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The Torque Converter: From Combustion to Rotating Power Drive

In every vehicle, there is always the need to transfer the load that is provided by the engine to a driven power to move the vehicle forward. Because the engine is the primary power source in a vehicle, the power that it generates is tantamount to the ability of the vehicle to move, especially if carrying a heavy load. On the other hand, the power that an engine produces can only mean so much, but if there is no way to transfer that power into a sort of driving motion, then that power remains useless. This is where a torque converter is very important.

The Torque Converter
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What Is a Torque Converter?

A torque converter represents a form of fluid coupling that transfers the rotating power generated by the engine into a form of rotating driven load. Here, two things need to be clarified, particularly in the concept of rotating power:

  • The rotating power of the engine is stationary. This means that the engine will not move by itself. Hence, its motion is only for the purpose of generating power.
  • The rotating power of the driven load is different from that of the engine. While the former generates power, the latter does not. However, while the engine does not cause itself to be in motion, the rotating power of the driven load does, causing the entire assembly - the vehicle, the engines, and the load to move as a single unit.

In view of this, an important consideration therefore is to make sure that the torque converter on a vehicle is efficient to the point of being flawless. This is very important because the amount of load that a vehicle can carry, the distance that it can go, and other on-road performances, like climbing ascending roads, negotiating bends, etc., are determined by it.

In the field of land transportation, a torque converter is commonly used in trucks and vehicles that operate on an automatic transmission system. This is because the torque converter replaces the clutch system on a vehicle.

Possible Damages to the Torque Converter

The following are the common damages that can befall a torque converter:

  • Overheating is the most common problem. This is due to prolonged operation or as a result of the leakage of fluid to cool down the converter.
  • Blade deformation or fragmentation. This is another common problem to the torque converter that usually happens due to excessive loading especially on automatic transmission vehicle. When this happens, the blade of the converter becomes deformed and may even break up into fragments. As a result, the torque becomes inefficient and may even lead to the complete destruction of the converter.

Companies That Produce Torque Converters

There have been many companies that used to produce torque converter systems in the past. However, due to the upgrade in the production, technologies used as well as in the applications, many such companies soon faded. Today, the top producers of torque converters for automobiles are Allison Transmission, BorgWarner, Subaru, Twin Disc, and LuK.

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