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The purpose of this project is to develop a computational solution to the effects of certain variables present inside an automatic transmission, more specifically, the friction clutch system that enables and disables different gear-sets. Afton partnered with the School of Engineering looking for a time-sensitive, computational solution to serve as a valuable comparison to what exists at Afton’s disposal currently. The solution is a finite element analysis (FEA) simulation that transforms a real world device with many nuances and intricacies into a simplified model in a two dimensional test space. The challenge exists in keeping the simplified model accurate to the real world system. With this in mind, a solution has been made that generates consistent results that match the theory behind fluid mechanics principles. With a working simulation made, certain variables such as plate structure and rotational speed have been able to be tested to show their effect on the amount of torque generated by an actual clutch system. This solution validates the decision of Afton to choose a simple alternative to conducting their own tests if they wish to do so.

Publication Date



Finite-Element, Transmission, Torque, Efficiency


Engineering | Mechanical Engineering | Nuclear Engineering

Faculty Advisor/Mentor

Hooman V. Tafreshi

VCU Capstone Design Expo Posters


© The Author(s)

Date of Submission

May 2018

Finite Element Analysis of a Friction Clutch System in an Automatic Transmission