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and

Machine Theory

Mechanism and Machine Theory 39 (2004) 921–942

www.elsevier.com/locate/mechmt

toroidal traction drives

G. Carbone *, L. Mangialardi, G. Mantriota

Dipartimento di Ingegneria Meccanica e Gestionale, Politecnico di Bari, V.le Japigia 182, 70126 Bari, Italy

Received 5 May 2003; received in revised form 21 January 2004; accepted 10 April 2004

Abstract

The eﬃciency of two diﬀerent typologies of the toroidal traction drive, the full-toroidal and the half-

toroidal, is estimated in order to point out which of them oﬀers the higher mechanical eﬃciency. A fully

ﬂooded isothermal contact model between the discs and rollers, based on the results of EHL theory, is used

to evaluate the slip, the spin losses and the mechanical performances of the variators. It is shown that the

half-toroidal traction drive oﬀers higher eﬃciency and higher maximum transmissible torque.

Ó 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction

The request for a higher energy eﬃciency and CO2 reduction has pushed several researchers to

ﬁnd new technical solutions to improve the emission performance of nowadays IC engine vehicles.

While waiting for new and renewable forms of energy to become eﬀective and cost reasonable,

new solutions have to be found: among diﬀerent and several technical solutions, new drive train

systems are being investigated to accomplish this purpose. The continuously variable transmission

(CVT) represents one of the most promising solution since it is able to provide an inﬁnite number

of gear ratios between two ﬁnite limits, and, thus, to allow the IC engine to operate closer to its

optimal eﬃciency line.

Several studies have shown that it is possible to improve the fuel savings and to reduce the

vehicle emissions by adopting this kind of transmission [1,2]. It has been shown, for instance, that

when the transmission is optimally controlled the mid class vehicles equipped with the CVT and

*

Corresponding author. Tel.: +39-080-596-2746; fax: +39-080-596-2777.

E-mail addresses: carbone@poliba.it (G. Carbone), lmm@poliba.it (L. Mangialardi), mantriota@poliba.it (G.

Mantriota).

0094-114X/$ - see front matter Ó 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

doi:10.1016/j.mechmachtheory.2004.04.003

922 G. Carbone et al. / Mechanism and Machine Theory 39 (2004) 921–942

IVT variators may achieve less fuel consumption (about 10% for CVT and 6% for IVT) and

higher comfort in the urban traﬃc [3]. Moreover applications of CVTs to wind power systems

have been proposed, and some papers [4–6] have shown that a signiﬁcant increase of the energy

production may be attained. The metal pushing V-belt and the metal chain CVTs are able to

achieve these results, but they have some drawbacks as the strict dependence of the shifting speed

on the clamping forces acting on the moving pulley sheaves [7–9], and the smaller torque capacity

when compared to toroidal traction drives.

The robotized gearbox may be a diﬀerent solution, since it combines the economy of a well-

driven manual transmission with the easy to use of a conventional automatic transmission, and

get the further advantage to retain the simplicity and the economies of scale of an established

manual design. But, in this case, some problems regarding the shift quality arise: the torque

interruption becomes intrusive because the driver is not able to predict or anticipate the gear shift.

For these reasons more promising solutions have to be found, and the toroidal traction drives

may be one of these. They are being extensively investigated because of their high torque capacity,

that makes them suitable for application in larger engine cars and even trucks. The most attractive

typologies are the full-toroidal [10,11] and the half-toroidal traction drives [12–14]. The main

components of these transmissions are the input and output discs, designed to create a toroidal

cavity (see Fig. 1), coupled with an appropriate number of rollers. The high torque capacity of

these transmissions is obtained by coupling together in a series scheme two or more single units

[15–17]. Moreover the particular geometry of the toroidal traction drive makes it able to rapidly

adjust its speed ratio to the request of the driver, thus improving the driving comfort [18–21].

Between the roller and the discs no metal–metal contact occurs, the torque is transmitted by

means of the shearing action of a special oil referred to as traction oil. The lubrication regime of

such a system is the hard EHL with pressures up to 3 GPa. The high pressures lead to a much

higher oil viscosity (several order of magnitude) than in the normal hydrodynamic regime, thus

enabling the transmission of high torque despite the very small area of contact.

In the technical literature many works can be found concerned with the design, fatigue life, and

thermal stresses of the half-toroidal CVT [22–26], but not many contributions compare the full-

(a) (b)

Fig. 1. The traction drive CVTs: (a) half-toroidal; (b) full toroidal.

G. Carbone et al. / Mechanism and Machine Theory 39 (2004) 921–942 923

Table 1

CVT geometric data

Half toroidal CVT: Full toroidal CVT

Cavity radius r0 ¼ 40 mm Cavity radius r0 ¼ 40 mm

Roller curvature r22 ¼ 32 mm Roller curvature r22 ¼ 26:4 mm

Half cone-angle h ¼ p=3 Half cone-angle h ¼ p=2

Aspect ratio k ¼ e=r0 ¼ 0:625 Aspect ratio k ¼ e=r0 ¼ 0:25

Speed ratio range s ¼ 0:5–2:0 Speed ratio range s ¼ 0:5–2:0

toroidal and half-toroidal traction drives as regards the mechanical eﬃciency and their traction

capabilities. Only few papers provide some experimental results on their eﬃciency [27–29].

The main scope of this work is to propose a theoretical model of the variators, based on the

results of EHL lubrication theory, that is able to estimate the traction capability and the

mechanical eﬃciency of these two diﬀerent CVT typologies, and to point out which of them oﬀers

the higher mechanical eﬃciency. The analysis is limited to the simple variator as it is, made up of

the input discs, the rollers, the support bearings and the output discs. The two variator are

supposed to have the same cavity radius and the same radial size, the latter condition requires

diﬀerent values of the aspect ratio k ¼ e=r0 as reported in Table 1. The principal advantage of the

proposed method with respect to other similar methodologies [30,31] consists of three points: the

model is independent of the speciﬁc traction drive under consideration, the formulation presented

does not require the determination of the traction curve by experiments performed on the given

traction drive with the speciﬁc traction oil. The model is also able to take into account the

inﬂuence of the spin motion on the mechanical eﬃciency and the traction performance of the

variator. The main drawback is related to the large number of equations to deal with, that makes

the overall computation time-consuming.

Fig. 1 shows the main geometrical features of the toroidal variators. During the steady state

operation of the CVT the swing center of the roller coincides with the cavity center O, and its axis

of rotation is tilted of c. The tilting angle c (positive if clockwise directed) controls the distance r1

and r3 of the contact points A and B from the main axis of the variator, and, consequently,

controls the ideal speed ratio srID ¼ r3 =r1 . In the same Fig. 1, r12 ¼ r23 ¼ r0 represent radius of the

toroidal cavity, that is also one of the two principal radii of curvature of the input and output

discs. The quantity r11 is the second principal radius of curvature of the input disc, whereas r33 is

the second principal radius of curvature of the output disc. Moreover r2 and r22 are the two

principal radii of curvature of the roller with r22 < r12 . The quantity e is the distance of the

toroidal cavity from the disc axes, it is related to the aspect ratio k ¼ e=r0 of the toroidal traction

drive. Moreover in a half-toroidal CVT, the half cone-angle h of the roller is about 50–70°,

whereas in a full-toroidal CVT the cone angle is 90°. All the remaining geometrical parameters are

reported in Table 1.

924 G. Carbone et al. / Mechanism and Machine Theory 39 (2004) 921–942

In this subsection the kinematics of the toroidal traction drives is analyzed during the steady

state operation of the variator. Consider the roller and the discs as rigid bodies and assume no-slip

at points A and B (see Fig. 2). Under these conditions, the motion of the roller relative to the input

disc is a spherical rigid motion, of which the instantaneous axis of rotation can be easily deter-

mined as the straight-line through the points of null relative velocity A and X (the point X is the

intersection of the roller absolute axis of rotation and the input-disc absolute axis of rotation).

Similar arguments hold when studying the relative velocity ﬁeld between the roller and the output-

disc, in this case the instantaneous axis of rotation of the relative motion is the straight-line BX.

Let x1 , x2 and x3 be, respectively, the absolute angular velocities of the input disc, of the roller

and that of the output disc. The angular velocity of the roller relative to the input disc is,

therefore, x21 ¼ x2 x1 , whereas that one relative to the output disc is x23 ¼ x2 x3 . Figs. 2

and 3 show these two relative velocities of rotation x21 and x23 both for the half-toroidal and full-

toroidal CVTs. It is clearly shown that, since the point of intersection H (see Fig. 2) of the two

tangents to the toroidal cavity at points A and B does not always coincides with the point X, both

the relative angular velocities x21 and x23 have non-zero spin vector components x21spin and

x23spin , respectively. Moreover, the ratio ðx21spin Þin =jx21 j ¼ ðx23spin Þout =jx23 j ¼ sin a, assumes its

maximum value for srID ¼ r3 =r1 ¼ 1, since the distance between the points H and X is maximum

for this value of the ideal speed ratio. Furthermore, Fig. 2 shows that, for the half-toroidal CVT,

two points exist at which H and X coincide and the spin motion vanishes.

Diﬀerent considerations have to be done for the full-toroidal traction drive. This time, Fig. 3

shows that the point H goes to inﬁnity, thus the spin motion never vanishes, and, because of the

bigger angle a, it is always bigger than in the case of the half-toroidal CVT. Once again, the worst

situation occurs for srID ¼ 1, when (see Fig. 3) the modulus of the spin vector components x21spin

and x23spin equals the modulus of absolute angular velocity of the output and input discs,

respectively.

What happens when slip occurs, namely when torque is transmitted, is only slightly diﬀerent

from the above written scenario since the slip is always very small and, hence, the axes of rotation

(a) (b)

Fig. 2. The half toroidal CVT: spin motion and rolling motion of the roller depicted for no-slip conditions; (a) speed

ratio equal to 1; (b) no spin condition (speed ratio diﬀers from the unit value).

G. Carbone et al. / Mechanism and Machine Theory 39 (2004) 921–942 925

(a) (b)

Fig. 3. The full-toroidal traction drive: (a) speed ratio equal to 1; (b) same speed ratio as in (Fig. 2(b)) but the spin is

always diﬀerent from zero.

of the roller relative to the discs would result only slightly tilted relatively to those depicted in the

Figs. 2 and 3. Now consider the contact area between the roller and the discs. In this region the

elastic deformations of the bodies have a large inﬂuence on the relative velocity motion, and this

one can no more be classiﬁed as a rigid motion. The region of contact is an elliptical area centered

at the point of contact. The ellipse principal axes, (see Fig. 4) lay on the y-axis (the major) and on

the x-axis (rolling direction, the minor). In order to calculate the shear strain of the lubricant we

need to ﬁnd an explicit formulation of the relative velocity ﬁeld in the contact region. Observe that,

over the contact area the bodies cannot penetrate each other, thus the relative velocity, because of

the elastic deformations, do not have any component normal to the area of contact. Hence,

assuming a negligible tangential deformation of the elastic bodies, the velocity of the roller points

relative to the input and output discs, respectively, can be written, in the region of contact, as:

v21 ¼ v21A þ x21spin ^ ðPin AÞ ð1Þ

v23 ¼ v23B þ x23spin ^ ðPout BÞ ð2Þ

Pin and Pout are points of the roller, while the velocity vectors v21A and v23B stand for the relative

velocity between roller and discs at the center points A and B of the contact areas. Since we are

considering only steady-state behavior v21A and v23B do not have components along the y-axes, yin

and yout (see Fig. 4), but only along the x-axes. The previous Eqs. (1) and (2) show that the relative

motion between the roller and the discs in the contact region, can be split into a pure translation,

given by the vectors v21A and v23B , and a pure spin motion about the z-axes.

When studying the toroidal traction drives, it is useful to deﬁne the input and output slip

coeﬃcients, usually referred to as creep coeﬃcients Crin and Crout :

jx1 jr1 jx2 jr2 jx2 jr2 jx3 jr3

Crin ¼ ; Crout ¼ ð3Þ

jx1 jr1 jx2 jr2

926 G. Carbone et al. / Mechanism and Machine Theory 39 (2004) 921–942

Fig. 4. The reference frames used at the input and output points of contact.

A small amount of creep must be always present to allow the transmission of torque. Besides the

creep coeﬃcients deﬁned above, it is useful, for the next calculations, to introduce the following

dimensionless geometric quantities (remember that r12 ¼ r23 ¼ r0 , see also Fig. 1):

r1

~r1 ¼ ¼ 1 þ k cosðh þ cÞ

r0

r3 ð4Þ

~r3 ¼ ¼ 1 þ k cosðh cÞ

r0

By means of the creep coeﬃcients and considering that srID ¼ ~r3 =~r1 it is possible to write the actual

speed ratio sr ¼ jx3 j=jx1 j as:

1 þ k cosðh þ cÞ

sr ¼ ð1 Crin Þð1 Crout Þ ¼ ð1 Crin Þð1 Crout ÞsrID ð5Þ

1 þ k cosðh cÞ

and also deﬁne the speed eﬃciency mspeed of the variator as the ratio sr =srID :

sr

mspeed ¼ ¼ 1 Cr ð6Þ

srID

where 1 Cr ¼ ð1 Crin Þð1 Crout Þ stands for the global sliding coeﬃcient between the output

disc and input one. In a similar way, it is also possible to write the spin ratios as a function of the

creep coeﬃcients:

1 þ k cosðh þ cÞ

r21 ¼ sinðh þ cÞ ð1 Crin Þ ð7Þ

tan h

1 1 þ k cosðh cÞ

r23 ¼ sinðh cÞ ð8Þ

1 Crout tan h

G. Carbone et al. / Mechanism and Machine Theory 39 (2004) 921–942 927

1.1

(σ 21)no-slip

1

0.9

0.8

0.7

0.6

0.5 Full Toroidal

Half Toroidal

0.4

0.3

0.2

0.1

0

Fig. 5. The spin-ratios as a function of the ideal speed ratio srID , for no-slip conditions (traction drive data in Table 1).

The above written Eqs. (4)–(8) hold true also for the full toroidal traction drive with h ¼ p=2. As

already discussed before, it is shown that, for the ideal case of no-slip, the worst condition as

regards the magnitude of the spin occurs for c ¼ 0, that is to say for srID ¼ 1. In fact, replacing

both Crin and Crout by zero, Eqs. (7) and (8) become:

cos c ð1 þ kÞ cos h

ðr21 Þno-slip ¼ ¼ ðr23 Þno-slip ð9Þ

sin h

Equation (9) shows that the two spin ratios r21 and r23 assume their maximum value when

cos c ¼ 1, i.e. c ¼ 0. Observe that if cos h < ð1 þ kÞ1 two diﬀerent values of the tilting angle c also

exist at which the spin ratios vanish, as pointed out in Section 2.2 (see also Fig. 2).

For full toroidal CVT replacing h by p=2 in Eq. (9) we obtain ðr21FT Þno-slip ¼ ðr23FT Þno-slip ¼ cos c

which is always bigger than the spin ratios of an half-toroidal CVT. Fig. 5 shows, for no-slip

conditions, the spin-ratios as a function of the ideal speed ratio srID . The CVT geometrical

characteristics are reported in Table 1, where the radii of curvature r22 have been chosen in order

to obtain the same maximum shear stress in both CVTs (see also Section 4.1). As before predicted

the spin ratio of the full-toroidal CVT is about ﬁve times higher than that of the half-toroidal one.

The presence of spin motion aﬀects the full-toroidal traction drive more than the half-toroidal

variator. But, on the other hand, the latter is aﬀected by the support bearing losses, since the

normal forces FN acting on the roller, at the points of contact, do not balance out (see Fig. 6).

Therefore, a resulting axial force FR has to be supported by an axial bearing (one for each roller),

that, because of its internal losses, causes a reduction of the CVT mechanical eﬃciency. On the

other hand, the full-toroidal variator is not aﬀected by this problem, since h ¼ p=2, and the

normal forces balance out. But, on the other hand, the full-toroidal CVT is much more aﬀected by

spin losses, thus it is necessary to carry out a comparison in order to single out which typology of

CVT oﬀers the higher mechanical eﬃciency.

928 G. Carbone et al. / Mechanism and Machine Theory 39 (2004) 921–942

Fig. 6. The free body diagram of the discs and roller; FN is the normal force at the point of contact, FR is the resulting

load on the axial bearing, FDin and FDout are the axial clamping forces on the input and output discs, respectively, FTin and

FTout are the traction (tangential) at the input and output points of contact, respectively, Tin and Tout are the input and

output torques, MSin and MSout are the spin momenta at the input and output points of contact, respectively, TBL is the

torque resistance of the axial bearing, n is the number of rollers per each cavity, and m is the number of cavities.

As regards the support bearing losses some studies have been carried out on this aspect of the

HT-traction drives. For example in [25] the authors estimate the spinning losses of the power

roller bearing by means of an elastic–plastic lubricant model, and obtain results in good agree-

ment with the experiments. For our scope we will make use of the empirical relation Eq. (10),

already used in [17], that gives the torque loss as a function of the axial thrust acting on the roller

FR , and that results in agreement with the experimental results reported in [25]. In Eq. (10) the

axial thrust acting on the roller FR is measured in (N) and the torque bearing loss TBL is measured

in (Nm).

TBL ¼ 4:6 105 FR1:03 ð10Þ

Fig. 6 shows the free body diagram of the input and output discs, and that one of the roller. The

support bearing is modelled as a revolute movable joint, that prevents the translatory motion of

the roller along the direction of its axis of rotation. The force balance of the roller gives:

FR ¼ 2FN cos h ð11Þ

and

FTin r2 FTout r2 TBL þ MSin cos h þ MSout cos h ¼ 0 ð12Þ

where FTin and FTout stand for the traction forces at the points of contact, and MSin and MSout are the

corresponding spin momenta.

The equilibrium of the input and output discs, once chosen the number of rollers n and the

number of cavity m, gives:

FDin ¼ nFN sinðh þ cÞ ð13Þ

G. Carbone et al. / Mechanism and Machine Theory 39 (2004) 921–942 929

FDout ¼ nFN sinðh cÞ ð15Þ

Tout =m ¼ nFTout r3 nðMspin Þout sinðh cÞ ð16Þ

where Tin and Tout stand for the input and output torque, and FDin and FDout stand for the axial load

on the input and output discs.

Let us now deﬁne the traction coeﬃcient l as the ratio between the traction tangential force FT

and the normal force FN , at the input and output sides of the variator:

lin ¼ FTin =FN

ð17Þ

lout ¼ FTout =FN

Also the spin momentum coeﬃcients vin and vout can be deﬁned as:

vin ¼ MSin =ðFN r1 Þ

ð18Þ

vout ¼ MSout =ðFN r3 Þ

Together with these coeﬃcient it is useful to deﬁne the following dimensionless quantities:

fDin ¼ FDin =ðnFN Þ; fDout ¼ FDout =ðnFN Þ

fR ¼ FR =FN

ð19Þ

tin ¼ Tin =ðmnFN r1 Þ; tout ¼ Tout =ðmnFN r3 Þ

tBL ¼ TBL =ðFN r0 Þ

With the above mentioned dimensionless quantities, Eqs. (11)–(16) can be rephrased in a

dimensionless form as:

fR ¼ 2 cos h ð20Þ

tBL ¼ ðlin lout Þ sin h þ fvin ½1 þ k cosðh þ cÞ þ vout ½1 þ k cosðh cÞg cos h ð21Þ

fDin ¼ sinðh þ cÞ; fDout ¼ sinðh cÞ ð22Þ

tin ¼ lin þ vin sinðh þ cÞ; tout ¼ lout vout sinðh cÞ ð23Þ

The above deﬁned quantities, enable us to ﬁnd a simple expression of the mechanical eﬃciency of

the variators:

Tout x3 r1 Tout r3 x3 r1 Tout sr r1 Tout

m¼ ¼ ¼ ¼ mspeed ¼ mtorque mspeed

Tin x1 r3 Tin r1 x1 r3 Tin srID r3 Tin

where the torque eﬃciency mtorque has been deﬁned as:

ðTout =r3 Þ tout lout vout sinðh cÞ

mtorque ¼ ¼ ¼ ð24Þ

ðTin =r1 Þ tin lin þ vin sinðh þ cÞ

It represents the ratio between the actual output torque Tout and the output torque that would be

transmitted if the the spin momenta MSin and MSout and the torque loss in the roller bearing TBL

were absent. The overall CVT mechanical eﬃciency can, therefore, be rewritten as:

930 G. Carbone et al. / Mechanism and Machine Theory 39 (2004) 921–942

m ¼ mspeed mtorque ¼ ð1 CrÞ ð25Þ

lin þ vin sinðh þ cÞ

4. Contact model

A fully ﬂooded isothermal contact model between disks and rollers, based on the results of

EHL theory, is adopted to evaluate the slip and spin losses. Because of the severe ﬂuid contact

conditions the Bair and Winer non-Newtonian model is used to describe the rheological behavior

of the ﬂuid. The inﬂuence of the pressure on the limiting shear stress is also taken into account,

and according to Roelands [32], the eﬀect of the pressure on the ﬂuid viscosity is considered too.

The ﬁlm thickness of the traction oil is estimated by means of the Hamrock and Dowson formulas

[32,33], whereas the pressure distribution over the contact area is supposed to obey to the Hertz

law for the dry contact. This last hypothesis is commonly adopted in hard-EHL contacts because

the very high contact pressure results in an almost constant thickness of the oil ﬁlm, except for a

very narrow area near to the outlet region of the contact [34–36].

The model does not account for the inﬂuence of the temperature gradients on the ﬂuid prop-

erties, since there is not an universally accepted technique to calculate this eﬀect. The preferred

methods are based on the ﬂuid ﬂash temperature, but these techniques have been developed for

line contacts, and they are very diﬃcult to validate experimentally since there is no direct way to

measure the ﬂuid temperature. Therefore, it is expected that, for high values of the creep coeﬃ-

cients, the performances of the traction drives will be worse than those calculated by the proposed

model. But, typically, the creep coeﬃcient are limited to 2–3% and the proposed analysis can be

still considered accurate.

The evaluation of the pressure distribution and the calculation of the extension of the contact

region need the knowledge of the equivalent radius of curvature of the contacting surfaces.

Moreover, also the ellipticity parameter e and the complete elliptic integrals of the ﬁrst and second

kinds I1 and I2 need to be known. The equivalent curvature of the contacting surfaces is easy to

calculate since the geometry of the variators is given. Therefore, once deﬁned the dimensionless

radii of curvature as the ratio of the dimensional radius of curvature and the cavity radius r0 , i.e.

~j ¼ qj =r0 and ~r22 ¼ r22 =r0 (the subscript j refers to the generic radius of curvature) the following

q

relations hold true at the input and output points of contact, respectively:

1 r0 1þk 1 r0 1þk

¼ ¼ ; ¼ ¼ ð26Þ

q

~eqX qeqX 1 þ k cosðh þ cÞ q

~eqX qeqX 1 þ k cosðh cÞ

in in out out

1 r0 1 1 r0 1

¼ ¼ 1; ¼ ¼ 1 ð27Þ

q

~eqY qeqY ~r22 q

~eqY qeqY ~r22

in in out out

1 r0 cosðh þ cÞ 1 1 r0 cosðh cÞ 1

¼ ¼ þ ; ¼ ¼ þ ð28Þ

~eqin

q qeqin 1 þ k cosðh þ cÞ ~r22 ~eqout

q qeqout 1 þ k cosðh cÞ ~r22

G. Carbone et al. / Mechanism and Machine Theory 39 (2004) 921–942 931

To evaluate the pressure distribution, the semi-axes aX and aY of the contact ellipse have to be

calculated, the simpliﬁed approach of Hamrock and Brewe [32] is adopted, thus the ellipticity

R p=2 1=2

parameter e ¼ aY =aX , and the elliptic integrals I1 ¼ 0 1 ð1 1=e2 Þ sin2 / d/ and

R p=2 2 2

1=2

I2 ¼ 0 1 ð1 1=e Þ sin / d/ can be estimated as [32]:

e ¼ n2=p ð29Þ

p p

I1 ¼ þ 1 ln n ð30Þ

2 2

p 1

I2 ¼ 1 þ 1 ð31Þ

2 n

where the dimensionless quantity n stands for the ratio between the principal radii of curvature

n¼q qeqX .

~eqY =~

The calculation of the semi-axes aX and aY of the contact ellipse can be done, now, by means of

Eq. (34) where the dimensionless semi-axes ~aX and ~aY , deﬁned in Eq. (33) appear.

The contact length parameter is:

1=3

6FN r0

K¼ ð32Þ

pE0

and the dimensionless semi-axis of the contact ellipse are:

aX aY

aX ¼ ; ~

~ aY ¼ ð33Þ

K K

where the quantity E0 is the eﬀective elastic modulus deﬁned as E0 ¼ E=ð1 m2 Þ, m is the Poisson’s

ratio and E is the modulus of elasticity of both roller and disc. The Hertz formulas give [32]:

!1=3

1=3 I q

~

2 eq

aY ¼ e2 I2 q

~ ~eq ; ~aX ¼ ð34Þ

e

By introducing the dimensionless pressure p~ ¼ pK2 =FN , the dimensionless maximum half-ampli-

tude of the subsurface orthogonal shear stress ~s0 ¼ s0 K2 =FN and the dimensionless co-ordinates

X ¼ x=aX , Y ¼ y=aY the Hertz theory yields:

pﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃ 3 1

p¼~

~ pMax 1 X 2 Y 2 ; ~ pMax ¼ ð35Þ

2 p~

aX ~

aY

ð21 1Þ1=2

~s0 ¼ ~

pMax ð36Þ

21ð1 þ 1Þ

where the auxiliary quantity 1 satisﬁes the following relation:

e2 ð12 1Þð21 1Þ 1 ¼ 0 ð37Þ

Fig. 7 shows that, by means of an appropriate choice of the rollers curvature r22 , it is possible to

obtain, over the whole ratio range, almost the same value of ~s0 ¼ s0 K2 =FN for both variators

investigated in this paper. Observe that this quantity is one of the most important parameter to

evaluate the stress severity as regards the fatigue life of the variator. A good choice consists in

932 G. Carbone et al. / Mechanism and Machine Theory 39 (2004) 921–942

(τ 0 Λ2)/F N

0.4

0.36

0.32

0.28

Half-Toroidal

0.24 Full-Toroidal

0.2

0.5 0.75 1 1.25 1.5 1.75 2

s r ID

Fig. 7. The dimensionless maximum half-amplitude of the subsurface orthogonal shear stress ~s0 ¼ s0 K2 =FN versus the

ideal speed ratio srID for the following dimensionless parameters ~r22HT ¼ r22HT =r0 ¼ 0:8, ~r22FT ¼ r22FT =r0 ¼ 0:66.

making ~s0 exactly the same when the ideal speed ratio is srID ¼ 1. To obtain this result the fol-

lowing values of the dimensionless parameter ~r22 ¼ r22 =r0 has been chosen:

~r22HT ¼ r22HT =r0 ¼ 0:8; ~r22FT ¼ r22FT =r0 ¼ 0:66 ð38Þ

In EHL contacts the pressure can rise up to 3 GPa, thus producing very severe lubricant

operative conditions. According to the Roelands model [32] and considering the isothermal

contact hypothesis the following Eq. (39) enables us to estimate the ﬂuid viscosity over the whole

contact region:

" !Z 1 #

g p~

p g0

gÞ ¼ log

logð~ ¼ 1þ 1 log ð39Þ

g0 6R~cp g1

where ~cp ¼ cp =E0 , cp ¼ 1:96 108 Pa, g is the absolutely viscosity at the pressure p, g0 is the

absolute viscosity at the atmospheric pressure for the given temperature, g1 ¼ 6:31 105 Pa s,

the dimensionless constant Z1 is the viscosity-pressure index and the new dimensionless load

parameter is:

0 2 1=3

r0 pE r0

R¼ ¼ ð40Þ

K 6FN

The non linear behaviour of the traction oil is described in Eq. (41) according to the normal rule

used in the plasticity theory to split the shear strain along the diﬀerent directions:

ovi ovj sij

þ ¼ Cðse Þ ð41Þ

oxj oxi se

G. Carbone et al. / Mechanism and Machine Theory 39 (2004) 921–942 933

In the above written Eq. (41) the equivalent stress se has been deﬁned as:

qﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃ

se ¼ ðsij sij Þ=2 ð42Þ

The function Cðse Þ is representative of the non-linear behavior of the oil. One of the most

commonly used explicit representation of this function is the one by Bair and Winer [32]:

sL 1

Cðse Þ ¼ ln ð43Þ

g 1 se =sL

The quantity sL is the limiting shear stress of the lubricant and is normally evaluated, for a certain

value of the oil temperature, by means of the following Eq. (44):

sL ¼ sL0 þ ap ð44Þ

where sL0 is the limiting shear stress at the atmospheric pressure [32].

Observe that, on that part of the contact region where signiﬁcant shear stresses are involved, the

ﬁlm thickness of the lubricant could be considered almost constant, thus the following relation

hold true at the input and output side of the variator, respectively, (h is the oil ﬁlm thickness):

v21X ovx s21X v21Y ovy s21Y

¼ ¼ Cðse Þ; ¼ ¼ Cðse Þ ð45Þ

h oz se h oz se

v23X ovx s23X v23Y ovy s23Y

¼ ¼ Cðse Þ; ¼ ¼ Cðse Þ ð46Þ

h oz se h oz se

From the above written Eqs. (45) and (46) and from the Bair and Winer model (see Eq. (43)) it is

possible to obtain an explicit formulation for the shear stress acting on the rollers at the input

contact area:

6 v21X gjv j

21 6 v21Y gjv j

21

~s21X ¼ R~sL 1 e hsL ; ~s21Y ¼ R~sL 1 e hsL ð47Þ

p jv21 j p jv21 j

and at the output contact region:

6 v23X gjv j

hs23 6 v23Y gjv j

hs23

~s23X ¼ R~sL 1e L ; ~s23Y ¼ R~sL 1e L ð48Þ

p jv23 j p jv23 j

where ~s21X ¼ s21X K2 =FN , ~s21Y ¼ s21Y K2 =FN , ~s23X ¼ s23X K2 =FN , ~s23Y ¼ s23Y K2 =FN and

sL sL0 p p p~

~sL ¼ ¼ 0 þ a 0 ¼ ~sL0 þ a ð49Þ

E0 E E 6R

It is possible to rephrase Eqs. (47) and (48) in terms of the following dimensionless parameters:

v21X r21 a

~Y v21Y r21 ~

aX

¼ Crin Y; ¼ X;

jx1 jr1 R ~r1 jx1 jr1 R ~r1

0 !2 !2 11=2 ð50Þ

jv21 j r21 ~

aY r21 ~

aX

¼ @ Crin Y þ X A

jx1 jr1 R ~r1 R ~r1

934 G. Carbone et al. / Mechanism and Machine Theory 39 (2004) 921–942

~Y v23Y r23 ~aX

¼ Y; ¼ X;

jx3 jr3 1 Crout R ~r3 jx3 jr3 R ~r3

0 !2 !2 11=2 ð51Þ

jv23 j Crout r23 ~aY r23 ~aX

¼@ þ Y þ X A

jx3 jr3 1 Crout R ~r3 R ~r3

21 j 23 j

Whereas, as regards, the quantities gjv hsL

and gjv

hsL

, that appear in Eqs. (47) and (48), the following

relations hold true:

0 !2 !2 11=2

gjv21 j g

~ r21 ~

aY r21 ~aX

¼ ~ 1 ð1 þ kÞ@ Crin

x Y þ X A ð52Þ

hsL Hin~sL R ~r1 R ~r1

0 !2

gjv23 j g

~ Cr r ~

a

~ 1 ð1 þ kÞð1 Crin Þð1 Crout ÞsrID @

out 23 Y

¼ x þ Y

hsL Hout~sL 1 Crout R ~r3

!2 11=2

r23 a

~X

þ X A ð53Þ

R ~r3

g x1

~1 ¼ 0 0

x ð54Þ

E

This quantity takes into account the eﬀect of the rotating speed of the input disc on the variator

behaviour. Hin ¼ h=qeqX in is the dimensionless thickness of the oil ﬁlm at the input contact zone, it

can be evaluated by means of the hard EH lubrication formulas [32,33], where the above deﬁned

dimensionless parameters are used:

h i0:67 0:134

Hin ¼ 2:81 ð1 þ kÞð1 0:5Crin Þx~1 ~f0:53 R0:201 q~eqX 1 0:61 e0:73ein ð55Þ

in

In Eq. (55) the dimensionless pressure–viscosity coeﬃcient ~f of the oil has been deﬁned as (see

[32]):

~f ¼ fE0 ¼ Z1 ln g0 ð56Þ

~cp g1

As regards the dimensionless oil ﬁlm Hout at the output contact, it can be calculated by means of

the relation:

Hout 2 Crout 1 0:61 e0:73eout

¼ ð1 Crin Þ0:67 s0:536

rID ð57Þ

Hin 2 Crin 1 0:61 e0:73ein

Equation (57) shows that, since the creep coeﬃcients in a normal operative condition are suﬃ-

ciently small and the last term in Eq. (57), related to the ellipticity parameters ein and eout , is very

close to the unity, the ratio Hout =Hin can be evaluated by means of the simpler well approximate

relation

G. Carbone et al. / Mechanism and Machine Theory 39 (2004) 921–942 935

Hout

¼ s0:536

rID ð58Þ

Hin

that Eq. (58) shows that the oil ﬁlm thickness at the input and output points of contact,

respectively, may diﬀer signiﬁcantly, especially at the extreme values of the speed ratio.

The contact model described in Section 4, enable us to ﬁnd an integral relation that allows for

the calculation of the traction coeﬃcients lin and lout and the spin momentum coeﬃcients vin and

vout , as reported in Eqs. (59) and (60).

Z 1 Z 2p

lin ¼ ~

aXin ~

aYin dR ~s21X R dw

0 0

Z 1 Z 2p ð59Þ

lout ¼ ~

aXout ~aYout dR ~s23X R dw

0 0

Z Z 2p

~ aYin 1

aXin ~

vin ¼ dR aXin ~s21Y cos w ~aYin ~s21X sin w R2 dw

~

R~r1 0 0

Z 1 Z 2p ð60Þ

~

aXout ~

aYout

vout ¼ dR aXout ~s23Y cos w ~aYout ~s23X sin w R2 dw

~

R~r3 0 0

X ¼ R cos w

; 0 6 R 6 1; 0 6 w 6 2p ð61Þ

Y ¼ R sin w

5. Results

Since the scope of the paper is to compare the half-toroidal and the full-toroidal traction drives,

it is necessary to specify which quantities will be kept constant during the calculations. These are

the ideal speed ratio srID , and the normal force FN at the points of contact, whereas the geometrical

quantities are reported in Table 1, and the ﬂuid properties in Table 2. Fig. 8 shows the eﬃciency m

of the two variators as a function of the input dimensionless torque tin , for srID ¼ 1, and R ¼ 24.

This last parameter corresponds, for the given geometry to a maximum pressure value close to

2.2–2.3 GPa. Moreover, the angular velocity of the input disc has been chosen equal to

jx1 j ¼ 2000 [RPM], that corresponds to a dimensionless value x ~ 1 ¼ 2:95 1012 . As shown in

Fig. 8 the better eﬃciency of both variators is reached in the region of high tin . Moreover, the

eﬃciency of the full toroidal traction drive is smaller of about 4–5% points, compared to that of

the half-toroidal variator over the whole range of tin values. The reason of this diﬀerence is caused,

in the region of low tin , mostly by the worse torque eﬃciency of the full-toroidal variator (see Fig.

9). In fact, Fig. 10 shows that, because of the torque loss in the roller bearing and the larger

contact area (the radius of curvature ~r22 is bigger than in full-toroidal variator), the half-toroidal

936 G. Carbone et al. / Mechanism and Machine Theory 39 (2004) 921–942

Table 2

The ﬂuid properties

Fluid properties:

T ¼ 99 °C

Absolute viscosity at the atmospheric pressure g0 ¼ 3:25 103 Pa s

Viscosity–pressure index Z1 ¼ 0:85

Pressure–viscosity coeﬃcient f ¼ 1:71 108 Pa1

Limiting shear stress at atmospheric pressure sL0 ¼ 0:02 109 Pa

Limiting shear stress constant a ¼ 0:085

Pole pressure constant of Roelands viscosity model cp ¼ 1:96 108 Pa

Pole viscosity of Roekands viscosity model g1 ¼ 6:31 105 Pa s

ν 1

0.95

0.9

s r ID =1

0.85

ℜ = 24

0.8 Half-Toroidal

Full-Toroidal

0.7

0 0.01 0.02 0.03 0.04 0.05 0.06 0.07 0.08 0.09 0.1

t in

Fig. 8. The eﬃciency of the variators as a function of the input traction coeﬃcient tin .

1

ν torque

0.95

0.9

s r ID =1

0.85

ℜ = 24

0.8 Half-Toroidal

Full-Toroidal

0.7

0 0.02 0.04 0.06 0.08 0.1

t in

Fig. 9. The torque eﬃciency of the variotors as a function of the input traction coeﬃcient tin .

G. Carbone et al. / Mechanism and Machine Theory 39 (2004) 921–942 937

0.003

χ in

0.0025

s r ID =1

0.002

ℜ = 24

2000 [RPM]

0.0015

0.001 Half-Toroidal

Full-Toroidal

0.0005

0

0 0.02 0.04 0.06 0.08 0.1

t in

Fig. 10. The spin momentum of the variators as a function of the input traction coeﬃcient tin .

traction drive is more eﬀected by the spin momentum. But, because of its very small spin velocity

(see Fig. 5), the energy losses due to spin are less important than in the full-toroidal traction drive.

Fig. 9 shows that also for mid and high tin values the eﬃciency of full-toroidal CVT is smaller

than that of the half-toroidal traction drive, this is due mostly to the worse speed eﬃciency of the

full-toroidal variator as shown in Fig. 11. In fact, the large values of the spin motion, that aﬀect

the full-toroidal CVT, cause the global sliding coeﬃcient Cr to increase very fast as the requested

torque tout increases (see Fig. 12), thus causing larger power losses.

Regarding the inﬂuence of the dimensionless parameter R, Figs. 13 and 14 show how it aﬀects

the eﬃciency of both CVT variators: the bigger R the higher the mechanical eﬃciency of the

variators. The explanation is simple: the eﬃciency of the variators is largely aﬀected by the spin

losses, that in turn depends on the extension of the elliptical contact area. By reducing the load,

i.e. by incrementing R, the area of contact reduces its extension. This, in turn, causes a reduction

1

ν speed

0.95

0.9

s r ID =1

0.85

ℜ = 24

Half-Toroidal

0.8

Full-Toroidal

2000 [RPM]

0.75

0.7

0 0.02 0.04 0.06 0.08 0.1

t in

Fig. 11. The speed eﬃciency of the variators as a function of the input traction coeﬃcient tin .

938 G. Carbone et al. / Mechanism and Machine Theory 39 (2004) 921–942

0.1

t out

0.09

0.08

0.07

0.06

s r ID =1

0.05

ℜ = 24

0.04

Half-Toroidal

0.03 Full-Toroidal

0.02 2000 [RPM]

0.01

0

0 0.05 0.1 0.15 0.2

Cr

Fig. 12. The traction capabilities of the variators: output traction coeﬃcient tout as a function of the global sliding

coeﬃcient Cr.

ν 1 Half-Toroidal

0.95

0.9 ℜ = 48

ℜ = 42

0.85 ℜ = 36

s r ID =1

0.8 ℜ = 30

2000 [RPM]

0.75

ℜ = 24

ℜ = 18

0.7

0 0.01 0.02 0.03 0.04 0.05 0.06 0.07 0.08 0.09 0.1

t in

Fig. 13. The eﬃciency of the half-toroidal variator as a function of the input traction parameter tin and for diﬀerent

values of the load parameter R.

of the spin momentum, and therefore of the energy dissipated by the spin motion. Morevoer, since

the spin motion aﬀects the FT variator more than the HF one, it is expected that the full-toroidal

variator be more sensible to the load variations than the half-toroidal CVT, as clearly demon-

strated in Figs. 13 and 14. Therefore, it may happen that for higher values of R the eﬃciency of

the full-toroidal variator overcomes that of the half-toroidal traction drive: see, for example, the

curves plotted for R ¼ 48 in Figs. 13 and 14. But, on the other hand, too big values of R reduce

the traction capability of the variators, i.e the maximum values of tin .

The simulations have shown that the parameter x ~ 1 does not aﬀect appreciably the eﬃciency of

both variators. Moreover, it was shown that the FT traction drive, because of its particular

G. Carbone et al. / Mechanism and Machine Theory 39 (2004) 921–942 939

ν 1 Full-Toroidal

0.95 ℜ = 48

ℜ = 42

0.9

ℜ = 36

0.85

ℜ = 30

0.8 s r ID =1

ℜ = 24

2000 [RPM]

0.75

ℜ = 18

0.7

0 0.01 0.02 0.03 0.04 0.05 0.06 0.07 0.08 0.09 0.1

t in

Fig. 14. The eﬃciency of the full-toroidal variator as a function of the input traction parameter tin and for diﬀerent

values of the load parameter R.

ν 1

Half-Toroidal

0.95

0.9

2000 [RPM]

0.85

ℜ = 24

s r ID =2/3

0.8 s r ID =1

s r ID =1.5

0.75

0.7

0 0.01 0.02 0.03 0.04 0.05 0.06 0.07 0.08 0.09 0.1

t in

Fig. 15. The eﬃciency of the half-toroidal variator as a function of the input traction parameter tin and for diﬀerent

values of the speed ratio srID .

symmetry, is almost insensible to the actual value of ideal speed ratio srID , whereas the HT var-

iator results to be largely aﬀected as shown in Fig. 15.

In conclusion, the analysis carried out, shows that the full-toroidal traction drive is unable to

achieve the same eﬃciency of the HT variator, despite the torque losses in the support bearing

that aﬀect the latter. The main reason of this result is the very high spin motion of the FT variator

that produces high values of energy dissipation. It has been also shown that only two parameters

inﬂuence signiﬁcantly the mechanical eﬃciency of the variators, these are the dimensionless load

parameter R and the dimensionless input torque tin .

940 G. Carbone et al. / Mechanism and Machine Theory 39 (2004) 921–942

6. Conclusions

The paper deals with the mechanical eﬃciency of full and half toroidal traction drives and has

the aim of comparing the performances of these two CVT typologies. A fully ﬂooded isothermal

model of the contact between discs and rollers, based on the results of EHL theory, has been

implemented to evaluate the slip and spin losses. The analysis has shown that by optimizing the

roller geometry of the full toroidal variator, it is possible to reduce its spin momentum below the

value of the half-toroidal variator. But, since the energy dissipation due to the spin losses is

the product of the spin momentum and the spin velocity, the full-toroidal variator always results

to have a smaller eﬃciency because of its much bigger spin velocity. Moreover the full-toroidal

traction drive needs higher values of global creep (smaller speed eﬃciency) to transmit the same

torque of the HT traction drive. This causes an additional heating of the lubricant and a further

reduction of its traction capability and also of the mechanical eﬃciency. Moreover, the

mechanical eﬃciency of the half-toroidal CVT, in comparison to that of the full-toroidal variator,

is less aﬀected by the value of the normal contact forces and often over the threshold of 90% on

the most part of the torque range. The full-toroidal CVT, instead, shows a diﬀerent behavior, its

eﬃciency varies within a bigger range of values, and it is more aﬀected by the normal load at the

contact between the rollers and discs.

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