Torque converters are a type of mechanical opponent used inside of engines of all types. They are used in hydraulic settings, mechanical settings, automatic transmission systems, and many other types of industrial power transmission applications.
The devices are nearly ubiquitous and have incredibly important properties for the functioning of mechanical, combustion, and hydraulic engines and they can be serviced at any torque converter service.
Torque Converters Are A Type Of Fluid Coupling
A torque converter is a specific type of fluid coupling. In particular, it is a fluid coupling that transfers the rotational power produced by a prime mover to a load driven through rotational forces.
To break that down in layman’s terms: in automobiles, the torque converter is what connects your power source to the driveshaft. The equivalent location in a manually driven vehicle would be the clutch.
Primary Characteristics Of Torque Converter Service
Torque converters are used for their specific properties. There are two properties that are highly valued for their industrial and mechanical applications.
There are other properties that are not featured among all torque converters but can be included for special use applications. One such example of a specialty use application future would be the lockup mechanism.
The lockup mechanism forces the torque converter to lock itself to the engine whenever the speed of the torque converter and the engine is nearly identical. This is done in high-end vehicles that want every advantage to prevent any loss of efficiency or slippage inside of the engine to produce the most powerful and efficient motors possible.
Transfers Rotational Power To A Driven Load
The primary characteristic of a torque converter is that it transforms torque by changing the direction the force is being applied. This is done to move rotational power from a power source to a load that the user desires to give the rotational energy. In a vehicle, this is the equivalent of when you hit the gas, and your car speeds up.
Multiplies Torque When Rotational Speed Is Low
At very low speeds, when output rotational speed drops below the point where fluid can no longer be deflected off the stator, then the torque converter begins to multiply torque.
That is if it is not locked against the one-way clutch. This is similar to the function of a reduction gear in an internal combustion engine. This effect relies on more than the dynamics of a simple fluid coupling; while fluid coupling can also match the rotational speeds, it does not produce additional power due to the lack of torque multiplication.
Use In Hydraulic Systems
The most widespread form of a torque converter is the Hydrokinetic version used in most automobile transmissions. Smaller machines that use hydraulic torque converters can include compact excavators or other smaller pieces of heavy equipment. These use hydrostatic systems instead of hydrokinetic.
Use In Mechanical Systems
Torque converters have been designed mechanically for use in continuously variable transmissions. Mechanical torque converters also have the ability to multiply torque. There are several different versions of these types of torque converters made by various manufacturers around the world.
Other Properties Of Torque Converters
The equations that govern the function of a torque converter include polynomials that are raised to the fifth power. One of the primary effects this has is that the efficiency of a torque converter is highly size-dependent.
Torque converters are nearly identical to fluid coupling devices. Fluid coupling devices have two of the three elements necessary for a torque converter. The only thing that fluid coupling devices lack is the force multiplication effects on torque. They are still able to transmit rotational mechanical power, although they do not increase the amount of torque.