Automobile

Understanding Diaphragm clutch

An automobile clutch is a mechanism that guarantees seamless engagement and disengagement of the power transmission shafts, namely the driving and driven shafts.

By pressing the clutch pedal, the driver can simply shift gears or slow down the car. When the clutch pedal is depressed, the contact between the driving and driven shafts is broken, and power transfer from the engine to the gearbox is cut off. Diaphragm clutches are one of the types of car clutches that employ a diaphragm spring to engage and disengage the clutch.

In this article, you’ll get to know the definition, applications, Construction, components, diagram, working, advantages and disadvantages.

diaphragm clutch intro

Read more: Understanding automobile clutch

What is a diaphragm clutch?

Just as earlier mentioned, a diaphragm clutch is a type of automobile clutch that uses the diaphragm spring for the engagement & disengagement of the clutch.

The construction of this clutch is similar to that of a single plate clutch, with the exception that Belleville springs are used instead of coil springs in the diaphragm. This clutch has greater benefits because it does not require release levers and the spring functions as a series of levers. The spring’s pressure is constantly changing. It rises until the spring reaches its flat state, then falls once this position is reached. When using this clutch, the driver does not need to apply as much pedal pressure to keep the clutch out of engagement as when using a coil spring-type clutch.

The applications of diaphragm clutch are common in vehicles like Maruri Suzuki swift, Tata safari storme, Ford Ecosport, and Nissan Navara.

Construction

The construction of a diaphragm clutch comprises the following components:

Pressure Plate:

The friction plate is forced onto the flywheel by this plate in the clutch. On one side of the pressure, the plate is the diaphragm spring.

Flywheel:

The vehicle’s engine crankshaft is connected to the flywheel, which rotates with it. The pressure plate forces the friction plate onto the flywheel when the vehicle is running, and the power is transmitted from the flywheel to the output clutch shaft due to friction between the friction plate and the flywheel.

Read more: Different Types of clutch and their working principle

Diaphragm:

The diaphragm is a sort of spring that has a circular shape. It aids in the retention of pressure on a friction plate. The outside part of the spring pushes outwards and presses the friction plate on the flywheel when the release bearing presses the inside half of the spring.

Friction Plate:

This plate, which is usually situated between the flywheel and the pressure plate and includes friction material on both sides, is often located between the flywheel and the pressure plate. When these plates come together during an engagement, the friction material is responsible for power transmission.

Release Fork:

The release fork works to press the Diaphragm spring by pressing the release bearing. A linkage connects the Release Fork to the Clutch Pedal.

Release Bearing:

The diaphragm spring is pressed by this bearing, which is actuated by the release fork.

Clutch Pedal:

The clutch pedal is a driver-operated pedal that is connected to the clutch.

Read more: Understanding manual transmission system

Diagram of a Diaphragm Clutch

The below figure shows an engaged and disengaged diaphragm clutch:

diagram of a diaphragm clutch 1

Working Principle

The working of a diagram clutch can be easily understood. For clarification, I explained it when engaged and disengaged.

When the driver lets go of the clutch pedal, the diaphragm returns to its original position. As a result, the diaphragms outside section moves inside, pressing the pressure plate against the friction plate and flywheel. Hence, there is friction between them. As a result, power/torque is once again transmitted from the flywheel to the clutch shaft. As a result, Clutch is Engaged.

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The release bearing is pressed when the driver presses the clutch pedal through a linkage. Because the release Fork presses the release bearing, Release Bearing presses the middle portion of the diaphragm to move inwards. The inwards movement of the middle portion of the diaphragm makes the outside part of the diaphragm move backward as well as pressure plate also moves backward. As a result of the backward movement of the pressure plate, the pressure on the friction plate is relieved. As a result, there is no friction between the plates and the flywheel. As a result, there is no power transmission. So, the clutch disengages.

Read more: Types of differential and their functions

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

Advantages and disadvantages of a diaphragm clutch

Advantages:

Below are the benefits of diagram clutch in their various applications.

  • Because the clutch mechanism has less friction, it requires less effort to operate.
  • Throughout the life of a clutch, the driven plate is subjected to a constant and uniform load.
  • The clamping pressure on the diaphragm springs is unaffected at high speeds, unlike a coil spring, which begins to bow or distort transversely.
  • Because it maintains precise balance at all times, harmful vibrations in automobiles are completely eliminated.
  • The clutch housing required is fairly short due to its compact form.
  • Squeaks and rafting are eliminated due to the stable foundation and lack of vibrations.
  • It has fewer rotating parts hence no problem of noisy working.
  • It is lighter in weight.

Read more: Understanding Automatic Transmission System

Disadvantages:

Despite the advantages of a diaphragm clutch, some limitations still occur. Below are the disadvantages of diaphragm clutch in their various applications.

  • The Diaphragm’s size and diameter are raised to enhance the coefficient of friction.
  • Coil springs have a tendency to bend in the transverse direction at faster speeds than Diaphragm springs.
  • For heavier trucks, the clutch size is increased to increase friction surfaces.

Conclusion

The construction of a diaphragm clutch is similar to that of a single plate clutch, with the exception that Belleville springs are used instead of coil springs in the diaphragm. This clutch has greater benefits because it does not require release levers and the spring functions as a series of levers. That is all for this article, where the definition, applications, Construction, components, diagram, working, advantages and disadvantages are being discussed.

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