Ikona says that the frictionless clutch can either replace a standard clutch mounted to a manual transmission or the torque converter on a hybrid. They make no mention of replacing torque converters on standard gas-powered automatics, but perhaps that's only to stress the energy-saving possibilities of their new technology.
Other than defining a continuously variable transmission as "an automatic transmission that can change the 'gear ratio' to any arbitrary setting within designed limitations," the press release doesn't discuss the underlying technology, nor I wasn't able to find any additional information. Now, a clutch essentially does two things. The first is to control the desired amount of slip (which can almost be thought of as continuously variable gearing) in which it acts much like a CVT. The second, however, I have yet to wrap my head around - how do they achieve complete disengagement?
As for energy savings, beyond stating that the frictionless technology allows for the recuperation of energy normally lost to heat, Ikona doesn't speculate just how much energy can potentially be saved overall. You can bet we're eager to hear forthcoming estimates and more about the technology in general.
You can read the entire press release after the jump...
[Source: Ikona Gear International]
Ikona to Revolutionize the Transmission Industry With Two Major Technological Breakthroughs
Company Files Two New Provisional Patents Pertaining to Technology Breakthrough
COQUITLAM, BC -- (MARKET WIRE) -- October 23, 2006 -- Ikona Gear International, Inc. (OTCBB: IKGI) ("Ikona"), an innovator in compact, lightweight, gearing systems solutions, announced today it has developed a frictionless continuously variable transmission clutch (CVT Clutch) initially for use in the automotive industry. In addition, the company has developed a frictionless CVT Differential. Both of these technologies offer significant energy savings in automotive and industrial applications relative to existing clutch, torque converter, and differential applications. The company has filed two new provisional patents for the CVT Clutch technology and the frictionless CVT Differential, which were developed collaboratively by Ikona's John Colbourne, Ph.D. and Vladimir Scekic. P.Eng.
The Ikona CVT Clutch, enabled by the company's patented gearing system, can replace the friction based clutch system in manual transmissions and also, when applied with hybrid-enabled vehicles, can replace the torque converter normally attached to an automatic transmission. A CVT is an automatic transmission that can change the "gear ratio" to any arbitrary setting within designed limitations.
The Ikona CVT Differential is a frictionless, limited slip/locking differential which recuperates energy normally lost to heat in traditional limited slip units. A conventional differential allows different rotation speeds of the driving wheels; therefore if one wheel loses adhesion when it hits 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 slipping wheel does not rotate too quickly, the non-slipping wheel continues to rotate in the forward direction and the vehicle motion is maintained. Ultimately the new differential can be applied to steering systems with electronic controls.
"We believe these technologies represent a new and significant opportunity for Ikona and for the transmission industry," said Ikona CEO and President Laith Nosh. "We have presented the new technologies to our business and technology partners and have already received significant interest. The automotive industry's current focus is on efficiency, economy and the environment, and we are confident our new technologies will assist them in addressing these important issues as they will provide significant energy savings and added value when used in hybrid-enabled vehicles."
About Ikona Gear International, Inc.
Ikona Gear is a knowledge-based company focused on the design and manufacture of innovative and patented solutions for gearing and power transmission applications, a $100 billion market. The Ikona gear system is better, stronger, more precise and generally superior to standard gearing systems. The company's unique, patented technology is ideally suited for deep ratio, weight and size constrained applications where often it is the only solution. The Ikona gear technology is the only technology that enables internal gear-sets with only one tooth difference, resulting in a much higher meshing of gears, and significantly higher gear ratios -- very important factors, especially in plastic gearing solutions. Ikona trades on the Over the Counter market under the symbol "IKGI" and on the Frankfurt Exchange under the symbol "IG2." For more information on Ikona, please visit www.ikona.ca/.
Safe Harbor Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995:
This news release contains forward-looking information within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, including statements that include the words "believes," "expects," "anticipate" or similar expressions. Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the company to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. In addition, description of anyone's past success, either financial or strategic, is no guarantee of future success. This news release speaks as of the date first set forth above and the company assumes no responsibility to update the information included herein for events occurring after the date hereof.
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Ikona Gear International