Multi plate clutch consists of more than one clutch plates contrary to single plate clutch which consists of only one plate. Friction surfaces are made in case of multi-plate clutch. Due to increased number of friction surfaces, a multi-plate clutch can transmit large torque.
Therefore, it is used in racing cars and heavy motor vehicles witch have high engine power. The clutch plates are alternatively fitted with engine shaft and the shaft of gear box. He plates are firmly held by the force of coil springs and they assembled in a drum.
One plate slides in the grooves on the flywheel and the next plate slides on spines provided on pressure plate. Thus, each alternate plate slides in grooves on the flywheel and the other on splines of pressure plate. If we take two consecutive plates, then one has inner and other has outer splines.
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WORKING OF MULTI PLATE CLUTCH
- During clutch engagement, spring pressure forces the pressure plate towards engine flywheel. This causes the friction plates and the steel driven plates to be held together.
- Friction locks them together tightly. Then the clutch basket, drive plates, driven plates, clutch hub and the gearbox input shaft all spin together as one unit.
- Now power flows from the clutch basket through the plates to the inner clutch hub and into the main shaft of the transmission.
- The clutch gets released or disengaged when the clutch pedal is pressed. This causes the clutch pressure plate to be moved away from the drive and driven plates, overcoming the clutch spring force.
- This movement of the pressure plate, relieves the spring pressure holding the drive and driven plates together. Then the plates float away from each other and slip axially.
- Thus, the clutch shaft speed reduces slowly. Finally, the clutch shaft stops rotating. Power is no longer transferred into the transmission gearbox.
Multi Plate Clutch Advantages & Disadvantages
Advantages of Multi plate Clutch :
- Increase the amount of torque to be transmitted.
- Decrease the pedal effort to operate the clutch.
- Decrease the weight of the clutch.
- Decrease the moment of inertia of the clutch.
- Increase in better acceleration.
Disadvantages of Multi plate Clutch
- Too expensive.
Applications of Multi plate Clutch
- This type of clutch is used in Scooters and Motor Cycles, where space availability is limited. Besides, this finds the application in some Heavy Transport Vehicles and Racing Cars where high torque is to be transmitted.
- Increase in its torque capacity.
- Better increase in acceleration.
- Wear reduction due to location of frictional plates on both the sides of the steel plate.
- Better clutch control
Wet Clutch and Dry Clutch
Multi-plate clutch may be dry or wet. When the clutch is operated in oil bath, it is called as ‘wet clutch’. When the clutch is operated dry, it is called as ‘dry clutch’. The wet clutches are generally used as a part of the automatic transmission.
Advantages of Wet Clutch Over Dry Clutch:
- Wet clutch has increased number of frictional as well as metal plates to transmit high torque. The plates on engine shaft are made of steel while those on gear shaft are made of phosphor bronze. These plates immersed in oil bath help to dissipate the heat generated during the operation of engagement and release faster than dry clutch.
- Engagement and disengagement of wet clutch is gradual which is operated by hydraulic pressure.
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