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The engineering technology for automotive systems is currently edging toward improving fuel economy. Transmission is one of the major parts to determine overall energy efficiency. The goal of this paper is to investigate the feasibility of a new clutch actuator in order to increase power transmitting efficiency. The new clutch actuator has self-energizing mechanism to amplify the normal force applied on the contact surfaces for the engagement. It allows the clutch module to consume less amount of energy for actuating the overall system. The equations of motion of the clutch mechanism coupled with a dc motor are represented to capture the essential dynamics. By using the proposed model, a model-based position-tracking controller is developed for the engagement of the clutch. Also, passivity analysis of the actuator system is performed to prevent the clutch from being stuck. Finally, the self-energizing effect and torque transmissibility of the proposed system and motion controller are validated experimentally.
Date of Publication: Oct. 2011