American Axle: Predicting Thermal Behavior of a Wet Clutch System Using a 1D/3D Coupling Approach

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Siemens Visionary

The information below was gathered from the 2018 Simcenter Conference - Americas that took place October 15-17 in Detroit, Michigan.


Author: Alexy Kolesnikov, Manager CFD, and Thermal Analytical Engineer

Keith Honkala, CAE Technical Manager


American Axle & Manufacturing is a leading global tier 1automotive supplier of driveline, metal forming, powertrain and casting technologies and systems. Among various design aspects of these products, clear understanding, accurate characterization and optimization of component lubrication and thermal behavior are of fundamental importance.  Performance optimization plays a large role in overall product development, simulations are performed within an integrated CAE platform environment, combining CFD, FEA as well as various multicomponent simulation and optimization tools. The physics of simulated processes is inherently multiphase and involves transient thermal phenomena of various time scales. As such, high fidelity simulation resolution places significant demands on hardware performance, external computing resource availability as well as flexible and streamlined data handling and post-processing.  This presentation outlines coupled 1D/3Dsimulation approach used to address the thermal behavior of a wet clutch system during engagement/disengagement cycles. A 3D Thermal transient VOF CHT model is used to predict oil distribution and thermal behavior during a single cycle. A 1D Thermal Amesim model is then generated and its resolution is optimized and benchmarked using the results and heat transfer characteristics provided by the 3D model. 1D model is then used to predict the thermal behavior of the system under multiple cycle conditions. Results are validated against the experiment. Hardware on-demand scalability is highlighted as a crucial result delivery tool.