What is Clutch? Its Types, Application & Working
Clutch! Even if you haven’t driven any vehicle in your life, you still must have heard this word. The best part is that this component is essential to all vehicles. Be it cars, bikes, scooters, big trucks, or even a bicycle, all of them have a clutch as a common component. So, despite having known this word for so long, do you know what it exactly is? How does a clutch work and what is the application of clutch? Are there several types of clutch?
In this article, we will try to solve and answer all of these questions. So, get ready for a long, tumbling ride!
What is a Clutch?
Let’s start with the most basic question, what is a clutch? In layman’s terms, a clutch is an important bond between internal combustion and transmission to the movement of the wheels. It is a device that either engages or shuts down the transmission of power. It basically connects the disconnected shafts like driveshaft or lineshaft.
When in need, the said clutch makes use of torque from one shaft to another. It is good to remember that initially, the speed can be very slow due to the torque developed by the engine at the initial stage. Hence, you can’t start the engine when it’s under load. Then what?
The clutch has the ability to prevent any shock or jerky movements. It gradually takes the load to operate the vehicle. This helps in protecting the engine parts from getting strained and worked out. You may not know this, but this also helps in easing the passengers.
Types of Clutch?
There are different types and kinds of clutches and some of them are mentioned below:
Single Plate Clutch:
As the name suggests, a single plate clutch has one clutch plate. Being one of the popular kinds of the clutch in motor vehicles today, the single-plate clutch has two components. We all are aware that as a device, a clutch works on the principle of friction. In the single-plate clutch, the two components are present on the driving shaft and on the driven shaft.
The multi-plate clutch uses multiple clutch plates to make contact with the engine flywheel to transfer power between the engine shaft and the transmission shaft. A multi-plate clutch is used in automobiles and machinery where high torque output is required.
The cone clutch is a type of friction clutch that has cone-shaped frictional areas. These types of clutches are commonly used in synchromesh and epicyclic gearboxes.
Cone clutches were the first to be used in automobiles and they continued to be popular, because of this simplicity, throughout the 1920s, when they gave way to single plate clutches, due to the poor working characteristics of the former.
A centrifugal clutch is a type of clutch that uses centrifugal force to connect two concentric shafts, with the driving shaft nested inside the driven shaft.
In the fully centrifugal type of clutches, the springs are eliminated altogether and only the centrifugal force is used to apply the required pressure for keeping the clutch in the engaged position.
Also read: How to Choose a Clutch for your Car?
How Does a Clutch Work?
The clutch, as mentioned before, is one of the most important components of the car. It is a sole system that is used in connecting and disconnecting the engine from the rest of the parts. The Clutch is located between the gearbox and the engine and the best part is that it is always in an engaged position. It doesn’t matter whether the car is running or is in a stationary position, the clutch would be engaged.
The disengagement happens when the driver pushes the clutch pedal. Apart from that, the clutch also disengages in the moments like starting, stopping, pausing, gear change, etc. So what happens when the clutch engages? It is then the rear wheels get powered up. The engines connect to the transmission and then the movement happens. When you disengage the clutch by pressing the pedal, the will disconnect from the transmission system.
Application of Clutch
Even if you’re not an expert or enthusiast, you must have known that clutch is not only part of a car. There are basically two types of industry where you can see the use of the clutches:
We all must be aware of the fact that the use of the clutch is commonly known in the automobile industry. Be it heavy vehicles like SUVs, trucks, and even two-wheelers like a motorbike, scooter, etc.
This is a comparatively lesser-known fact that many industries also operate on this. Various industries like presswork, metal stamping, packing machines, printing machines, pumps, gear drives, assembling machines, etc.
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