Table of contents:
- Picture gallery
- What distinguishes a clutch brake
- User meeting mechatronic drive technology
- More detailed knowledge thanks to simulation
- About the simulation of variants for optimal construction
- In exchange with the designers
- Simulation replaces countless tests
- Only one prototype needed
- The advantages of simulation
Video: Simulations Solve Complex Drive Technology Calculations
2023 Author: Hannah Pearcy | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-26 11:39
Simulation technologies have long since found their place in simple applications. In development and construction technology, however, simulations can now also be used to calculate very complex models. Geometries of multi-part bodies with partly different material properties are combined with flow calculations (for oil, gasoline, water or air flows) and calculated under a wide variety of environmental conditions
A discipline that requires expertise but at the same time can also provide enormous support in construction. Using the example of a rear axle clutch brake in the commercial vehicle sector, the engineering firm Merkle & Partner from Heidenheim shows the possibilities that simulation technologies already offer. The engineering office has been carrying out simulations for development services, in prototyping and testing for years. Merkle & Partner recently also used simulation technologies in the development phase of a rear axle clutch brake in the commercial vehicle sector - with exceptionally good results.
What distinguishes a clutch brake
A clutch brake should be developed that is used to decelerate in the rear axle. Clutch brakes are exposed to the most adverse conditions: they can absorb high forces, are long-lasting and are operated via a closed, oil-cooled system.
The kinetic energy is converted into heat via friction. In short, a clutch brake is similar in structure and function to a multi-plate clutch, which is also supposed to align shafts rotating at different speeds. The efficiency of the brake and the cooling by the oil therefore largely determine the geometry of the plates themselves.
User meeting mechatronic drive technology
The focus of the user meeting mechatronic drive technology is on the mechanical components of gears, clutches and brakes as well as their design, dimensioning and interaction in the overall mechatronic system.
More detailed knowledge thanks to simulation
Simulation calculations can be used in all stages of brake development and testing. The simulation achieves particularly high benefits in product development. Using the example of the clutch brake, the constructed model was transferred to the simulation software and set up by the engineers at Merkle & Partner.
“Just like simple simulations, complex simulations offer details and insights that are difficult or partially impossible to recognize through testing. The experience of the engineer is always decisive for a targeted simulation. It is about building the calculation in such a way that the computing effort remains economical, but important details can still be recognized,”says Christian Mielke, development engineer and project manager at Merkle & Partner. For the simulation, the geometries of the lamellas as well as the effective oil supply were decisive.
About the simulation of variants for optimal construction
The great advantage of simulation is the testing of different parameters under real conditions, which can be specified virtually. For example, in the present project it was quite easy to examine different oil temperatures to see whether the brake works both in continuous operation at a temperature around 90 ° C and, for example, when starting cold on a winter morning in Norway at -20 ° C. In addition, these tests could be carried out relatively easily with different lamella geometries in order to probe the optimal construction.
How simulation improves product development
In exchange with the designers
During the virtual optimization, the calculation engineers from Merkle & Partner are in constant contact with the designers and developers and provide important information that can help the designer. In this way, every geometrical change is implemented in a targeted and efficient manner that takes into account not only the mechanical aspects, but the whole of the system.
This procedure means enormous relief for the construction work and is very much appreciated by the customers of Merkle & Partner; it is an essential part of the established development process.
Simulation replaces countless tests
The most efficient oil supply was also tested under a wide variety of environmental conditions. The biggest challenge is how to set up the geometries of the fins so that the oil can be distributed evenly everywhere. The oil supply must be optimized, as must the discharge. Since the oil has the important task of dissipating the heat generated by the friction, many factors have to work together to find the best solution.
“ Usually, you use countless tests for such processes. Different geometries are installed and then tested under real conditions. The results are compared to find the best possible solution,”says Christian Mielke. Not only are material resources used up, but also time. And the ultimate solution is usually not the optimal one.
Simulation in the middle class
Getting started with simulation: hurdles and how to overcome them
Only one prototype needed
“We have enlarged the geometries for the supply lines for the clutch brake. The simulations show us what often goes undetected in the experiments. The customer himself would probably only have come up with the solution that we presented to him after a lot of tests,”says Mielke. The work between the simulation experts and the customer's development department took about 3 to 4 months, with the pure man work taking about two months.
The customer only had to assemble the prototype once. Usually this has to be done several times and consumes enormous costs and development time. The prototype, which was optimized through simulations, was also subjected to some tests. The work of test engineers is by no means rendered obsolete by simulations, it is simply simplified.
The advantages of simulation
Simulations save costs and time, which are difficult to quantify in advance. It is also a fixed law that the cost of fixing a bug increases the later it is found in a project.
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