Types Of Clutches: 11 Different Types of Clutches

Types Of Clutches: 11 Different Types of Clutches

Types Of Clutches: 11 Different Types of Clutches
Photo by Jon Sailer on Unsplash

Types Of Clutches: 11 Different Types of Clutches


A clutch is a mechanism to disconnect the flow of power from the transmission without the turning of the engine off. It is a mechanical component used in the power transmission system of the vehicle engines for the engagement and disengagement of the two rotating shafts.

The two shafts are the driver and the driven shaft. The power flows from the driving shaft to the driven shaft and this transmission is carried out using the clutch. A clutch is commonly used for the changing of the gear ratio in the power transmission system of vehicles for the increasing and decreasing speed.

To change the gear in the running condition you must be press the paddle of the clutch because the clutch makes free the gearbox from the power transmission system and thus you able to change the gear easily without any disturbance. The prime purpose of the clutch is to connect and disconnect the entire engine from the rear wheels for stopping, starting, and changing gears.

Main Functions of Clutch:

  • Allow easiness in changing smoothly gear ratio for the speed changing during the journey
  • Transform power from the engine to differential without any jerk
  • Safe the life of the gears in the gearbox because it makes free gears from the power when the driver changes the gear during the running condition of the engine

Clutch Classification and its types:

According to the method of transmitting torque:

  • Positive clutch
  • Dog and Spline clutch
  • Friction clutches:
  • Single plate clutch
  • Multiplate clutch
  • Wet
  • Dry
  • Diaphragm clutch
  • Tapered finger type
  • Crown spring type
  • Cone clutch
  • External
  • Internal
  • Hydraulic clutch
  • Fluid coupling
  • Hydraulic torque convertor

According to the method of force engagement:

  • Centrifugal clutch
  • Semi-centrifugal clutch
  • Electromagnetic clutch
  • Vacuum clutch

According to the method of control:

  • Manual clutch
  • Automatic clutch

Positive Clutch:

The clutch which is used to transmit power without slip is known as a positive clutch. Positive clutch mainly consists of two machine elements in which one is fixed connected to the driving shaft and the second one can slide over the driven shaft for the purpose of engagement and disengagement of the clutch with flywheel. These two elements have which may be square or triangular for the shaft engagement during power transmission from the engine to the gearbox. The dog and spline clutch, one of the positive clutch type.

DOG and Spline Clutch:

The dog and spline clutch connect and locked two rotating shafts in which one shaft is called spline shaft over which there is a sliding sleeve and the second shaft is known as dog shaft over which there are external teeth for the engagement with the spline shaft. The spline shaft has no teeth but the sliding sleeve over the spline shaft has internal teeth for the engagement with the dog shaft teeth. These shafts are designed in such a manner that both rotate with the help of one another without any slip. If you want to disengage it will be done by moving the sliding sleeve back on the spline shaft. In the manual power transmission system of the vehicle this type of clutch usually used.

Friction clutches:

The type of clutch in which force of friction is the main source of power transmission is known as friction clutch. In a friction clutch, the friction material plays the role of connecting and disconnection the driver and driven shaft with one another for the purpose of power transmission. There are two plates in the friction clutch in which one plate is fixed with the driving shaft and the second plate freely can slide on the driven shaft in an axial direction. The sliding plate has friction material that meets the fixed plate when the clutch paddle is pressed and this contact of the friction material with the fixed plate produces the force of friction and this force further used for the power transmission. There are various types of friction clutches according to the type of construction.

Single plate clutch:

The clutch-type which consists of only one clutch plate is known as a single plate clutch. This type of clutch is mainly used in large vehicles in which there is more radial space available for the transmission of power. This is the simplest and most commonly used clutch plate and its assembly consist of a clutch plate, friction plate, pressure plate, flywheel, bearings, springs and bolts, and nuts. The flywheel is attached with the engine shaft and the pressure plate is pasted on the flywheel by the clutch springs, provides an axial force for the clutch engagement. The friction plate is in the mid of the flywheel and the pressure plate to produce a frictional force on both sides of the clutch plate.

Multiplate clutch:

This type of friction clutch consists of multiple clutch plates simply for providing more friction surface. The rest of the mechanism of the multi-plate clutch is the same as a single plate clutch. The number of clutch plate increases means the friction force increases.

Wet and Dry Multiplate clutch:

Multi-plate has a further two types one wet multi-plate clutch and the second one is a dry multi-plate clutch. If the clutch is run in oil, then it is called wet and if the clutch is operated without an oil bath then it is called dry multi-plate clutch. Wet clutch has longer life as compare to dry clutch but the co-efficient of friction of the dry clutch is more than the wet clutch.

Diaphragm Clutch:

The clutch which has a diaphragm spring to produce pressure on the pressure plate to engage the clutch is known as a diaphragm clutch. The flywheel relates to the clutch plate and the pressure plate is a paste with the back of the clutch plate. In the diaphragm clutch, the diaphragm is a conical spring when the driver press the clutch paddle the outside bearings move towards the fly-wheels which push forward the conical diaphragm springs and these spring push backward the pressure plate from clutch assembly and thus the clutch will get disengage. When the driver releases the paddle the pressure plate comes again to his normal position and becomes engaged with the flywheel for the power transmission from the engine shaft to the spline shaft and finally to the gearbox.

Tapered and Crown Type Diaphragm Clutch:

The diaphragm spring used in the diaphragm clutch may be finger or crown type so based on this spring type it has a further two types. If the diaphragm spring is finger type, then it is called tapered and if the spring is crown type then it is called crown type diaphragm clutch.

Cone clutch

The Cone clutch consist cup and cone. Cup has an internal conical hollow space and the cone has an outer conical shape. Cone is inserted in the cup and on outer surface of cone friction fabric or friction lining is used. whilst the cone is inserted in the cup friction pressure is expand and this friction force is used for transmitting torque riding shaft to the driven shaft. Cup is fixed to the riding shaft and cone is unfastened to slide axially on the splined driven shaft. by using sliding cone have interaction and disengage is finished. Cone take hold of isn't always extensively used due to the fact excessive axial thrust is needed to interact or disengage the pushed shaft from using the shaft.

Hydraulic Clutch:

The type of friction clutch in which force of friction is produced through the pressure of fluid called a hydraulic clutch. The fluid may be oil or some other special type of liquid for generating high pressure. This is the simplest type of friction clutch consists of a fever number of parts as compared to other friction clutches. The main components of the hydraulic clutch are accumulator, control valve, cylinder, pump, piston, and reservoir. The pump pushes the oil from reservoir to the cylinder to which an accumulator is connected by means of a control valve.

The valve is the link with the gear lever and the piston is linked with the clutch. When the driver presses the clutch to paddle the control valve permits the oil from the reservoir into the cylinder which moves the piston forward and backward which the intern engages and disengages the clutch.

Fluid coupling and hydraulic torque converter:

The Fluid coupling is a hydrodynamic device that transfers rotating mechanical power from one shaft to another shaft by means of accelerating and deaccelerating a hydraulic fluid. Mostly in the automobile, it is used as an alternative to the mechanical switch. Similarly, a torque convertor also a type of fluid coupling transfer rotating power from an internal combustion engine to a driven load shaft. It works only for connecting power source to utilization point in automobiles. This both fluid coupling hydraulic torque convertor comes in the hydraulic clutch category.

Centrifugal Clutch:

The type of clutch used centrifugal force instead of spring force for the engagement and disengagement of the clutch for the power transmission from driver shaft to driven shaft called a centrifugal clutch. In today's modern automated automobiles automated gear system is the output of this centrifugal clutch because with this system driver did not need to change the gear manually. It involves the changing of gear automatically with the speed of the engine and the driver can be able to start or stop the car in any gear.

Semi-centrifugal clutch:

The Clutch has both facilities of the spring force and a centrifugal force called a semi centrifugal clutch. The car which has a semi centrifugal clutch system can be operated both manually as well as automatically.

Electromagnetic Clutch:

The clutch-type which used the electromagnetism for the clutch engagement is known as an electromagnetic clutch. When current pass through a conductor around the conductor electromagnetic field generates according to the right and role. The electromagnetic clutch uses this principle for clutch engagement and disengagement.

The electromagnetic clutch is attached with a flywheel consist of winding and this winding is a link with a battery source. When the current flow to the winding it produces eddy current and electromagnetic filed generate which attracts the pressure plate to get engage and when the current supply is broken from the flywheel winding the electromagnetic filed is vanish and thus the pressure plate gets disengage. In this system the automobile gear lever is connected with the power switch of the battery, When the driver wants to change the gear through the gear lever, he turns off the current from the winding which disengages the pressure plate already discussed in the previous line.

Vacuum Clutch:

The clutch used vacuum pressure for the clutch engagement instead of spring or any other force is known as a vacuum clutch. This mechanism consists of several components such as a solenoid valve, piston, vacuum cylinder, reservoir, and non-return valve. The solenoid is attached with the gear lever and operated through a battery and the battery is ON-OFF by the gear lever. When the driver wants to change the gear, he holed the gear lever which makes the switch of the battery turn ON, and hence solenoid receives the current. When the solenoid energized it generates the vacuum through the vacuum cylinder which moves the piston backward and forward and engages and disengages the clutch for power transmission.

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