Mechanical Clutches Information
Mechanical clutches are the simplest mode of clutch actuation and often the least expensive. Mechanical clutches can be actuated manually or by foot. Hand operation of mechanical clutches involves actuation directly via cams or levers or, in larger equipment, through compound linkages. In most cases, mechanical clutches are practical only when the lever or pedal can be located near the clutch; longer distance can be achieved by complex linkages, but friction losses in the linkages will create higher actuation resistance for the operator. Mechanical clutches often have a locking mechanism that keeps the system connected once the unit is engaged. It will remain engaged until a force in the opposite direction disengages the system. Most mechanical clutches use friction to operate. Friction force between the drive and driven components allows a moving component to synchronize with another that is moving at a different speed creating a solid connection for power transmission. To maximize efficiency, as little slippage as possible between the input and output shafts is desirable.
Important specifications to consider while selecting an electric clutch include but are not limited to:
- Torque Rating: The maximum torque rating for the clutch should equal or exceed the application's requirement.
- Power: The maximum power rating for the clutch.
- Speed: The maximum rotary speed rating. This specification applies only to rotary clutches.
- Shaft Configuration: Clutch may be mounted in-line, parallel, or right angle.
- Drive/Load Connection:
- In-line Shafts: The drive and the load have shafts that attach to a through-bore.
- Through Shaft: The drive shaft attaches to a bore and the load is driven through the outer diameter.
- Shaft: Pulley/Gear/Sprocket: The drive shaft attaches to a bore and the output is a drive component such as a pulley, gear, or sprocket. These clutches are often designed to accept different drive components.
- Flange: The clutch is mounted to the object in motion via a flange.Important specifications to consider while selecting an electric clutch include but are not limited to: