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Title: Improving efficiency in drive lines : an experimental study on churning losses in hypoid axle
Author: Jeon, Soo Il
ISNI:       0000 0004 2688 6823
Awarding Body: Imperial College London
Current Institution: Imperial College London
Date of Award: 2010
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The research concerns improvement of the power efficiency of lubricated components in automotive drivelines such as transmissions and axles. Meshed gear pairs, rolling bearings, seals and oil churning by rotating components immersed in the oil are studied. The purpose of the research is to explore the most effective way of improving the efficiency in drivelines, focusing on an axle comprising hypoid gears and a differential assembly. First, a study of the nature of losses affecting the efficiency of a simple spur gear box was carried out, and a model of friction and churning in a simple transmission was developed. Next, a detailed experimental study of oil churning losses in a hypoid axle from a four wheel drive road vehicle was carried out using the inertia run-down technique. To perform the above experiments, a new test rig for measuring oil churning losses was designed, manufactured and commissioned. The test rig allowed a wide range of speed and lubricant parameters to be explored and was designed by the author for tests available at different roll and pitch attitudes. In addition, an "extended" housing, consisting of a modified gear case that accepted the same internal components as the production axle but which had much greater internal clearances, was designed and manufactured. This enabled the effects of different casing geometry and of internal baffles to be studied. Additionally, the extension housing was modified to investigate the oil flow inside the housing through its one transparent side for the understanding of the effect of oil flow on churning losses. An investigation of design-related parameters influencing churning losses was carried out using the new test rig. Empirical equations for the churning losses, based on dimensional analysis, were developed to describe the test results. It was found that some combinations of baffles gave a significant reduction in losses. Supplementary tests were carried out using transparent windows to visualise the oil flow. These identified some of the mechanisms responsible for the reduction in churning loss and suggested a number of practical methods by which churning could be reduced without compromising the lubricant supply to remote components. It is argued that these innovations can contribute to improving fuel efficiency and limiting oil temperature rise in all-wheel-drive vehicles.
Supervisor: Olver, Andrew Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral