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T.Rajkumar, Y. Subbaiah, P. NageshwarRao, R.B.Verma
Tractors And Farm Equipment Limited, INDIA
The usage.of tractors is widely extended to various non-agriculture and construction
applications like loaders, dozers etc. The tractors used for such heavy duty applications
require higher horse power (i.e. more than 75hp) to cater its needs. All higher horse power
tractors are having conventional dry clutches mounted in drive line system. These clutches
have very finite life, due to high heat generated. Also when used for off high way application,
tractors are subjected to high loads.
Tractors are predominantly used in loader application in Non Agricultural application, where
the tractor moves forward and reverse usually in same gear (speed) for short durations ,
resulting in high heat Generation , resulting in shorter clutch life. Also when the tractors stalls
due to higher load, the Engine overcomes the load due to the torque multiplication, which
happens by the inherit property of Torque convertor.
Tractors are predominantly used in loader application where the tractor moves forward and
reverse usually in same gear (speed) for short durations by using existing manual synchro
shifting shuttle transmission. This forward reverse tractor movement is done by changing
the gears which is accompanied by clutch disengage and engagement, i.e., to switch from
forward to reverse gear. This frequent shifting results high heat generation and shorter clutch
life. Also for Higher HP tractors are subjected to heavy Load. To overcome this problem, we
are using Torque convertor, which has the inherit property of torque multiplication and also
replacement of dry clutch by dampening results in improved life. The aim of this paper is to
understand the Torque convertor and the selection of Torque convertor for OFF- Highway
In General sliding mesh Transmission is used
in Tractors in Lower Horse Power Segment.
Different applications demand various
operating speeds. In Field, tractors are to be
operated at Low Speed and in haulage, high
speed is the requirement. This change in
Speed between Low and High is done by
Epicyclic reduction unit.
An important drive element is clutch, which is
used to engage and disengage the
transmission system from the engine. The
clutch is necessary to perform smooth takeoff and change gear once the vehicle is in
motion. In vehicles with manual transmission
the clutch is controlled with the clutch pedal by the driver. The torque from the engine is

irregular and causes torque peaks in the powertrain. The clutch is also an effective vibration
damper to eliminate noise and vibration in chassis and powertrain.
The functioning of the friction clutches also involve converting kinetic energy to heat and
then either to absorb or otherwise dissipate the heat while simultaneously, through friction;
transfer motion / torque , reducing the relative movement between the friction material and
the part to which it is engaged acts to performance. In order to achieve these, the necessary
energy conversion must be accomplished with a minimum of wear on the contacting parts.
Frequent Engagement and disengagement of Clutches in Special applications like loaders
results in High Heat generation and resulting in earlier liner wear. This is more in mechanical
clutches compared to wet clutch.
The overall layout of torque
convertor system is as
follows. The transmission
includes a torque converter,
a forward/reverse clutch unit,
and an integral manual 4speed gearbox. The clutch
has a pair of hydraulically
operated clutches providing
forward, neutral and reverse
drive. Oil to the torque
convertor comes from the
pump. A maintenance valve
controls the oil pressure and
an electric solenoid valve
ensures clutch selection.
The oil enters the converter circuit
from the main pressure regulator
valve. It flows through passages in the
oil pump housing and into the torque
converter. The converter relief valve
controls the pressure and prevents
the pressure within the torque
converter from exceeding the design
limits of about 7 or 10 bar depending
on the type of converter used. Any
excess oil is returned to the sump.


The oil from the transmission sump is partially sent to Torque Convertor and to Hydraulic
Clutch pack. The Direction of oil flow to Clutch pack is controlled through Solenoid Valve.
The oil from the transmission sump is
drawn through the suction strainer by
the pump. The oil is forced under
pressure from the pump into the
clutch circuit through the Flow divider
Valve. A Direction control valve,
sends oil from the clutch circuit to the
forward or reverse clutch piston
which then operates the appropriate
clutch. In neutral, the valve closes
and oil from the clutch returns to the

The engine-converter performance is
calculated at the converter output ie
turbine shaft and is dependent on

When calculating engine-converter performance, it is
necessary to determine the torque available to the
transmission under full throttle conditions. This is
referred to as the net engine torque and is equal to the
gross engine torque minus accessories driven by the

Torque Convertor consists of an input
member (pump or impeller), an output
member (turbine) and a reaction
member (stator) which is located on a
one-way free wheel. The converter
pump element is driven by the engine
flywheel. The converter output shaft
connected to the turbine provides
torque and speed to the transmission
input shaft.
The blades of the converter elements
are curved so that hydraulic fluid
charged into the converter circulates
within the converter from the pump
element to the turbine, then to the stator
and back to the pump. This interaction
allows engine torque to be transmitted from one member to the other through a fluid medium
and provides the means for multiplying engine torque.
For a given size converter, the amount of torque multiplication depends on blade design for
each converter model. Blade geometry also effects a converter's capacity to absorb (and
transmit) engine torque. Therefore, each converter model has unique capacity and torque
ratio characteristics. +
Torque convertor performance is measured in terms of
Speed ratio and torque ratio .Consider the output of a
torque converter at a constant input torque. If the turbine
shaft is held stationary, two things happen:
1. The converter generates its maximum output torque
based on the torque multiplying capability of the converter.
2. Pump speed stabilizes at a specific speed based on the
converters torque absorption capability.This operating
condition is referred to as the "converter stall point".
As the load on the output shaft is reduced, the turbine and
pump speeds will increase as shown
This provides converter output torque and speed for only one
input torque level. In order to represent converter
characteristics at varying input torque levels (such as an
engine curve), it is necessary to represent converter
characteristics in terms of converter input (pump) torque and

The following speed ratio and torque ratio relationships are integral parts of this

After applying these relationships, the information in above, translates to that shown above.
Note that at a given speed ratio the torque ratio is independent of torque level. However, the
pump speed is applicable only for the specific constant input torque.
The information shown in above depicts converter
capacity in terms of input speed and speed ratio for a
specific input torque. This data can be replotted as
illustrated by the "baseline torque" points, provide the
basis of a converter capacity chart.
At any given speed ratio, the torque required to drive the
converter pump varies as the square of pump speed .By
applying this basic relationship it is possible to develop a
torque-speed matrix as shown above. This is the typical
format used to describe capacity characteristics of torque
converters. In this illustration the stall point (zero speed
ratio) represents the lowest input speed at the baseline
The capacity of a torque converter is defined as its
capability to absorb (and transmit) input torque at a given
input speed and speed ratio. For example, consider the
two converters shown below. Since converter "A" can
absorb more torque at stall it is considered a higher
capacity model than converter "B".

The performance of a torque converter is dependent upon
its torque ratio and efficiency characteristics. Torque
converter efficiency is defined as the product of speed
ratio times torque ratio.
When operating at lower speed ratios, the converter
multiplies torque as thestator is held stationary by the
one-way free wheel mechanism. When a relatively high
speed ratio is attained (approximately 0.85), the stator

free wheels and the unit functions like a fluid coupling. In the coupling range the torque ratio
is slightly less than 1.00:1, but efficiency continues to increase. The speed ratio where free
wheeling begins is called the coupling or phase change point.
K Factor is a single numerical representation of the converter capacity at a particular speed
ratio, derived from the basic square law as follows:

The engine speed and torque required to satisfy a particular vehicle speed and grade
operating condition can be determined by utilizing a composite K chart.

After the net engine torque is
determined and the converter is
match can be calculated. The first
step is to overlay the net engine
torque curve (minus converter
charging pump requirements) to the
converter absorption chart, shown
graphically in below picture. The
published engine curve must be
reduced by the transmission
charging pump deduction to reflect
the actual torque which is available
at the torque converter.
The intersection of the engine curve
and converter speed ratio lines
represent specific pump torque and speed points which can be converted to converter output
performance by the following formulae:
Turbine Torque TT = Pump TorqueTP * TR
Turbine Speed NT = Pump SpeedNP * TR


When selecting a Torque
convertor for a chosen
Engine and Transmission,
a) TC absorption curve of TC
1( Black) does show a
high torque level compared
to TC 2 ( Red) . For TC
absorption bulky curve is
b) Ensure that the Torque
developed by TC is close
Transmission Input Torque.
c) Compare the Secondary Characterises of TC . Ensure the TC selected has higher turbine
Torque at Stall and Lower Power loss.


The Dynamic model consists of Torque convertor and Engine. In This system, the Vehicle
mass is reflected on the turbine shaft as vehicle inertia. Vehicle inertia is combined with
Turbine Inertia. The vehicle and turbine inertia is driven by torque convertor turbine torque
and torque convertor clutch torque. The pump inertia is combined with Engine inertia. The
Engine and pump inertia is driven by Engine Torque and with Pump Torque and TC Clutch
Torque as the Load Torques.

A simulation result of Engine and TC system is as shown. It could be seen from simulation
that the when the turbine speed is low, the slip speed of TC is high and therefore the Speed
Ratio is low and torque ratio is high , which result in high Turbine Torque.


The torque converter serves several functions.
1) The converter serves as a starting device, providing smooth acceleration from a standing
start, and offers drive train isolation from the uneven power pulses of the engine. The fluid
coupling in the converter acts similar to the compression springs in a manual transmission
the converter has the unique ability to multiply torque. It is the ability to multiply torque that
allows a vehicle to accelerate quicker with a torque converter than is possible with a direct
mechanical device (all other things being equal).
2) Serves as a Clutch which transmits Engine Torque to the transmission. Elastic Connection
between Engine and power Train- Vibration and torque shock loads
3) Absorbs Torsional Vibration of Engine and Drive Train.
4) Virtually Non Wearing - Non Abrasion
5) The 6 speed transmission can be replaced by 4 Speed transmissions with Torque convertor,
with out disturbing the performance.

1) Ray shaver(Ed), Chrysler Corporation, SAE AE-17 manual transmission Clutch system.
2) Technical Document on Engine / Converter Matching by Allison Transmission.
3) Technical Document on Engine / Converter Matching by ZF
4) Ortlinghaus technical manual OrtlinghausUKLtd., UK.
5) 10 Robert L.Norton, Machine design Pearson Education, Inc, Second edition, New Delhi,
6) Technical Symposium of LUK
7) G.R .Graham, Metallic Friction Materials for power shift transmission SAE Technical
papers, 1964. Paper number 640179.
8) Kitabayashi, H., C.Y.Li, and H. Hiraki, Analysis of the various factors affecting drag torque in
multiple plate wet clutches. SAE technical papers, 2003. Paper number: 2003-01-1973.
9) F.A. Lloyd Parameters contributing to power loss in disengaged wet clutches, SAE
technical papers, paper number 740676.