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Powertrain Development Sensors

Accelerometers, Microphones, Torque Sensors, Pressure Sensors, Force Sensors, and Instrumentation

Powertrain - the group of components that generate power to propel a vehicle on land, sea, or air including engine, transmission, driveshaft, differential, drive wheel, track, and propeller. Powertrain development is a key requirement in successfully competing in today’s transportation market of cars, trucks, motorcycles, off-highway vehicles, ATVs, and watercraft. Historically, powertrain development has been about increasing the power-to-weight ratio of the combustion engine to increase vehicle performance but in the last few decades this development activity has been focused more on balancing the need for power and torque of the vehicle with legislative emission requirements and the public desire for increased fuel efficiency and vehicle refinement. This balancing act has led to new powertrain technologies including:

Vehicle Systems

  • Series gas/diesel/electric hybrid
  • Parallel gas/diesel/electric hybrid
  • Electric propulsion

Diesel Engines

  • Modular injection
  • Low pressure Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR)
  • Electronic Valve Control (EVC)
  • Spark ignition
  • Fuel derivatives (ultra low sulfur diesel, biofuel, synthetic)

Transmission / Driveline

  • Continuous Variable Transmission (CVT)
  • Multi-gear automatic transmissions (8+ gears)
  • Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT)
  • Regenerative braking

Gas Engines

  • Cylinder deactivation
  • Direct injection
  • 2 stroke
  • Fuel derivatives (ethanol, natural gas, hydrogen)

The increasing economic pressure to reduce manufacturing costs while satisfying public and legislative requirements have led to powertrain designs that involve higher internal pressures, are subject to greater instantaneous forces, have increased electronic signatures, and are more complex in their design and mechanical operation. These factors provide a significant challenge for the test and development community in measuring the vibration, pressure, torque and force of powertrain components. PCB® understands these challenges and offers solutions. PCB® Series 339A triaxial accelerometers are ideal for measuring vibration in powertrain testing applications. Housed in a 10mm titanium cube, these hermetically sealed sensors offer standard high temperature capability and a low temperature coefficient that is a prerequisite in the powertrain test environment. With a temperature coefficient of less than 0.0125% / °F (0.02% / °C), these sensors provide precision amplitude data for powertrain tests where engine block surface temperatures can shift more than 250 °F during a single test. In addition, these sensors come standard with a built in filter to alleviate signal saturation commonly associated with crystal resonance excited by the high frequency metal-to-metal impacts in engines. PCB® TORKDISC® In-line Rotary Torque Sensor System offers a simple solution to measuring powertrain torque where axial space is at a premium. With an overall thickness of 1 to 2 inches (25.4 to 50.8 mm), PCB® Series 5300D incorporates dual high level analog outputs, AC and DC coupled, providing both static and dynamic torque measurement capability that can be recorded separately and independently scaled; which is particularly beneficial when high DC levels are present or when low levels of AC content (rotational dynamics) is of particular interest. In addition to the unique performance attributes of the Series 339A and TORKDISC® sensors, PCB® offers a complete solution to your testing requirements including pressure, force, sound, electronics, and cabling. PCB® sensors have been successfully used in powertrain development activities such as:

  • Performance improvement
  • Emissions development and certification
  • Fuel economy
  • Gear efficiency
  • EGR system development
  • Variable valve timing calibration
  • Ignition system calibration
  • Charge distribution
  • Vehicle calibration on test bed
  • Design of Experiments (DoE) calibration
  • Combustion system (diesel and gasoline)
  • Exhaust valve leakage evaluation

  • Turbo system development
  • Crankcase pumping development
  • Valvetrain evaluation
  • Oil carry over
  • Friction studies
  • Cold start stability and emissions
  • Thermal and lubrication survey
  • Hybrid calibration
  • Diesel after-treatment development and calibration
  • Powertrain NVH
  • Cooler fouling evaluations

 

PCB® products are designed and manufactured in our state-of-the-art facilities, and together with our global distribution network and Total Customer Satisfaction guarantee, you can rely on us to deliver products and solutions for your demanding requirements.