Single Plate Clutch: Working, and Applications.

The clutch is the most important part of the transmission system of a vehicle. Can you imagine a vehicle, maybe bike, scooter, car, or truck, without a clutch mechanism? No, without a clutch mechanism, we can not imagine our vehicle moves here and there easily. Yes, we can imagine a vehicle without having a clutch lever, but not without a clutch mechanism. Generally our cars, buses, trucks, bikes having disc type clutch. In vehicles may somewhere single plate clutch or may multi-plate clutches we can see. It depends on vehicle type.

When you turn on the ignition of your car, after turning on the engine, you must have a need to press (or pull a lever in the bike) a lever, then have to activate first gear. Then you release the clutch slowly-slowly to move your vehicle. This lever, which plays an important role between engine starting and applying gear, is a clutch lever in manual drive vehicles. It also plays an important role when the vehicle is running and we need to shift the gears from lower to higher or vice versa.

What is the Clutch?

Definition of the Clutch: Clutch is a mechanism that allows the transmission of rotational motion from one shaft to the second shaft. Where the clutch is coupled between one and second shafts, which will coaxial. We can also say that clutch is a coupler because it joints two co-axial shafts. Clutch application is used where power transmission started and stopped frequently. 

There are many types of friction clutches. Like Centrifugal clutch, cone clutch, disc clutch ( Single Plate clutch and Multi-Plate clutch), etc. Here, we will focus on the single plate type clutch.

What is a Single Plate Clutch:

In our vehicle, the clutch is located between the engine and gearbox. When the clutch is engaged (lever is depressed or released) the rotational motion transmits from the engine shaft to the gear shaft. Then gears transmit the power to the propeller and then wheels. When we push the clutch pedal (pull the lever), the clutch disengages, this stops the motion transmission from one shaft to the second shaft. While the engine shaft is still running. Generally, our vehicles having a plate OR disc type clutch. This disc type clutches having further two types, i.e. Single Plate Clutch and Multi-Plate clutch.

The single plate clutch is a type of disc type clutch, is also known as an axial friction clutch.


A single plate clutch is shown in the image. A single plate clutch having a single frictional disc also known as frictional lining. This frictional lining having both sided frictional surfaces. It connects the crankshaft and driven shaft and transfers rotating motion. In the whole unit, having only one friction plate, that’s why it is called a single plate clutch.

Friction Clutch.
Friction Clutch: Nomenclature of single plate clutch

Before we read more about the clutch, we need to get familiar with two terms. These are engaged or disengaged clutch. When we starting the engine, stopping the vehicle, idling the engine, and shifting up or down the gear, we disengage the clutch. Means, we push the pedal (or pull the lever) the coupling between the engine shaft and gear shaft will be disengaged by the clutch.

And when the vehicle runs continuously, that time the clutch is in an engaged position.

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