Automobile

Understanding Single Plate Clutch

There is only one clutch plate in a single plate clutch. A friction principle is used in this clutch. It is the most frequent clutch-type seen in automobiles. The clutch is made up of two parts, one of which is fixed on the driving shaft and the other on the driven shaft.

The transmission system is the system by which the engine’s power is transferred to the vehicle’s wheels to push it forward. The engine in automobiles generates power, which is used to turn the wheels. As a result, the engine must be connected to the transmission systems for power to be transmitted to the wheels.

Also, so that the vehicle mechanism is not harmed and passengers are not inconvenienced, there should be a system that allows the engine to engage and disengage from the transmission system smoothly and without shock. In autos, a clutch is used for this purpose. This is a quick review about an automobile clutch.

In this article, you’ll get to know the definition, applications, construction, parts, diagram, Types, working, advantages, and disadvantages of a single plate clutch.

single plate clutch

Read more: Understanding Suspension System

What is a single plate clutch?

A single plate clutch is the most popular type of clutch in automobiles. It only has one clutch plate, which is attached to the clutch shaft’s splines. The engine’s flywheel is attached to the crankshaft and revolves with it. When the clutch pedal is depressed, the pressure plate is fastened to the flywheel by clutch springs and is free to glide on the clutch shaft.

The clutch plate is grasped between the flywheel and the pressure plate when the clutch is engaged. The clutch plate has friction linings on both sides. The clutch plate rotates with the flywheel due to friction between the flywheel, clutch plate, and pressure plate. The clutch shaft rotates in tandem with the clutch plate. Below are the functions of single plate clutches in their various applications:

  • When desired, a clutch is a device that transfers the rotating motion of one shaft to the other shaft.
  • A clutch is a device that allows the driver to engage and disengage the engine crankshaft instantly as needed.
  • A clutch is a mechanism that delivers power to partially or completely loaded machines.

Applications of single plate clutch

The applications of single plate clutch are as follows:

  • Buses, trucks, and automobiles all use single plate clutches.
  • When there is a lot of radial space, single plate clutches are used.
  • This clutch does not require any lubricant to keep it cool. So, it is used in applications that generate less friction.
  • There is no need for cooling oil in Single plate clutches since there is enough surface area for heat dissipation. As a result, single plate clutches are dry.
  • Most automobiles employ a single plate clutch due to the high coefficient of friction. The coefficient of friction has a value greater than 0.3.

Read more: Understanding an automobile clutch

Construction

For effective operation, a single plate clutch is made up of several pieces. They are placed in a logical order.

It primarily comprises a clutch plate with both side friction linings, as well as several other components that aid in the proper operation of a clutch, such as a flywheel, pressure plate, thrust bearing, hub, springs, and an input mechanism for clutch engagement and disengagement. Between the flywheel and the pressure plate, the clutch plate is attached to the hub and rotates axially on the driving shaft.

Because it mounts between the pressure plate and the flywheel in a single plate clutch, the clutch plate should have both sides friction lining. Friction is responsible for torque transmission. The flywheel and springs are engaged by the pressure plate. The clutch plate is pushed by the pressure plate with the help of the flywheel. The clutch pedal transmits input and output motion through a lever attached to thrust bearings and a mechanism on the driven shaft.

Parts of single plate clutch

The followings are the major parts of a single plate clutch:

Flywheel:

The flywheel is a component of the engine that also functions as a clutch. It is a drive element that connects to the clutch shaft’s pressure plate and is housed in a flywheel with bearings. As the engine crankshaft revolves, the flywheel rotates as well.

Pilot Bearing:

To support the end of the transmission input shaft, the pilot bearing or bushing is pressed into the end of the crankshaft. When the clutch is released, the pilot bearing prevents the transmission shaft and clutch disc from bouncing up and down. It also assists the input shaft center of the flywheel disc.

Read more: Different Types of clutch and their working principle

Clutch plate or disc plate:

It is the single-plate clutch’s driving part, and it has friction material on both sides. The axial travel along the splined gearbox drive shaft is limited by a central hub with internal splines.

This helps to dampen torsional vibrations and changes in driving torque between the engine and the transmission. A clutch disc is a disk that sits between the friction or pressure plate and the flywheel. To increase friction, it features a sequence of facings inverters on each side. Asbestos is used to make these clutch facings. They’re well-worn and resistant to heat.

Pressure Plate:

Special cast iron is used to make the pressure plate. It is the clutch assembly’s heaviest component. The pressure plate’s primary role is to establish even contact with the driven plate facing, allowing the pressure springs to generate adequate force to convey the engine’s full torque.

The clutch plate is pressed into the flywheel by the pressure plate, which has a machined surface. Pressure springs are installed between the pressure plate and clutch cover assembly. When the toggle depresses the release levers or the release levers are pivoted, the pressure is released from the flywheel.

Clutch Cover:

The clutch cover assembly is attached to the flywheel via bolts. A pressure plate, release lever mechanism, clutch cover, and pressure springs are all part of it. The clutch plate usually spins with the flywheel. The flywheel, as well as the pressure plates, are free to rotate independently of the driven plate and driving shaft once the clutch is removed.

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Release Lever:

Bolts connect the clutch cover assembly to the flywheel. It includes a pressure plate, release lever mechanism, clutch cover, and pressure springs. Normally, the clutch plate rotates with the flywheel. Once the clutch is removed, the flywheel and pressure plates are free to rotate independently of the driven plate and driving shaft.

Clutch Shaft:

It’s a part of the transmission. Because the hub of the clutch plate, which is moving on it, is a splined shaft. The clutch shaft has two ends: one that links to the crankshaft or flywheel, and the other that connects to or is a part of the gearbox.

Read more: Understanding Diaphragm clutch

Diagram of a single plate clutch:

diagram of a single plate clutch

Types of single plate clutch

The following are the various types of single plate clutch:

Diaphragm spring single plate clutch:

The helical springs are replaced by a single diaphragm spring, which is a saucer-shaped disc, in the form of a clutch. When the clutch is engaged, the disc takes on a flat shape. The disc takes on a buckled shape when it is disengaged, as depicted.

The clutch is in the ‘engaged’ position in this view. The force exerted by the diaphragm spring on the pressure plate generates contact between the pressure plate, clutch plate, and flywheel.

The diaphragm spring buckles when force is given through the clutch pedal, and contact between the pressure plate, clutch plate, and flywheel is lost. The clutch is disengaged,’ and the clutch shaft does not receive motion from the flywheel.

Helical spring single plate clutch:

The helical springs are replaced by a single diaphragm spring, which is a saucer-shaped disc, in the form of a clutch. When the clutch is engaged, the disc takes on a flat shape. The clutch pedal and other linkages that cause the pressure plate to move are not shown in the disengaged position for simplicity’s sake.

The clutch plate is installed on the splined shaft and can move along the shaft’s axis. In terms of rotational movement, there is no relative movement between the plate and the shaft.

Because of the splines on the shaft, each has the same rotating motion. The engine’s flywheel is attached to the crankshaft and revolves with it. Clutch springs connect the pressure plate to the flywheel.

Read more: Understanding Cone Clutch

Working Principle

The working of a single plate clutch is less complex and can be easily understood. The clutch requires three pieces. The engine flywheel, a friction disc or clutch plate, and a pressure plate are the three components.

An axial force is applied by some springs to keep the clutch engaged. Because the pressure plate is attached to the flywheel and rotates when the engine is running, the pressure plate rotates as well. Between the flywheel and the pressure plate is the friction disc.

The clutch is released once the driving force has been pushed down. Against the force of pressure springs, this motion causes the pressure plate to move away from the friction disc. The friction plate is released as a result of the pressure plate movement, and the clutch is disengaged.

When you take your foot off the pedal, the springs force the pressure plate on the clutch disc, which presses against the flywheel in a series of steps. This connects the engine to the input shaft of the transmission, forcing both to spin at the same speed.

The clutch’s capacity is determined by the friction between the clutch plate and the flywheel, as well as how much force the spring exerts on the pressure plate. When the clutch is depressed, the piston pulls against the release fork, pressing the throw-out bearing into the diaphragm spring’s center.

A series of pins at the outside surface of the diaphragm spring causes the spring to draw the pressure plate away from the clutch plate while the center of the spring presses in. The clutch is now detached from the rotating engine.

Read more: Understanding Supercharger in Automobile Engines

Watch the video below to learn more about the working of a single plate clutch:

Advantages and disadvantages of a single plate clutch

Advantages:

Below are the benefits of a single plate clutch in its various applications:

  • The action of a single plate clutch is smooth.
  • In its operation, there is very little slippage. Slip occurs just when the clutch is engaged; after that, there is no slipping and the operation is quite smooth.
  • There is relatively little power loss.
  • Because only one clutch plate is employed, very little heat is generated.
  • This sort of clutch operates at a breakneck speed.

Disadvantages:

Despite the advantages of a single plate clutch, some limitations still occur. Below are the disadvantages of a single plate clutch in its various applications:

  • Single plate clutches suffer from a high rate of wear and tear.
  • It has a lower capacity for transmitting torque.
  • Because the springs must be stiffer, more force is required to disengage.
  • It demands a lot of upkeep.
  • When opposed to a multi-plate clutch, more room is required to accommodate the clutch.

Read more: Understanding automotive braking system

Conclusion

There is only one clutch plate in a single plate clutch. A friction principle is used in this clutch. It is the most frequent clutch-type seen in automobiles. The clutch is made up of two parts, one of which is fixed on the driving shaft and the other on the driven shaft. That is all for this article, where the definition, applications, construction, parts, diagram, Types, working, advantages, and disadvantages of a single plate clutch are being discussed.

I hope you learn a lot from the reading, if so, kindly share with other students. Thanks for reading, see you around!