Williams, D., Guevremont, J., and Perry, J., "Fluid Effects on Shifting Clutch Friction," SAE Technical Paper 2016-01-2206, 2016, doi:10.4271/2016-01-2206.
Good shift quality in automatic transmissions is important for fuel efficiency, driver comfort, and performance. Maintaining this performance over the life of the vehicle is also important. Typically lubricant development focuses on reducing viscosity and friction in order to reduce parasitic losses. In an automatic transmission other factors are also important for good performance, primarily due to the shifting clutches and the torque converter clutch. A high level of friction is desirable for torque capacity and a steady decrease in friction as sliding speed (rpm) decreases is necessary for both good shift feel and good friction system durability over the lifetime of the vehicle. Changes in the friction system over time that result in a lowering of the friction level, particularly at higher sliding speeds, compromise the performance of both types of clutches. In this paper, an experimental shifting clutch durability study demonstrates the impact of changes in friction materials on the mu-v curve and how small changes in a fluid can control these changes.