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Viscous Coupling

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Mechanical Features and Designs

See also: Differential

Viscous coupling is a type of differential that supplies the same amount of torque to each of the wheels of a vehicle.

Differentials are used on all modern cars and trucks, including AWD and 4WD vehicles. Differentials serve the purpose of enabling the wheels of a vehicle to spin at speeds conducive to turning and changing directions. This usually requires that the wheels on the outside of a turn must spin at a faster speed and travel a further distance to keep up with the inner wheels and to accomplish the turn successfully. The differential is a device consisting of grinding meshes that enable this. It also provides torque or power from the engine to the wheels.[1]

Used in AWD vehicles, viscous couples connect the rear wheels to the front and in the event that one set stops working, torque is transferred to the other set. Viscous coupling is beneficial in that it actively controls the amount of equal torque that is received by both sets of wheels. However, it is not as effective in the event of turning, as it does not transmit torque when one of the wheels is experiencing a slip. The coupling consists of plates filled with black liquid and is connected to the output shaft. The plates spin and act as a control in situations when a set of wheels attempts to spin faster than the other. Torque is also transferred to the slower wheels to get both sets up to equal speed.[2]

In the event of turning or changing, viscous coupling has little effect, leaving the transmitted torque do most of the work in pushing the wheels at separate distances.

Other types of differentials include: limited slip differential, Torsen differential, open differential, and locking differential.

[edit] References

  1. Around the Corner. Internet Archive. 2008-09-30.
  2. Differential. Howstuffworks.com. 2008-09-30.