Ikona Develops CVT Clutch and Differential
April 27, 2006—Ikona Gear developed a frictionless continuously cariable transmission (CVT) clutch for use in the automotive industry. In addition,the company developed a frictionless CVT differential. Both technologies offer significant energy savings in automotive and industrial applications relating to existing clutch, torque converter and differential applications. The company has filed two provisional patents for the CVT Clutch technology and the frictionless CVT differential, which was developed jointly by John Colbourne and Vladimir Scekic.
According to the companys press release, the Ikona CVT Clutch can replace the friction-based clutch systems in manual transmissions and, when applied to hybrid-enabled vehicles, can replace the torque converter normally attached to an automatic transmission that can change the "gear ratio" to any arbitrary setting within designed limitation.
The Ikona CVT differential is a frictionless, limited slip/locking differential which recuperates energy normally lost to heat in traditional slip units. A conventional differential allows different rotation speeds of the driving wheels. Therefore, if one wheel loses adhersion when hitting an icy patch, it will start to race and the torque will decrease to zero. The Ikona differential maintains some torque applied to the non-slipping wheel and if the sliping wheel does not rotate too quickly, the non-slipping wheel continues to rotate in the forward direction and vehicle motion is maintained. Ultimately, the new differential can be applied to steering systems with electronic controls.