Title: Characterisation of a carbon/carbon multi-plate clutch for a high energy, race car application

Authors: Ranvir S. Kalare; Peter C. Brooks; David C. Barton

Addresses: School of Mechanical Engineering, The University of Leeds, Woodhouse Lane, Leeds, LS2 9JT, UK ' School of Mechanical Engineering, The University of Leeds, Woodhouse Lane, Leeds, LS2 9JT, UK ' School of Mechanical Engineering, The University of Leeds, Woodhouse Lane, Leeds, LS2 9JT, UK

Abstract: The torque output of a carbon/carbon multi-plate Formula One clutch during race starts has proved to be both unstable and inconsistent. A specially designed single clutch-plate interface dynamometer (SCID) showed the formation of narrow (~2 mm), high-temperature (1300-1650°C) hot bands during tests replicating race start conditions, suggesting that less than 15% of the full friction surface areas were in contact. A thermomechanically coupled finite element analysis (TCFEA) was developed to simulate the thermomechanical behaviour of the clutch plates during SCID testing. With allowance for wear, the TCFEA closely replicated the SCID results. Both the SCID and TCFEA demonstrated no radial movement of the hot bands during single engagements indicating that torque instability is due to surface morphology effects alone. The hot band migration observed between successive SCID engagements indicated that torque inconsistency is due to both surface morphology and hot band migration effects.

Keywords: carbon-carbon clutch; Formula One; F1; multi-plate clutch; torque instability; torque inconsistency; surface morphology; hot banding; hot band migration; thermoelastic instabilities; TEI; friction radius migration; racing cars; race start conditions; FEA; finite element analysis; thermomechanical behaviour; clutch plates; wear.

DOI: 10.1504/IJVP.2016.078560

International Journal of Vehicle Performance, 2016 Vol.2 No.3, pp.275 - 301

Received: 02 Feb 2016
Accepted: 25 Apr 2016

Published online: 17 Aug 2016 *

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