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Research on wear processes in automotive powertrains

Wear and friction are permanent phenomena in technical systems. Often these processes have an negative influence of the system behaviour. The three main wear processes are identified as abrasive, adhesive and errosive wear.

Wear processes change the topological structure of components in contact. The results of wear depend on the pysical properties of compoments and the movement parameters as velocity and normal force.

Normally one will try to reduce the results of wear and friction by a appropriate system design, by grinding and polishing of surfaces and by lubrication.
In other cases like in clutch or synchronisation systems of shifting transmissions friction is intended for operation.

Wear can cause changes in system parameters which make the use of automatic control strategies difficult. Even total system failure might be a result of wear.

That is the reason why investigations on wear processes belong to the current research topics. Long term measurements cycles at the test bench of the Chair of Electronic Measurement and Diagnosic Technology should lead to good wear models. Reliable life-time-prognosis and techniques to robustify nonlinear control strategies are the goal of the research activities. 

The development of a remaining lifetime prediction shall be achieved by the results obtained from experiments. Furthermore, the robustness of the control structure shall be increased. The research objective is the integration of the wear models in the transmission control to reduce future wear and to guarantee a required lifetime.

Evaluation of measurement techniques

In preparation of the wear measurements cycles a validation of different measurement techniques will be done.

Possible measurement strategies are persecuted:

Online measurements

The measurement of temperatures and their distributions in the clutch and synchronization system is done by wireless sensor nodes. The sensor nodes need a reliable wireless power supply. 

Offline measurements

The evaluation of changes of the surface topography is performed by imaging methods (for example, confocal or 3D profile laser). Determining the wear of the friction linings can be achieved by measuring the weight reduction with precision scales.



The frictional behaviour is described by the friction coefficient. By measured shaft torques and normal force the friction coefficient can be estimated.

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