To aid the application of electro-structured fluid (ESF) devices, a virtual two plate radial clutch is examined in a pre-prototyping exercise to estimate the effect of a radial cooling flow on pre-set torque transmission. A throughflow of ESF will act to keep the fluid temperature under control making such devices more reliable over a wider operating range.
The ESF is treated as a Bingham viscoplastic material and clutch behaviour is investigated under steady state isothermal conditions. The resulting two-dimensional non-Newtonian fluid (NNF) model is solved using a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) package. The results are partially verified using analytical analysis and compared with sparse experimental data. This work is expected to lead to a more complex CFD model for which analytical methods will not be available.
Indications are that, for realistic rates of throughflow, torque transmission should not be overtly affected. Hence the cooling of slipping ESF clutches by throughflow can be contemplated.