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Technical Paper

A Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) Model for Gear Churning

Abstract This paper presents a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model for predicting power losses associated with churning of oil by gears or other similar rotating components. The modeling approach and parameters are optimized to ensure the accuracy, robustness, and computational efficiency of these predictions. These studies include a look at two types of mesh and a turbulence model selection. The focus is on multiple reference frame (MRF) modeling technique for its computational efficiency advantage. Model predictions are compared to previously published experimental data [1] under varying operating conditions typical for an automotive transmission application. The model shows good agreement with the hardware both quantitatively and qualitatively, capturing the trends with speed and submersion level. The paper concludes with presenting some key lessons learned, and recommendation for future work to ultimately build a highly reliable tool as part of the virtual product development.
Journal Article

Thermal Mapping of an Automotive Rear Drive Axle

In recent years, there has been a sustained effort by the automotive OEMs and suppliers to improve the vehicle driveline efficiency. This has been in response to customer demands for greater vehicle fuel economy and increasingly stringent government regulations. The automotive rear axle is one of the major sources of power loss in the driveline, and hence represents an area where power loss improvements can have a significant impact on overall vehicle fuel economy. Both the friction induced mechanical losses and the spin losses vary significantly with the operating temperature of the lubricant. Also, the preloads in the bearings can vary due to temperature fluctuations. The temperatures of the lubricant, the gear tooth contacting surfaces, and the bearing contact surfaces are critical to the overall axle performance in terms of power losses, fatigue life, and wear.