What Is A Friction Clutch? Advantages and Applications

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They are the most frequently used type of clutch. A friction clutch transmits power by virtue of friction developed between contacting surface. The friction surface is typically flat and perpendicular to the axis of rotation. Two or more surface is pressed together by using compression spring. The friction force is used to bring the driven shaft to the proper speed gradually without excessive slipping. The major types of friction clutches are plate clutch, cone clutch, centrifugal clutch.

Advantages of friction clutch

  1. Smooth engagement and minimum shock during the engagement.
  2. Friction clutch can be engaged and disengaged when the machine is running since they have no jaw or teeth.
  3. Easy to operate.
  4. They are capable of transmitting partial power.
  5. Friction clutch can act as a safety device. They slip when the torque exceeds a safe value, thus safeguards the machine.
  6. Frequent engagement and disengagement is possible.

Application of friction clutch

Friction clutch found an application where frequent engagement and disengagement is required. It is also used where power is needed to transfer to the machines partially or fully loaded. Another typical application is in automobiles.

Read: Positive Clutch – Applications, Advantages and Disadvantages
Dual Clutch Working - Advantages And Applications

Requirement of good friction clutch

  1. The following are considered during the design of the friction clutch.
  2. The coefficient of friction of contact surface should be high enough to hold the load with a minimum amount of axial force. It should not require an external force to carry the burden.
  3. The moving parts of the clutch should be lightweight to minimize the inertia load at high speed.
  4. Heat generated at contacting surface should dissipate rapidly.
  5. It should have provision for taking up the wear of contact.
  6. Guard the projecting parts by covering and provide a provision for easy repair.

Requirements of material used for friction clutch

  1. The actual contact surface of the friction clutch is the friction lining. Linings are subjected to severe rubbing during a machine run. There are many factors that decide the material for lining is viable or not. However, the lining material should have certain qualities.
  2. It should have a relatively high and uniform coefficient of friction under all service conditions.
  3. High resistance to wear.
  4. It should withstand a high compressive load.
  5. It should be chemically inert, oil and moisture have no effect on them.
  6. High heat conductivity. It should rapidly dissipate the heat generated.
  7. It should have excellent compactibility with cast iron facing.

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