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Cars in Context Assignment

Chapter 5 and 6 Summary

Manoj Kannan Soundarapandian



dr. ing. Gijs Mom


7 March 2015

Chapter 5 Summary :
This chapter mainly deals with how the peoples focus turned towards transmission from engine
development and the evolution of various technologies over a period of time among different
countries based on users interest. Though initially engineers showed their research focus on engines
to get better power and torque, users became aware of the transmission function importance through
pedals, lever which made the manufacturing suppliers and manufacturers to show more development
in these parts. Below session shows the brief overview of such developments.

Problem of noise production

Initially it was the problem of irregular cutting of the teeth and the kinds of steel causing tooth failures
of gear wheels which made engineers stick to the belt and the chain for a surprisingly long time. When
production methods were adjusted to the high tech requirements of the car, the difference in quality
of gear wheel improved tremendously thus gear wheel transmission started to become the dominant
design. This solution was found to be the best changeover to overcome the effect of noise production.
Another possible solution was developed by Renault as sliding mesh gearbox transmission. This trend
changed the nature of car as sporty into efficient running machine among users. Gear shifting with
low noise was made into mass production in Ford Model T with compound epicyclic gear train which
was the turning point in the transmission history.

Evolution of CVT
Development of gear steps on both sides of the ocean started to show the divergence of transmissions
technological evolution. American manufacturers did not follow the strategy of increasing the number
of steps instead they liked to keep it short for achieving top speed easily. Whereas European
manufacturers produced high step gear box for giving chance to users to go with more gear ratio. This
shows how the technical developments follow non-linearity with more oscillations. To make the
technological improvement more popular, researchers investigated more alternate options in Europe
which is the result of hydraulic, pneumatic, mechanical and electrical CVTs. This was an example of
Pluto effect where all technologies coexisted and competed with each other. In US during later part
of WW1, freewheeling transmissions became the dominant to reduce the effort required for
transmission handling.

Automatic transmission and the diverging car culture

Though more technological development happened in the early part of the 19th centuries, all of them
not succeeded due to more factors. One of such development is Automatic transmission. Next to
automatic, engine size seemed an expression of this diverging subcultures. In the same time period,
American car manufacturers realized to produce large series, where quality and costs always were in
a tense relationship. Therefore, it took quite a while until independent gearbox suppliers gained a
foothold in the industry.

While Americans desired to have small size engine with high torque and Automatic transmissions for
sporty nature of car, Europeans preferred to have full control of gear step ratio due to cultural
resistance and other factors. Thus it can be inferred that the core of the Pluto effect and its inter
artifactual transfer takes place through the functions not through the properties as the stepped
pattern is recreated through electronic control algorithms while the stepless internal properties of the
CVT remains in place.

Chapter 6 Summary :
From an evolutionary perspective, the automobile emerged by getting rid of human and animal
traction. Since the properties of the chassis seems to be simple, the engineers glad to borrow most of
the basics from two earlier road vehicles with animal traction. Below session gives an overview of how
technological evolution played its historical role in the car development.

Steering development
The steering principle development acts as an example of technological non-linearity. Ackermann
principle which was found to be the pioneer in the steering system, was developed in the early 18th
centuries where the outer wheel was forced to turn less than the inner wheel using additional special
rods. Later so many reinvention has happened with more complexity to increase its efficiency but later
on, the basics was found to be the practical feasible solution with simple mechanism in dynamic aspect
too. Benz stability enhancing principle of tilting the upper end of the wheel fork to the rear, was
applied to heavier cars and further modification of replacing the iron wheel tires with solid rubber
versions were found to be a cross over innovation in the automobile field. Also rack and pinion steering
which become the standard for future might influenced more developments but not known fully.

Problems faced with steering gears

One of the biggest challenge of the steering gear design development was to afford a sensitive transfer
of manual effort at and from the steering wheel and an insensitive transfer of road shocks in the
reverse direction. The solution was the self-braking property of worm and nut transmissions. Using
this transmissions, so many evolutionary extension of the steering box family evolved in another
direction in 1930s. Though more such emerging improvements perhaps evolved for quite few years ,
later on it was realised that rack and pinion steering combined the functions of the steering reduction
and steering rod which is the preferred options of many users. This was an perfect example of
convergence of properties and the general trend analysis. Few such developments were aimed to
increase the comfort of steering heavy passenger cars but rack and pinion overtaken all with its unique
high precision.

Dynamic behaviour and steering error

The change of tire knowledge towards more scientific approach happened along different paths. One
of the first such trajectory was Dunlop claims where they published the importance of tire as part of
the suspension system in 1924. Later many car manufacturers and government research institute
started investigating the tire skidding effect particular during cornering. This led to the consideration
of the friction coefficient of the road with the tire in the development process and provided a dynamic
condition in the Ackermann steering diagram from earlier static condition. Also side slip angle term
was coined with two important concepts : over steering and understeering according to different
wheel conditions. After 1950s, these insights in the steering characteristics became standardized.
Further realization of the importance of the geometry of transmission system between steered and
steering wheels led to toe-in and out concepts.

This chapter showed how technological developments varied non-linearly with returns to earlier
solutions of rack and pinion and the gradual process of scientification which was the inter connection
of engineering skills with sophisticated knowledge of the cars dynamics behaviour.