The volumetric defocusing particle tracking velocimetry (DPTV) approach is applied to measure the flow in the sub-millimeter gap between the disks of a radially grooved open wet clutch. It is shown that DPTV is capable of determining the in-plane velocities with a spatial resolution of 12μm
along the optical axis, which is sufficient to capture the complex and small flow structures in the miniature clutch grooves. A Couette-like velocity profile is identified at sufficient distance from the grooves. Moreover, the evaluation of the volumetric flow information in the rotor-fixed frame of reference uncovers a vortical structure inside the groove, which resembles a cavity roller. This vortex is found to extend well into the gap, such that the gap flow is displaced towards the smooth stator wall. Hence, the wall shear stress at the stator significantly increases in the groove region by up to 15%
as compared to the ideal linear velocity profile. Midway between the grooves, the wall shear stress is around 4%
lower than the linear reference. Furthermore, significant amounts of positive radial fluxes are identified inside the groove of the rotor; their counterpart are negative fluxes in the smooth part of the gap. ... mehrThe interaction of the roller in the groove and the resulting manipulation of the velocity profile has a strong impact on the wall shear stress and therefore on the drag torque production. In summary, this DPTV study demonstrates the applicability of such particle imaging approaches to achieve new insights into physical mechanisms of sub-millimeter gap flow scenarios in technical applications. These results help to bring the design- and performance-optimization processes of such devices to a new level.