What is Single Plate Clutch

In this article, we learn what is single plate clutch, the construction of a single-plate clutch, the working of a single plate clutch, the advantages, and disadvantages of a single-plate clutch, and the application of a single plate clutch.

What is Single Plate Clutch?

The single-plate clutch is the most commonly used type of clutch on automobiles.

It provides quicker disengagement.

It consists of a clutch disc, pressure plate, and a cover assembly which is bolted to the engine flywheel.

Construction of Single Plate Clutch

The construction of major components of a single-plate clutch is as explained below:

1. Flywheel

Flywheel is a heavy mass disc bolted on the engine crankshaft.

It has a flat surface that engages with the clutch/friction plate.

2. Clutch plate (Friction plate)

It is a mechanical disc with friction linings on both sides.

It consists of a central hub machined internally to slide on a splined shaft.

To take care of the torsional vibrations and damping actions, coil springs are mounted radially on the clutch plate.

3. Pressure plate

It is a heavy mass plate with a flat surface on one of its sides that engages with the clutch plate.

4. Thrust springs

Thrust springs are axially mounted in between the clutch plate and pressure plate.

These springs keep the clutch in an engaged position when the pedal position is up.

5. Release lever

They are pivoted on a fulcrum pin and it is used to disengage the clutch plate.

6. Clutch cover

It is a sheet metal or forged cover which surrounds the overall clutch assembly and protects it from dirt and dust.

7. Clutch shaft

It is the shaft that is connected to the gearbox input shaft.

It is splined near the central hub where the clutch plate can slide.

8. Thrust bearing

The thrust bearing takes care of the axial load that comes during the sudden release of thrust springs.

Working of Single Plate Clutch

When the pedal position is up, the axial force of thrust springs ensures the pressure plate is pressed against the flywheel with the clutch plate being sandwiched between the two of them.

The drive is hence transmitted from the flywheel to the clutch plate through friction and from the clutch plate to the clutch shaft through mechanical splines.

When the clutch pedal is pressed down, the release lever pulls the pressure plate against the thrust springs.

This loosens the contact between the clutch plate and flywheel and hence the drive gets disengaged from the gearbox.

Advantages of Single Plate Clutch

1. Simple design of construction and working.

2. Better heat dissipation from a single plate.

3. Gear changing with a single plate clutch is easier.

4. It has better torsional vibration-absorbing capacity.

Disadvantages of Single Plate Clutch

1. For higher power transmission, the surface area of the clutch plate increases and thereby increasing the overall size of the clutch.

2. The clutch pedal force required is higher.

Applications of Single Plate Clutch

It is used on vehicles wherein space limitations are not severe such as trucks, buses, etc.

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