|This electronic brochure highlights our
capabilities and activities in the area of Automatic Transmission Fluids Testing.
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additional information, e-mail
Matt Jackson, Southwest
Automatic Transmission Fluids Testing
The automatic transmission fluids (ATFs) used in today's cars
are highly specialized products largely responsible for the shift quality and mechanical
durability of automatic transmissions.
ATFs function as gear and bearing surface lubricants, power
transmission media, hydraulic control fluids, and heat transfer media. With so much
required of ATFs, the need for comprehensive fluid quality testing is critical.
Qualification testing involves approximately 20 specialized procedures, including chemical
benchwork, oxidation resistance, friction durability, simulated vehicular cycle, and
in-car performance testing.
The sprag clutch over-running wear test (SCOWT)
apparatus evaluates the lubricant properties of various fluids by determining weight loss
on specific sprag elements.
Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) has been the leading
independent test facility for ATFs and other hydraulic power transfer fluids since the
1950s. The SwRI Fuels and Luricants Research Division conducts
qualification tests for General Motors DEXRONŽ-III, Ford MERCONŽ and MERCONŽ V, Allison
C-4, TES-295, and CaterpillarŽ TO-4 fluids. SwRI is also actively involved in test development for
the next generation for service fill ATFs of GM and Ford vehicles. The Institute's
involvement in automatic transmission fluids is not limited to evaluation, but also
includes development of new test procedures.
Friction durability tests, run to vehicle manufacturer
test procedures on SAE No. 2 friction test machines, establish friction characteristics
and fluid durability after repeated cycling and continual operation.
SwRI provides an independent, unbiased site where auto
manufacturers and additive companies can share information beneficial to both.
Vehicle performance evaluations are conducted on
SwRI's on-site track to determine the effects of fluid properties on automatic
transmission shift characteristics.
A 300-hour test, run on an electric motor-driven
Hydra-Matic 4L60-E automatic transmission, is used to determine oxidation resistance,
thermal stability, and corrosion protection characteristics of fluids.
This brochure was published in November 1999. For more information
about automatic transmission fluids testing, contact
Matt Jackson, Manager,
Phone (210) 522-6981, Fuels and Lubricants Research Division,
Southwest Research Institute, P.O. Drawer 28510, San Antonio, Texas
Fuels and Lubricants Research Division