How to Choose a Clutch That’s Right for Your Machine

In simple terms, a clutch is a mechanical device connected to two or more rotational shafts. When the clutch is engaged, power is transferred from the engine to the wheels.

Choosing the right clutch for your machine is essential in terms of saving you time and money. You cannot afford to have your heavy machinery break down because the clutch isn’t up to the job.

To make the right choice, it helps to know what the different components are and how they work together to affect performance. Keep reading to learn more.

Components of a Clutch

There are several clutch components, the largest parts being:

  • Flywheel
  • Clutch disc
  • Pressure plate

Springs, release levers, covers, bearings, and pins are also used to make up the complete clutch assembly.

The Flywheel

The flywheel stores rotational energy and when the clutch pedal is pressed it provides inertia to allow continuous rotation.

Clutch Disc

This is the part that gets the most wear and tear because it absorbs the load when engaged. There are two types of clutch disc; sprung hub and solid hub.

Pressure Plate

The pressure plate is another hard working part. It forces the clutch disc against the flywheel via springs when the clutch pedal is engaged.

Clutch Disc Material

This part is more likely to wear first, so it makes sense to choose the correct material for the application.

A solid hub clutch disc is primarily used for high capacity engines, such as racing. These hi-performance clutches have heavy-duty springs to absorb the load caused by the higher engine capacity.

Most other applications use a sprung hub clutch disc. It is designed to absorb and spread shock on initial engagement and throughout its use.

Materials used for discs include, organic, Sintered iron and Kevlar. Organic materials are present in most stock clutch discs.

Sintered iron is used for its non-slippage ability. ┬áIt can withstand extremely high temperatures, so it’s good for applications that require dynamic stopping. It can also be resurfaced if slippage becomes a problem.

A Kevlar clutch has a higher friction force, but this can result in rougher engagement and some vibration in low gears. That said, it is an incredibly hard-wearing material.

Torque and Response Time

The job of a clutch is to transmit torque without slippage. The heavier the load, the more likely slippage can occur. This is what causes wear and tear.

Response time is how long it takes the load to reach a specified time.

There are several factors affecting torque and response time.

Depending on the application, full torque during acceleration may or may not be needed.

The ability to disperse heat is also crucial and affects every instance of clutch engagement.

Buying a Clutch

Now you know what goes into choosing the right clutch for your machinery. Of course, you want to get it right the very first time.

That’s where we can help. We’re experts in all kinds of industrial clutches. We can advise you on size, torque, style, and application.

If you need to buy a clutch, get in contact today.

Posted in Industrial Brakes and Clutches.