“A clutch is a device that is used to transmit fluctuating rotation between 2 shafts” but how it is done? Still remains unanswered let’s find out the answer by discussing the Multi-plate clutch, A type of clutch used in many vintage cars and in bikes.
A multi-plate clutch is a type of clutch in which the multiple clutch plates are used to make frictional contact with the flywheel of the engine in order to transmit power between the engine shaft and the transmission shaft of an automobile vehicle.
A multi-plate clutch is used in automobiles and in machinery where high torque output is required.
In bikes and scooter multi-plate clutch is used due to the limitation of compact gearbox used in bikes and scooter.
What is the Need of a Multi-Plate Clutch?
As we know a clutch is the most important integral part of a power train as it is used to transmit the power from engine shaft to the transmission shaft for further shifting the drive to required torque or speed output, but what is the need of multi-plate clutch? Let’s discuss-
- Where there is a need of high torque output like in pick-up truck, a single plate clutch fails to provide that much frictional force (between flywheel and clutch plates) that is required to provide such a high torque, so in heavy vehicle like pickup trucks multi-plate clutches are used.
- In 2 wheeler vehicles like bikes and scooters there is a problem of packaging due to their small size, So to fulfil the need of required torque output, instead of a large single plate clutch , A multi-plate clutch having small clutch plates is used to transmit power between engine shaft and the transmission shaft.
- When there is the engagement of the clutch ( in order to transmit power between flywheel and the transmission shaft ) multiple plates of a multi- plate clutch provides more frictional force between the flywheel and the pressure plate as compared to single plate clutch, due to which the chances of slip is almost negligible in multi plate clutch.
- When we go to the terrain having different ups and downs or different road challenges, A multi-plate clutch is required to maintain the smooth and steady engagement between the engine and the transmission shaft which in turn continuously provides required amount of torque and speed to the vehicle.
- The efforts required by the driver on the clutch pedal in order to engage or disengage the clutch is less in multi-plate clutch as compared to single plate clutch.
Types of Multi-Plate Clutch
1. Spring Type Multi-Plate Clutch
In this type of clutch a cover attached with the flywheel of the engine is used inside which the multiple clutch plates , pressure plate ,thrust bearing etc. are packed (the clutch plates are placed over each other and mounted over a splined shaft.)
- A pressure plate is used which is having outer sleeve connected to the pedal fork in such a way that the pressing of pedal will move the pressure plate outward in order to disengage the clutch.
- This pressure plate used are made to contact with the clutch plates pack in order to engage the clutch and the release of this contact will result in dis-engagement of the clutch.
- The engagement of the clutch is maintained by the stiffness provided by the number of thrust springs placed in circular fashion used behind the pressure plate, due to the compression of these thrust springs disengagement of the clutch occurs.
- As the thrust springs operated with the pedal movement is used to engage and disengage the clutch, this type of clutch is called spring type multi-plate clutch.
- This type of clutch is used in old cars and bikes.
2. Diaphragm Type Multi-Plate Clutch
It is the modified version of spring type multi-plate clutch in which the thrust springs placed in circular fashion from the spring type clutch is replace with a special crown shaped finger type spring called diaphragm spring.
- During the engaged state of the clutch the fingers like fins of the diaphragm clutch stays in inflated state due to which the pack of multiple clutch plates having friction lining at the other end attached with this spring makes continuous frictional contact with the flywheel results in power transmission between the engine flywheel and the transmission shaft.
- When driver presses the clutch in order to shift gear, the force applied by the driver over pedal is transferred to the diaphragm spring which in turn deflates the fingers of the diaphragm spring and the disengagement of the clutch takes place.
- These type of clutches is used in modern cars and bikes.
3. Hydraulic Operated or Automatic Clutch
This is the modern type of clutch used in vehicles fitted with the automatic transmission, in this type of clutch a hydraulic device having highly compressed fluid operated with the accelerator pedal is coupled with the multi-plate clutch and the engagement and disengagement of the clutch is obtained by the output given by the hydraulic device which is controlled with the acceleration pedal.
- Multi-plate clutch is considered to be the best clutch device used in vehicle equipped with the automatic transmission due to its high torque transmission and also due to its advantage of less pedal effort needed to operate the clutch
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