected to the engine, the impeller receives energy in this way. So, if there comes any variation in the movement and process of this operation, people experience the shaking effect.
Torque Converter Issues
When the torque converter moves into any kind of malfunction, it results in delivering vibrating and slipping effects. There are many problems that create this malfunction, so let’s look into these problems and how they occur.
Just have a look at the vehicle’s temperature gauge and if it is overheating, this might be because of an error in the torque converter. This problem arises when there happens a decline in the fluid pressure and it causes the transmission to get overheated.
An issue with the torque converter will probably show itself fairly immediately because fluid flow cannot be handled properly. When there is not sufficient flow or overflow of fluid in the transmission, then it causes slippery nature in the gears and reduces the feel of acceleration. With this, there will be also a loss in the vehicle’s fuel economy.
When you feel a shuddering effect at the speed of 30 -45 MPH, then it might be because of torque converter issues. This creates the feeling of driving on a rough road or vehicle bounces where you notice it in a clear way if the issue arises. One might suddenly feel a shuddering effect and they will lose this feeling in minimal time too. So, it’s better to get your transmission tested in the initial phases itself.
When there is an excessive number of black pollutants in the fluid, it also causes damage to the torque converter. And this also creates damage for the functioning of vehicle clutches. So, go with a fluid test first and operate your vehicle.
Enhanced Stall Speed
Bad performance in the torque converter happens when the transmission takes more time to be in contact with the engine and this results in longer stall speeds. This needs a check on the vehicle’s stall speed specifications.
Any kind of clicking or screaming sounds from the vehicle indicates a malfunction in the torque converter.
In many of the cases, the above all issues might be not because of bad performance in the torque converter, so don’t go with any conclusions until the transmission is thoroughly tested with automobile professionals.
Torque Converter Advantages/Disadvantages
Now, we shall let our conversation be on the advantages and disadvantages of a torque converter.
The advantages of torque converter include the following.
Torque converters are more in implementation because they make the car to start and stop without any kind of human involvement.
Torque multiplication defines that so inserted with this device can go with faster and smoother drives than the one having a clutch.
In certain cases, it might slip indefinitely having no chance of damage. This relates sharply with that of the human transmission’s propensity to burn clutches it permitted to slip extensively.
As torque converters are embedded with various quarts of the transmission fluid, it assists to reduce overheating by providing a coolant fluid when necessary.
The disadvantages are also the same as the issues that we have discussed in the previous sections. So, avoidance of bad performance from the torque converter happens when those are checked in the initial stages itself.
Applications of Torque Converter
As because of this device’s extensive performance it is being implemented in many of the applications. Few of them are below:
- Easily implemented in marine propulsion systems.
- It can be used as a great tool for the automatic transmission.
- Extensively used in the automotive industry for winches, drilling rigs, and conveyor drives.
- Implemented in the construction department also for modern forklifts, and railway locomotives.
Go with the extensive performance of the torque converters and let your drive to be in a smoother and safer way. Think about the concepts on how torque converter allows your vehicle to function in a proper and exact way?