With the advent of automatic transmissions and the implementation of various hydraulic components, cars no longer rely on clutches and gear shifts for their operation. Rather, the automatic transmission system utilizes a hydraulic torque converter, that of which is a fluid coupling that allows for the engine's torque to be transformed and transmitted to the transmission system. As such, hydraulic torque converters allow for smoother operations of vehicles, providing various benefits with their use.
Similar to a gearbox, the vehicle automatic transmission system allows for the shifting of gears to increase and decrease speed during operation. Rather than requiring manual input from the driver, however, hydraulic torque converters provide continuous variation in speed and do not require stopping the engine when either reducing speed or stopping the vehicle. To achieve such functionality, the automatic transmission system relies on a variety of parts that work together alongside the use of hydraulic oil.
As stated beforehand, hydraulic torque converters are a type of fluid coupling, and they allow for the engine to rotate independently from the fluid transmission within a vehicle automatic transmission system. For their operation, the torque converter relies on three elements, those being the impeller, turbine, and stator. The impeller of the automatic transmission system is mechanically driven by the prime mover, while the turbine drives the load. Meanwhile, the stator is placed between the impeller and turbine, affecting the flow of oil that is transferred from the turbine to the impeller.
To move the vehicle, the turbine must be rotated through the use of the impeller. For its medium, oil is typically used due to its incompressibility and reliability. With a pump installed within the torque converter, fluids are launched around the inside to create a vacuum that draws everything to the center towards the turbine. As the oil passes through the turbine blades, the turbine begins to spin. As a result of its connection to the transmission, the turbine causes the transmission to spin in unison which results in the vehicle beginning to move. To ensure optimal operation and rotation of the transmission and turbine, the turbine blades are manufactured with a specific curve that ensures fluids exit in the opposite direction of the turn. This operation is assisted by the stator which directs fluids that are returning from the turbine, ensuring that they do not hit the pump and cause the engine to slow down.
With this operation, the hydraulic torque converter allows for the engine to operate fairly independently from the transmission. With the pressurization of transmission fluids and their subsequent force, gears can be shifted with ease. Due to the heavy use of hydraulic fluids within a vehicle automatic transmission system, it is crucial that all parts function optimally in order to guarantee efficient pressurization. With a loss of oil pressure or functionality, shift transmission gears may not operate correctly. As such, regular maintenance and inspection of the hydraulic torque converter and its related parts is highly recommended to ensure that parts are repaired and replaced as needed.
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