Dual-clutch transmissions are popular because they help improve fuel efficiency. A Tier One supplier uses nylon to make integrated control units for its transmissions.
Dual-clutch transmissions are popular because they help improve fuel efficiency. Continental AG (Hannover, Germany) is one of the leading suppliers of the device for automakers such as Audi, BMW, Ford and Volkswagen. It uses plastic to make integrated control units for its transmissions.
Continental’s dual-clutch transmission consists of two separate clutches, each driving specific gears. The main task of the electronic control unit is to ascertain the next gear needed as a function of the driving circumstances so that it can then engage one clutch and disengage the other.
When the gear is being shifted, the next gear is already selected in the not-yet active transmission part before the actual shifting operation. This accounts for smooth gear shifting, without any interruption of the power transmission. The intelligent control unit improves the efficiency of dual-clutch transmissions and cuts fuel consumption to a level that is even lower than manual transmissions.
The transmission control unit is a complex, compact mechatronic compo¬nent that’s installed directly on the transmission and is surrounded by hot transmission oil. Because the device contains numerous sensors and interconnect devices, it has to be chemi¬cally resistant to transmission oil within the temperature range of 40 F to 293 F. It also has to be able to withstand brief peak tem¬peratures up to 338 F without being damaged.
Continental engineers used Ultramid A3WG6, a nylon produced by BASF (Ludwigshafen, Germany) to make the electronic control unit. The material is highly heat-stabilized and oil-resistant.
Dual-Clutch Transmission Relies on Plastic
April 2, 2009