ZF showcases new commercial vehicle drivetrain technology

Updated Apr 10, 2013

ZF has debuted a clutch with new torsional vibration dampers for Class 8 trucks designed to compensate for stronger torsional vibrations as they occur
in energy-efficient drivelines.

According to ZF, the NGD (“New Generation Damper”) clutch is produced at
the new ZF location in Gainesville, Ga with a product range that includes clutches, dual-mass flywheels and clutch actuation systems. ZF premiered the new products at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Ky.

According to ZF, the remarkable feature of the NGD clutch concept is its powerful torsional vibration damping. ZF says its use is particularly efficient if Class 8 trucks are equipped with today’s economical engines, which at low engine speeds can produce stronger torsional vibrations, damaging the driveline in the long run.

The clutch, with a 15.5 inch diameter features ZF’s dynamic torsional damper technology. ZF engineers say it prevents engine-induced rotational irregularities which are transmitted via the
clutch to the driveline. These torsional vibrations can cause a higher noise and vibration level in the vehicle and damage the driveline. Many commercial vehicle engines, however, produce
higher torsional vibrations in the low speed range – a side effect of fuel-efficient engine design. The NGD technology from ZF has the main function of decoupling these vibrations. This technology
finally leads to higher driving comfort, improved energy efficiency and reduced maintenance cost, according to the company.

ZF notes that it supplies clutches both with manual wear compensation and self-adjusting “Twin XTend NGD” – the latter with a clutch pressure plate that automatically compensates for wear on the
clutch plates. As is the case with all ZF clutches, the NGD series is produced using superior materials and state-of-the-art design. According to the company, one of the major benefits of the NGD series is that the damper spring seats are more robust allowing for greater durability. ZF says its 17-inch clutches and the ConAct (concentric pneumatic actuator) are important components for clutch-by-wire systems or for automatic commercial vehicle transmissions. The pneumatics disengage the clutch, or complete gear changes are fully automated with minimal clutch wear, thereby helping the driver.