Freewheel Gearbox


Development of a mechanical CVT transmission with geared-neutral function

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Stepped drives in off-highway applications are increasingly being replaced by continuously variable transmissions in order to achieve efficient operation of the combustion engine by decoupling the speed of the internal combustion engine from that of the output. Compared to hydraulic or electric units, mechanical continuously variable transmissions enable high efficiency over a wider operating range. However, the transmission ratio range of established designs of these transmissions does not permit stepless starting, so that additional starting elements are necessary in vehicle applications.


Research objectives

The aim of the research project was the development of a mechanical continuously variable transmission which, in contrast to established mechanical concepts, does not require an additional starting element. The power transmission is realized via high-frequency switching freewheels and thus without conversion of the energy form.

  • Development of the basic functional principle
  • Kinematic design and optimization of the basic principle
  • Design and manufacture of a demonstrator
  • Proof of function and validation of the efficiency advantages through test bench trials

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Research and project partners


Promoted by

Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Action ZIM Logo
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Project sponsor