What is the role of CLUTCH in Vehicle ?
A clutch or friction clutch has its principal application in the transmission of power of shafts and machines which must be started and stopped frequently.
In automobiles, clutch or friction clutch is used to connect the engine to the driven shaft. In operating such a clutch, care should be taken so that the friction surfaces engage easily and gradually brings the driven shaft up to proper speed. The proper alignment of the bearing must be maintained and it should be located as close to the clutch as possible.
But make sure –
- The heat of friction should be rapidly dissipated and tendency to grab should be at a minimum.
- The surfaces should be backed by a material stiff enough to ensure a reasonably uniform distribution of pressure.
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The clutches can be further divided into 3 types –
Plate Clutch (Single Disc) :
It consists of a clutch plate whose both sides are faced with a friction material which is mounted on the hub which is free to move axially along the splines of the driven shaft. The pressure plate is mounted inside the clutch body which is bolted to the flywheel. Both the pressure plate and the flywheel rotate with the engine crankshaft or the driving shaft. The pressure plate pushes the clutch plate towards the flywheel by a set of strong springs which are arranged radially inside the body.
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Multiple Disc Clutch :
It is used when a large torque is to be transmitted. The inside discs (usually of steel) are fastened to the driven shaft to permit axial motion. These are extensively used in motor cars, machine tools etc.
Centrifugal Clutch :
The centrifugal clutches are usually incorporated into the motor pulleys. It consists of a number of shoes on the inside of a rim of the pulley. The outer surface of the shoes are covered with a friction material. These shoes, which can move radially in guides, are held against the spider on the driving shaft by means of springs. The mass of the shoe, when revolving, causes it to exert a radially outward force. The magnitude of this centrifugal force depends upon the speed at which the shoe is revolving.
- When the centrifugal force is less than the spring force, the shoe remains in the same position as when the driving shaft was stationary,
- but when the centrifugal force is equal to the spring force, the shoe is just floating.
- When the centrifugal force exceeds the spring force, the shoe moves outward and comes into contact with the driven member and presses against it.
The force with which the shoe presses against the driven member is the difference of the centrifugal force and the spring force. The increase of speed causes the shoe to press harder and enables more torque to be transmitted.
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