What is a Torque Converter?

Since automobiles have mostly shifted from manual transmissions to automatic transmissions, the mechanical clutch that enabled drive shafts and driven shafts to be connected has since been replaced with more advanced technology. The torque converter is the equipment piece that replaced the clutch, coming in the form of a fluid coupling that directs rotating power from the internal combustion engine to a rotating driven load. With the use of such equipment, automobiles can now stop and speed up on demand with the press of pedals, making complex operations seem fairly simple. To fully understand how the torque converter revolutionized how automobiles and other applications function, we will discuss their design and operations.

Within a standard automobile, the torque converter housing is situated between the engine and gears. As a type of hydraulic fluid coupling, the torque converter serves the automobile through transmitting and amplifying the torque provided by the engine. Additionally, the torque converter ensures that the vehicle can come to a complete stop without causing a shift in the transmission. In general, there are two types of torque converters, those of which are the lock-up and non lock-up converter.

Lock-up converters are a type that are regularly found in modern automobiles, and they feature a built-in locking clutch mechanism. During standard operations, the transmission will build up speed or engine RPM, and the torque converter will utilize the clutch to secure a direct connection between the input and output shafts when a certain threshold or value is met for better efficiency. The non-locking clutch, on the other hand, is a type that was regularly found in older automobiles. In such assemblies, efficiency was less maximized as energy loss occurred during power transfer between the engine and transmission as a result of slippage. As there was no clutch to secure the torque converter as well, the turbine assembly would be able to continue rotating upwards of 90% of the speed of the torque converter. As there was an imbalance in operational conditions, energy was lost.

For a standard torque converter, such equipment comprises an impeller, stator, turbine, and clutch plate. All of these parts work together in a fluid-filled housing, and each component plays a specific role. The impeller or pump is a component that is attached to the engine crankshaft, spinning alongside it. During rotation, the blades will catch fluids, directing them towards the outside of the impeller with centrifugal force. As speed increases, so too does the force that is produced. The turbine, meanwhile, utilizes its turbine blades to funnel fluids into the center of the turbine so that it may move across the stator and impeller. As the process continues in a circular motion, the output shaft of the turbine shaft will serve as the input shaft for the rest of the transmission system.

Without the stator, any generated torque would not be able to be converted. As a device that is situated between the turbine and impeller, the stator takes fluid from the turbine and manages the fluid flow rate of the system. Due to the angling of the blade assembly, the fluids will begin to flow back at a slower rate, thus increasing the amount of torque. The clutch is the final component of the torque converter, and a direction clutch plate will lock the turbine and impeller together at certain speeds or RPM values to maintain a balance of speed between the turbine and impeller.

At Aerospace Buying, we can help you get competitive pricing on Drive Plate Torque Converter, Impeller Torque Converter, Hydraulic Torque Converter, Housing Torque Converter, and Sleeve Torque Converter parts that come from leading global manufacturers that we trust. Take the time to explore our offerings as you see fit, and our team of industry experts are always readily available 24/7x365 to assist in the purchasing process as necessary. If there are particular items that you wish to procure, fill out and submit an Instant RFQ form as provided on our website and a dedicated account manager will reach out to you in just 15 minutes or less.


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