Experimental Investigation of Steady and Unsteady Flow Field Downstream of an Automotive Torque Converter Turbine and Inside the Stator: Part I—Flow at Exit of Turbine

[+] Author and Article Information
B. V. Marathe, B. Lakshminarayana

The Pennsylvania State University, Department of Aerospace Engineering, University Park, PA 16802

D. G. Maddock

GM Powertrain Group, General Motors Corporation, Ypsilanti, MI 48198

J. Turbomach 119(3), 624-633 (Jul 01, 1997) (10 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2841168 History: Received February 04, 1995; Online January 29, 2008


The objective of this investigation is to understand the steady and the unsteady flow field at the exit of an automotive torque converter turbine and inside the stator with a view toward improving its performance. The measurements were conducted in a stationary frame of reference using a high-frequency response five-hole probe, and the data were processed to derive the flow properties in the relative (turbine) frame of reference. The experimental data were processed in the frequency domain by spectrum analysis and in the temporal-spatial domain by ensemble averaging technique. The flow properties (e.g., pressure and velocity) were resolved into mean, periodic, aperiodic, and unresolved components. A velocity profile similar to that of a fully developed flow was observed at all radii. The periodic data in relative reference frame revealed a small separation zone near the suction surface in the core region. The rms values of the unresolved component were found to be significantly higher in this region. The secondary flow vectors show underturning, radially inward flow in the entire passage with a small region of overturning near the separation zone. The overall flow at the turbine exit was nearly two dimensional in nature except in the zone of flow separation. The unsteady flow data show that unresolved and aperiodic components dominate the unsteadiness in the pressure, whereas the periodic components dominate the unsteadiness in velocities and flow angles. Pressure and velocity fluctuations were moderate, whereas the flow angle fluctuations were found to be high. The overall flow at the exit of turbine was found to be highly unsteady.

Copyright © 1997 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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