Mechanical Basics

What is Clutch?

The Clutch is one among the Transmission System devices in Automobile. A Clutch is a device or set of several components that are connected to the Flywheel (end of the engine) whereas; the clutch is used to engage and disengage the driving shaft and pinion or driven shafts. Additional to what is clutch; you can learn more from this post.

What can you learn from this post?

  • What is Transmission System in Automobile?
  • Parts of The Clutch
  • Types of Clutch
  • Working of Clutch
    • Working of Single Plate Clutch
    • Working of Multi Plate Clutch
    • Working of Cone Clutch
    • Working of Centrifugal Clutch
  • Advantages of Clutch
    • Advantages of Single Plate Clutch
    • Advantages of Multi Plate Clutch
    • Advantages of Cone Clutch
    • Advantages of Centrifugal Clutch
  • Functions of Clutch
  • Conclusion

What is Transmission System in Automobile?

The word transmission says that the transfer of something from one place to another. Similarly, the Transmission system is one of the useful systems in the Automobile vehicle that helps to transmit the engine power or kinetic energy (that developed by the engine) to the driving wheels. A Transmission system is an interconnected system of many devices, the series of the transmission system is

Clutch – Gear box – Propeller shaft – Differential – Axles – Driving wheels

Now, let us start read about the parts of the clutch, working principle, types of clutch, working, and their advantages.

Parts of the Clutch:

The Clutch is a device whereas; it too requires part or components for its working so, a simple or regular clutch consists of a variety of components like

  • Pressure Plate
  • Disc or Friction plate or Clutch Plate
  • Fingers
  • Spacers
  • Bushes
  • Levers

These are the most important components utilized in a Clutch construction. These components will vary according to the types of clutch.

Types of Clutch:

According to the speed, efficiency, performance, and day by day researches, Clutches are of various types, they are

  1. Single-Plate Clutch
  2. Multi-Plate Clutch
  3. Cone Clutch and
  4. Centrifugal Clutch

The working of each types of clutch is as follows.

Working of Clutch:

The working of clutch is differing in different types of clutch but the fundamental working of clutch is similar in all the 4 types of clutch. As the function of the clutch is to disengage and engage the driven shaft with the driver shaft so, to perform this function an external effort or pressure is required and it is nothing but the human effort.

Whenever the driver of the vehicle pushes the clutch lever, the pressure is applied on the pressure plate then the pressure plate will push the friction plate (disc or clutch plate) backward towards the driven shaft which results in disengagement of the driven shaft with the driver shaft.

So, this is the basic working of clutch and this will be similar to the working of single plate clutch.

Working of Single Plate Clutch:

The working of single plate clutch is the basic type and used in the starting era. In a single plate clutch, we can find only one friction plate and it is connected to the Pressure plate adjoining to the Flywheel with the assistance of bolts. The friction plate has the property to regain its position when the pressure is removed. The friction plate or disc is positioned between the Pressure plate and Flywheel that is liberal to rotate.

What Is Clutch - Working of Clutch, Its Types, and Functions of Clutch

When the Force is applied on the Clutch Pedal, then the disc will get disengage with the Flywheel and no Transmission of Torque takes place between them. Whenever the transmission is disengaged, the driver can able to change the gear and after changing it we can release the force on the Pressure Plate. After releasing, the Disc again Engages with the Flywheel automatically and transmission will take place.

Working of Multi Plate Clutch:

What Is Clutch - Working of Clutch, Its Types, and Functions of Clutch

The working of multi plate clutch is as same as the working of single plate clutch. But in the multi plate clutch, there are more than 1 friction plate (or clutch plat or disc) will be constructed and it results in more Torque transmission.

Working of Cone Clutch:

What Is Clutch - Working of Clutch, Its Types, and Functions of Clutch

The working of the cone clutch is also quite similar to single plate clutch and multi plate clutch. The Friction plate (or disc or clutch plat) will be Wedge-shaped, due to the wedge shape, the clutch is called Cone, and the hub called Female Cone is designed in a way that the cone can fix into it whenever the force is removed.

As like the working of single plate clutch and multi plate clutch, the working of cone clutch is also the same, and whenever the pressure is applied, the cone will be moved backward direction and the disengagement of the driven shaft with driver shaft is achieved.

Working of Centrifugal Clutch: 

What Is Clutch - Working of Clutch, Its Types, and Functions of Clutch

The word Centrifugal is the force that tends the body to move away from its center. The working of centrifugal clutch is also similar to its meaning.

In the other types of clutch, whenever the pressure is applied the plate will move backward, due to this backward movement the strain over the driver shaft will be increased. So, to decrease such strain and to maintain the constant pressure force on the plates, the Semi-Centrifugal and Centrifugal Clutch will be used. The centrifugal Clutch will exert an outward force on the plates and it makes the springs engage with the plate even at High Speeds.

 Advantages of Clutch:

The advantages of clutch are as follows:

Advantages of Multi Plate Clutch:

Due to the construction of multi plates in the multi plate clutch, the friction between the plates increases, and the efficiency of the clutch plate also increases. 

Advantages of Cone Clutch:

The main advantage of cone clutch is to transmit the utmost Torque by minimizing the losses in the single plate clutch and multi plate clutch. Due to this Wedge or Cone, the transmission of Torque is high and acquires an excellent efficiency. The cone clutch is used in Off-Road Vehicles, Racing vehicles, and Powerboats. 

Advantages of Centrifugal Clutch:

The centrifugal clutch is specially designed for Lower Speeds and Higher Speed Conditions, the Pressure of springs on the plate will be exerted at Low speeds and these pressure force will increase with the increase of speed and these springs will helps the plates to come backward movement.

Functions of Clutch:

The Functions of clutch are limited but prominent. The main functions of clutch are

  • To engage and disengage the pinion shaft (or driven shaft) with the main shaft (or crankshaft) of the engine at different power transmission stages. By engaging and disengaging the clutch will help the automobile to achieve a smooth movement of torque.
  • The functions of clutch also include controlling the speed of the automobile. In the manual transmission, the vehicle can be slow down by pushing and holding the clutch lever.


The clutches are being more prominent in automobiles and the engagement and the disengagement of the driver shafts is necessary to change the gear ratio and to increase the speed. However, a few models without clutches developed and introduced in the market but they are not succeeded due to few faults. The different types of the clutch are developed to overcome the faults of their previous types of clutch.

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