Cone Clutch – Parts, Working, Construction, Application & Diagram

What Is A Cone Clutch?

The cone clutch is a type of friction clutch that has cone-shaped frictional areas. These types of clutches are commonly used in synchromesh and epicyclic gearboxes.

Cone clutches were the first to be used in automobiles and they continued to be popular, because of this simplicity, throughout the 1920s, when they gave way to single plate clutches, due to the poor working characteristics of the former.

Video Credit | Skill Lync

Components Of Cone Clutch

1. Female Cone (Outer Cone)

When the engine rotates the female part connected to the engine rotates and due to the friction between the cone plates the male part rotates

2. Male Cone (Inner Cone)

Male cone is the part of a cone clutch which is connected to the gearbox and is machined in the shape of a solid cone over which frictional material is attached.

3. Flywheel

The flywheel bolted to the engine crankshaft and connected to the female part and the female part acts as a driving member.

4. Spring

The function of spring is to press the male part against the female part in this clutch. A normal thrust spring located behind the male cone is used for engagement and disengagement of the clutch.

5. Clutch shaft

It is connected to the gearbox so as to transmit the power from the engine via clutch. Also, splines having teeth or ridges on the driving shaft that mesh with grooves so as to transfer the torque.

6. Throwout Bearing

A throwout bearing is a part of this clutch that temporarily disengages the engine while shifting the gears in the manual transmission.

7. Friction Lining

The friction lining is placed on the inside surface of the outer cone and the outside surface of the inner cone so that smooth engagement will be generated between male and female cones.

8. Clutch Pedal

A clutch pedal is used to operate the clutch for engaging and disengaging.

Construction Of Cone Clutch

Cone Clutch
Diagram of Cone Clutch

It consists of a male and female cone part. The flywheel bolted to the engine crankshaft is connected to the female part and the female part acts as a driving member. The male part is made up of two units one is the central hub and the other is the outer cone part. The cone part is made up of aluminium and the hub is made up of steel for strength.

The hub of the male part is splined and mounted over the input shaft of transmission and it can move axially over it. The contact surfaces of the male and female parts are lined with friction material. There is also spring that presses the male part against the female part and there is a throw out bearing connected to the male part for disengaging the parts.

Also, Read | What is A Clutch?

Working Of Cone Clutch

Cone Clutch
( cone clutch uses, friction cone clutch, cone friction clutch )

When the clutch is engaged, the male part presses against the female part because of the springs. The male part is present completely inside the female part with its friction surfaces in contact. When the engine rotates the female part connected to the engine rotates and due to the friction between the cone plates the male part rotates as well. Thus the motion gets transmitted from the driving member to the driven member.

When the driver presses the clutch pedal the linkage moves the throw out bearing this in turn moves the male cone away from the female cone resulting in the disengagement of the clutch. As soon as the driver releases the clutch pedal the male part returns to its original position thus the re-engagement of the clutch occurs.

Also, Read | What Is Single Plate Clutch?

Cone Clutch Application | Application of Cone Clutch

  • It used in various manual transmissions as synchronisers.
  • They are used in various heavy machines as they can transmit high torque.
  • This Clutches are generally used in low peripheral speed applications.
  • It is commonly used in power racing boats.
  • This clutch are used in racing and rallying vehicles.
  • It is used in some automobiles and other combustion engine transmissions.

Also, Read | What Is Multi Plate Clutch?

Advantages Of Cone Clutch

  • In this clutch the normal force acting on the contact surfaces is larger than the axial force.
  • It can transfer high torque when compared with the plate clutches of the same size.
  • As the mating surfaces are in the shape of a wedge less effort is required to operate the clutch.
  • It creates less noise than other clutch plates.

Disadvantages Of Cone Clutch

  • If the angle of the cone is large then the effort required to disengage the clutch will be more.
  • Even a small wear in the cone surface interrupts the proper working of the clutch
  • If the angle of the cone is made smaller than about 20° the male cone tends to bind or join the female cone and it becomes difficult to disengage the clutch.
  • Faces should be dressed periodically. (Dressing – The act of maintaining the surfaces smooth for easy operation either by repairing by adding lubricants)

Also, Read | What Is Cone Clutch?

[ PDF ] Cone Clutch Formulas

FAQ

Q. Why have cone clutches become obsolete even though they provide high frictional torque?

Cone clutches are practically obsolete because of certain inherent disadvantages such as :

1. If the angle of the cone is made smaller than about 20° the male cone tends to bind or join the female cone and it becomes difficult to disengage the clutch.
2. A small amount of wear on the cone surface results in a considerable amount of the axial movement of the male cone for which it will be difficult to allow.

Q. What is the principle of cone clutch?

The cone clutch works on the principle of friction that has cone-shaped frictional areas.

Q. In which vehicle the cone clutch is used?

A cone clutch is used in some of the old vehicles like –
1. Mercedes 37/90 PS in 1914.
2. A double cone clutch was used in Mercedes Grand Prix Rennwagen.

Q. What is the Cone clutch Angle?

The angle of the cone clutch is always above 8° and is normally between 12° and 15°.

Q. What are the Main parts of Cone Clutch?

1. Female cone (outer cone)
2. Male cone (inner cone)
3. Flywheel
4. Spring
5. Clutch shaft (Central Hub)
6. Throwout Bearing
7. Friction Lining
8. Clutch Pedal

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