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All About Clutches


Clutches are an integral part of many different types of vehicle and industrial machine. Their applications typically involve any devices that have two rotating shafts where one of the shafts must be powered by a motor or pulley while the other shaft drives another element of the device.

Drills are a nice simple example, as they contain one shaft being driven by a motor and driving another shaft that drives the drill bit. In this instance it is the clutch that connects the two shafts together so they rotate at the same speed. Many other examples of clutches see the shafts decoupled to spin at different speeds. There are many possibilities when it comes to clutch design, with YB Components ensuring they are the best clutches supplier Yorkshire has to offer by keeping locals stocks of as many different clutch designs made by many of the world’s best clutch manufacturers as possible.

How a Clutch Works

Clutches in vehicles are necessary because crucial engine components are spinning all the time while the car’s wheels are not being spun. The wheels actually need to be completely disconnected from the engine’s spinning components so the car can stop without damaging the engine. The disconnection is achieved with a clutch that enables the vehicle operator to engage the engine and all its spinning parts to a non-spinning transmission. It achieves this by controlling the slippage between the spinning and non-spinning components.

It also helps to know a little bit about friction, which is the energy and resistance created by sliding one object’s surface across another. Friction is created because surfaces are never completely smooth and there are many tiny peaks and troughs all over every surface, no matter how smooth it appears to the eye. The larger such peaks and troughs are, the more difficult it is to slide the object. Thus, a clutch is able to work exactly because of this friction between the clutch plate and the flywheel.

Clutch Components

The plate and the flywheel are just two of the four main components of a basic clutch design. The flywheel is connected to the engine crankshaft and rotates with the engine. It is also the mating surface through which torque is transferred and one of the two sides the clutch disc is sandwiched between.

The clutch disc is attached to the input shaft of the transmission, with it resting between the flywheel and the pressure plate, both of which continuously rotate along with the engine. As the clutch disc spins according to the transmission, either side of the disc is a metal surface which also rotates with the engine.

The pressure plate is the second part which sandwiches the clutch disc in the middle, along with the flywheel. The pressure plate is typically bolted to the flywheel and rotates with the engine along with the other sandwich ingredients. Inside the pressure plate is where you will find the diaphragm spring.

The diaphragm spring reduces pressure from the clutch disc when you depress the clutch pedal. A special bearing is used to create a gap between the pressure plate and the flywheel which then allows the clutch disc to rotate freely.

If you require any clutches, couplings or any other industrial components, then contact YB Components who are the UK’s leading clutch suppliers in Yorkshire.