What Are the Common Engagement Modes for Industrial Clutches and Brakes?

The massive inner workings of your industrial equipment have a long list of essential details. One misalignment or misunderstanding, and it can send the entire line of machinery to a damaging halt.

To ensure that your machines run with perfect smoothness, you need to understand the proper use of your industrial clutches and brakes. This means delving into the standard modes of engagement.

Let’s dig a bit deeper and see what these common modes are and what they can mean. 

The Common Modes for Engagement for Clutches and Brakes

There are four major modes of engagement for any clutch or brake system. Each of these provides a different mechanism shifting or stopping your machinery and various forms of maintenance and compatibility.

The four major modes of engagement are mechanical, electrical, fluidic, and self-actuation.

1. Mechanical

Mechanical modes of engagement often work with a level or other simple mechanism to trigger engagement and disengagement. This mechanism will squeeze friction discs to provide torque transmission. 

A lock mechanism is often common for this mode, often in a simple mechanical lock to the level itself. Engaging or disengaging the lock can restart the engagement mode. 

Mechanical modes often carry the most wear and tear due to heavy physical connection points. 

2. Electrical

Electrical modes of engagement often center around an electromagnet. This provides the needed power around an armature to either move it from a friction disc or to provide a similar squeezing motion to the mechanical mode.

Electrical modes of engagement often last for a long while and can even have built-in adjustment mechanisms to keep the mode accurate. 

3. Fluidic

Fluidic modes of engagement use transmission fluid as a boundary layer. This fluid acts as a protective barrier between the friction discs and drive plates as they come together. This fluid can then transmit torque between the discs and the plates.

For rapid shifts in applications, such as going from start to stop or switching from full speed to reverse, fluidic modes of engagement are some of the most efficient available. 

Oil-shear technology is one of the most common of fluidic applications. While it can produce a large amount of heat even when in neutral, heat dissipates as the fluid circulates back into the housing.  

4. Self-Actuation

The self-actuation brake mode is an entire system of connections and balances that help provide a smooth and automatic braking system for any significant machinery. 

The system works with a band that centers around a brake drum. This band then ties its free ends to the braking mechanisms themselves, often a pair of levers set on either side on a particular axis. As one lever shifts to engage the discs and plates of the machinery, the other takes on the tension to provide a balance. 

This back and forth shift can provide a stable and reversible brake flow without the strain of a basic mechanical brake function. 

Mastering the Modes of Engagement and Beyond

Getting the most out of your clutches and brakes starts with a better understanding of what each clutch and brake can do. From there, it is all about the right parts and pieces to keep your industry running.

For those parts and pieces, there are few more trusted in the industry than us here at Kor-Pak. Contact us today for more information!

Posted in Industrial Brakes and Clutches.