An Experimentally-Validated V-Belt Model for Axial Force and Efficiency in a Continuously Variable Transmission
Messick, Matthew James
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Rubber V-belt Continuously Variable Transmissions (CVT's) are commonplace in the Baja SAE collegiate design competition, and are also used widely in the power sports industry. These transmissions offer benefits of simplicity in mechanical design, consisting of only two pulleys, and are easy to use. While most teams in the competition use commercially available designs, custom designs are becoming more common, and the Baja team at Virginia Tech has used custom CVT's since the 2014 season. The design of these CVT's has relied heavily on trial and error, requiring significant adjustments to be made during the testing phase. In addition, only qualitative information is known for the relationship between efficiency and design parameters, such as sheave angle. The goal of this thesis is to create an improved V-belt model that may be used as a design tool. This model provides quantitative information about efficiency that can be used to make more informed design decisions. The belt model also provides insight into the magnitude and relationship between the axial forces in the pulleys. This can be used to create an initial design that is more accurate, and possibly reduce the time required for tuning. A CVT dynamometer was constructed to validate the analytical results for efficiency, and this will also serve as a tuning tool for future Baja teams at Virginia Tech. This thesis will advance the state of the custom CVT design and testing process at Virginia Tech, and hopefully lead to improved results at competition in the future.
- Masters Theses