Definition of Clutch | Types & Main parts of Clutch | Working Principle

What is Clutch?

The Clutch is an important element of power-train. It helps the engine to become engaged in the transmission and un-engaged as well. It works silently.Types of clutch

To control the vehicles’ speed and torque a gearbox is needed in an automobile. But when we shift the gear, it may be in running position or the engine may busy with the gear and thus results in wear and tear problem. So if a clutch is placed between the engine and the gear then the problem can be solved.

What are the main parts of Clutch?

Main parts of clutch

The basic parts of clutch are divided into three, known as-

  1. Driving members:



Flywheel is the member that remains connected with the crankshaft and bolted with a cover. The cover contains- pressure plate which is also known as driving disc, pressure springs and realizing levers.Since the flywheel is joined with the cover, this complete assembly rotates continuously.When the clutch operation occurs heat produced due to friction. The clutch housing and the cover has an open slot that to dissipate the heat.

  1. Driven members:It has a disc or plate that also known as the clutch plate.Since the clutch is free it slides lengthwise on the shaft’s splines.The clutch carries the friction materials of the surfaces. The plate is also called a friction plate.When the flywheel and the pressure plate clasped the clutch plate between them then the plate helps to rotate the clutch shaft through splines.
  1. Operating members: To secure proper operation of the clutch the operating members have a foot pedal, linkage, release lever and springs. It actually connects the driver to the assembly.

How does Clutch works?

How does clutch works

The mechanical device clutch main work is to push the power from one side of an engine to another. It follows the principle of friction. To connect two moving shafts clutches are used. In other words, we can say that when we bring two revolving friction surfaces such as clutch plate and flywheel together, they get pressed then due to friction force they start to rotate. A clutch helps them to rotate securely in same the speed and thus the whole system gets functionality.

If we notice the friction force then we can see that the surfaces’ force actually depends on their occupied area, the pressure and the materials of the friction.

In an automobile because of the reciprocating movement, the piston of the engine produces energy. This energy transferred through the clutch to the wheels, then to the gears and finally towards the shaft. This transmission happens when the clutch is engaged. Again, when we push the pedal, the clutch gets disengaged and helps to disconnect the engine and the transmission. Thus a driver can shift gears. Here, one thing we have to remember that if the clutch is disengaged in case of the vehicle will not move.

So, a clutch actually allows us to control the power transmission from the engine towards the wheels. The clutch takes care of the engine while moves and stops a vehicle.

Properties of good Clutching

  1. The clutch must have less wear and tear characteristics.
  2. More endurance
  3. It Should have top resistance property
  4. Friction characteristics should be stable
  5. More coefficient of friction
  6. It should have good binders

Types of clutch

According to transmitting torque Types of clutch

Positive clutch: Dog and spline clutch is positive clutch. Dog clutch is connected with two shafts together which has gear and shaft in separate parts. Dog clutch contains external teeth and another one has internal teeth. When this clutch get connected with each another they transmit power with losing any rotating speed. These types of clutch is most commonly used in manual transmission.
Friction clutch: Friction clutches creates friction between two disc when clutches contact with each other and a friction force works in these two parts. Driver clutch transmit the rotating force to driven clutch through the friction force. The more torque is transmitted by the new clutch than old clutch.

According to control method Types of clutch

Automatic clutch: This clutch is used in Hybrid vehicles. These clutch are automatically controlled with advanced mechanism. Automatic transmission box used these automatic clutch for their transmission.

Manual clutch: Manual clutch operated manually. Drivers control the clutch when needs for shifting the gear. Manual clutches are used in motorcycle  and small types of vehicles. Hydraulic or Electrical mechanism operates these clutch.

According to basic and most commonly used clutch

  1. Single plate clutch: One clutch or disc is used to transmit power between two shafts.
  2. Multi plate clutch: Two or more clutches is used to transmit power between two shafts.
  3. Hydraulic clutch: A pump and turbine is used to transmit power between two shafts. Pump operates driver shaft another is turbine which is connected to the output shafts.
  4. Electromagnetic clutch: Armature and electromagnet is used to transmit power between two shafts. Current is applied to the electromagnet thus it produce magnetic field and two part is get connected. This is how two shafts transmit power between them.
  5. Centrifugal clutch: These clutches are automatic clutch which connected automatically using the centrifugal force.
  6. Cone clutch: Cone clutch consisting two parts one of them is male and another one is female. Male drum is setup with the engine and female drum is setup with the spline shaft. When these two drums get connected in resulting they transmit power between two shafts.

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