Engineering in Kenya

Purpose of Mechanical Clutches

Posted by on Mar 3, 2018 in Mechanical Engineering | 0 comments


Mechanical Clutches are devices which provide power transmission for machines in motion. The word clutch means to control, grasp and hold tightly. Therefore, a mechanical clutch is a device that engages or disengages two working components of a shaft and a driving mechanism. The opposite component of the clutch is the brake. It is used when the power transmission of a device in motion needs to be regulated. Clutches are applied on two devices which are in motion. Mechanical clutch are usually placed between the motor and the shaft of a machine in order to provide an effective means of starting and/or stopping the machine. They provide either a positive or friction dependent drive. One of the devices is usually attached to a motor, whilst the other is to the shaft to provide output power for the work. The mechanical shaft connects the two shafts in a way that they can either be locked together and spin at same speed , or locked together but spin in a slow speed or be unlocked and spin at different speeds. Mechanical Clutches have cables for actuation, and they are adjusted manually using the clutch.

The major purpose is to transmit the motion and the torque moment.  Mechanical Clutches provide a means of regulating power engine by disconnecting it from the driving wheels. The industrial purposes of these clutches are of broad power transmission applications. Specialized device applications include those of aerospace, automotive, marine, military and other engineering system applications. Engineering in Kenya has more articles.

System functioning of  Mechanical Clutches

Mechanical Clutches Purpose of  Mechanical Clutches

Mechanical Clutches

Engaging these clutches usually result to transfer of power from an engine to other devices such as wheels and transmissions. This causes motion. When the clutch is disengaged, it stops the power transfer but still allows the engine to continue running.  Mechanical Clutches are cheap especially when compared to other types of clutches. This is because they have a slightly lower torque range. These clutches are best for vehicles, cranes and hoists. Small mechanical clutches are usually put directly to cams and levers whilst the larger ones are operated through mechanical clutches linkages.

Types and selection of  Mechanical Clutches

Specifications for these clutches are torque moment range, power and the speed. There are different types of  Mechanical Clutches; spring return clutches which uses power to be engaged, those that are spring actuated use power to get disengaged. Non contact clutches which use magnetic fields and eddy currents to get engaged or disengaged. Friction clutches use the friction generated by the contact surfaces to be disengaged. Wrap clutches transmits torque through a wrapped springs to be engaged and uncoils to get disengaged. Oils shear clutches engage via viscous shear of transmission fluid that is contained between the clutch plates. Other types of clutches are ball detent and roller detent.

Types and selection of  Mechanical Clutches

When selecting them, several features should be put into consideration. These include shaft configurations which should be in line with the axis of the load and lie parallel and offset from the axis, it should be perpendicular to the axis. Measurement is another thing that should be put into consideration. These are the diameter, cross sectional width of the assembly, the lengths and all the dimensions of axis of rotation. Drive and load connections should be appropriate, the shafts should attach to bores or flanges. Drive components of mechanical shaft differ. Such drive components include pulley, gear or sprocket. From various studies,  Mechanical Clutches are not common and have been replaced by hydraulic Mechanical Clutches.