Clonk: an onomatopoeic response in torsional impact of automotive drivelines

2009-06-09T11:25:26Z (GMT) by M.T. Menday Homer Rahnejat M. Ebrahimi
Vehicular driveline is a lightly damped non-linear dynamic system that is prone to noise and vibration response when subjected to excitation. There are many sources of excitation such as torsional impact caused by the take-up of backlash in the powertrain system. Such sources of excitation exist in transmission backlash, in driveline splines and in pinion-ring gear contact in the differential. Abrupt application or release of the throttle in slow moving traffic or rapid engagement of the clutch can be followed by an onomatopoeic response of the driveshafts, referred to in the industry as clonk. This is a disagreeable, audible and tactile response in some vehicles and can also coincide with every cycle of low-frequency longitudinal vehicle response, commonly referred to as shuffle or shunt. This paper describes the phenomenon of clonk and investigates its occurrence both by an experimental technique and by detailed modal analysis of driveshaft pieces. It is shown that finite element predictions agree well with the experimental findings and that the high-frequency structural modes can lead to discernible radiated noise. The preliminary findings reported here point to a need for a more detailed elasto-acoustic analysis.