Cavitation in torque converters may cause degradation in hydrodynamic performance, severe noise, or even blade damage. Researches have highlighted that the stator is most susceptible to the occurrence of cavitation due to the combination of high flow velocities and high incidence angles. The objective of this study is to therefore investigate the effects of cavitation on hydrodynamic performance as well as the influence of stator blade geometry on cavitation. A steady-state homogeneous computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model was developed and validated against test data. It was found that cavitation brought severe capacity constant degradation under low-speed ratio (SR) operating conditions and vanished in high-speed ratio operating conditions. A design of experiments (DOE) study was performed to investigate the influence of stator design variables on cavitation over various operating conditions, and it was found that stator blade geometry had a significant effect on cavitation behavior. The results show that stator blade count and leaning angle are important variables in terms of capacity constant loss, torque ratio (TR) variance, and duration of cavitation. Large leaning angles are recommended due to their ability to increase the cavitation number in torque converters over a wide range of SRs, leading to less stall capacity loss as well as a shorter duration of cavitation. A reduced stator blade count is also suggested due to a reduced TR loss and capacity loss at stall.

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