What Is Multi Plate Clutch? – Types, Working, Application

If we use two and more than two clutch plates, then we call it multi plate clutch. There are a lot of plates present inside the multi plate clutch so that we can transfer maximum torque.

What Is Multi Plate Clutch?

Multi Plate Clutch Diagram
Multi Plate Clutch Diagram

The multi plate clutch uses multiple clutch plates to make contact with the engine flywheel to transfer power between the engine shaft and the transmission shaft.

A multi-plate clutch used in automobiles and machinery where high torque output is required. Multi plate clutches are used in heavy vehicles with racing cars and motorcycles for transmitting high torque.

As compared to single plate clutches, these are smooth and easy to operate due to their assembly of friction surface’s contact. It may be used where the space is very limited.

Need Of Multi Plate Clutch

  • Easy gear shifting without noise and damage.
  • The function of this clutch is to allow the engine to load slowly without jerks.
  • To engage and disengage the driver and driven shaft.
  • Disconnecting or connecting the engine from the rest of the transmission system without stopping the engine.
  • Disconnecting the engine from the rest of the transmission system to add first gear to start the vehicle.
  • Disconnecting the engine from the rest of the transmission system to change gear ratio while the vehicle is running.
  • To provide the drive without jerks at the time of starting the vehicle from rest position, or at the time of changing the gear ratio.

Construction Of Multi Plate Clutch

Multi Plate Clutch

The multi plate clutch construction is similar to a single plate clutch except for the number of clutch plates. The total number of clutch plates divides into two sets in which one from each set is alternatively arranges.

One set of the plate slides in grooves on the flywheel and the other one slides on splines on the pressure plate hub.

These plates are reliably pressed by a strong coil spring and assembled in a drum. A Multi-Plate clutch works in the same way as the single-plate clutch by operating the clutch pedal.

As the number of clutch plates increases, the friction surfaces will also be increases. The increase in friction surface increases the capacity of the clutch to transmit more torque for the same size.

The multi-plate clutch of small size transmits approximately the same torque as a single plate clutch of twice the diameter.

Application Of Multi Plate Clutch

  1. Multi plate clutches use where compact construction is required, e.g., scooters, motorcycles, and racing cars.
  2. The multi-plate clutch use in some heavy commercial vehicles to transmit high torque.

Advantages Of Multi Plate Clutch

  1. Decrease the weight of the clutch.
  2. It has a very compact size.
  3. Increase the amount of torque transmits.
  4. Decrease the moment of inertia of the clutch.

Disadvantages Of Multi Plate Clutch

  1. They heat up quickly.
  2. Multi-plate clutches are heavy.
  3. Multi-plate clutches are too expensive.

Working Of Multi Plate Clutch

1. Engagement of Clutch

During the engaged position of the clutch, i.e., when the clutch pedal is not pressed. The thrust springs do not move due to which the stiffness provided by these springs maintains the pressure over the pressure, the plate having friction lines on its inner surface.

Due to this pressure over the pressure surface, the frictional contact between the friction lines of the pressure plate and the friction lines of multiple clutch plates is maintained due to which frictional force is applied over the flywheel

Due to this frictional force, the frictional contact between the various clutch plates and the wheel is supported, which in turn finally provides clutch engagement.

2. Disengagement of Clutch

When the clutch pedal is pressed, the fulcrum attached at its inner end rotates due to which the inner splined sleeve through which the pressure plate connects moves outward, which in turn applies pressure over the thrust springs.

Due to this force, the thrust springs move, which in turn releases the tension over the pressure plate, and finally, the frictional force between the pressure plate, clutch plate, and the flywheel is removed.

For the reason that the removal of the frictional force, frictional contact between the pressure plate, clutch plate, and flywheel breaks and finally the disengagement of the clutch obtained.

Difference Between Multi Plate Clutch And Single Plate Clutch

Single plate clutchMulti plate clutch
A single plate clutch has one clutch plateThe multi clutch consists of more than one clutch plate
Torque transmitting capacity is lessHigh torque transmitting capacity
Single plate clutch is bigger than the multi plate clutchMulti plate clutch is smaller than the single plate clutch
Heat generation is lessHeat generation is more
It does not ensure smooth engagementIt ensures a smooth and gradual engagement
There is no need for a cooling mediumIt needs a cooling medium
It is also called Dry ClutchesIt is also called Wet Clutches
The coefficient of friction is highThe coefficient of friction is low
Frictional power loss is lessFrictional power loss is more
Single Plate Clutch requires more spaceMulti Plate Clutch requires less space
Single plate clutches are used in cars, buses and trucksMulti plate clutches are used in Motorcycles, Scooters

Parts Of Multi Plate Clutch

The components of all the clutches used in automobile vehicles are almost the same. But with some modifications, so let’s discuss the main parts of different types of multi plate clutch used.

1. Pressure Plate

A plate attached to the splined sleeves which further connected to the pedal fulcrum. Such that when the clutch pedal pressed, the sleeves attached to the pedal fulcrum move outward, which in turn drives the pressure plate attached with this splined sleeve.

2. Clutch Plate

It is a metallic plate having frictional lines at its outer surfaces. It uses frictional contact with the flywheel to transmit power between the engine shaft and the transmission shaft.

3. Thrust Springs

These are springs used behind the pressure plate, and the stiffness of these springs is used by the pressure plate to maintain frictional contact with clutch plates, which in turn supports the clutch engagement.

4. Clutch Pedal

A clutch pedal operated by the driver of the vehicle used to control engagement and disengagement of the clutch.

5. Splined Shaft & Inner Splined Sleeves

An outer splined transmission input shaft over which the complete clutch assembly. That includes clutch plates, pressure plate, inner splined sleeve, the clutch casing place and rotates with it.

6. Flywheel

It is part of the engine. We can also consider it as part of the clutch system as the transmission of power from the engine output shaft to the transmission shaft obtain by the frictional contact between a clutch and the flywheel of an engine.

7. Diaphragm Spring

In the diaphragm type clutch system, the thrust springs used in spring type clutch replace with a single diaphragm type spring.

Types Of Multi Plate Clutch

1. Spring Multi Plate Clutch

In the clutch, a cover attaches with a flywheel of engine use inside which the multiple clutch plates, pressure plate, thrust bearing, etc. packed. The clutch plates place over each other and mount over a splined shaft.

2. Diaphragm Multi Plate Clutch

It is the modified version of the spring type multi-plate clutch. In which the thrust springs places circularly from the spring type clutch replace with a special crown-shape finger type spring called diaphragm spring.

3. Hydraulic Multi Plate Clutch

It is the modern type of clutch uses in vehicles fitted with automatic transmission, in this type of clutch a hydraulic device having highly compress fluid operates with the accelerator pedal coupled with the multi-plate clutch.

The engagement and disengagement of the clutch obtained by the output given by the hydraulic device, which controls with the acceleration pedal.

4. Wet Multi Plate Clutch And Dry Multi Plate Clutch

Wet clutches, in general, have multiple clutch plates (in cars) and have a supply of oil to lubricate and cool the components. This type of clutch is located inside the engine casing.

The wet clutches are greatly amplified and therefore can cope with much higher torque inputs. Wet clutches are generally smaller in size.

The noise level in wet clutches is less when compares to dry clutches. The presence of oil between plates helps in managing the noise.

Wear and tear are very much less in the wet clutch. In a wet clutch, the lubricating oil keeps surfaces clean and provides smoother performance and longer life.

Wet clutches provide a better coefficient of friction, as the surface area increases due to the presence of multiple plates.

Dry Clutch is a type of clutch that is not bathed in liquid (oil) and uses friction to engage. This type of clutch has its plate outside the engine casing.

Usually, the dry clutch is larger to increase the surface area of the friction plate for optimal air cooling because it does get hot due to friction of the plate.

The level of noise in the dry clutch is more and keeps increasing as the clutch continues to undergo wear and tear.

Dry clutches have a single frictional surface to transmit the power between two plates. Therefore, they do not have a much better coefficient of friction.

In the dry clutch, the lubricant not applies and hence the torque transmitting of these clutches is better. Dry clutches do not have oil supply and are generally single-plate.

Multi Plate Clutch Formula
Multi Plate Clutch Formula

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Multi Plate Clutch Video


What is Multi Plate Clutch?

The Multi Plate Clutch uses multiple clutch plates to make contact with the engine flywheel to transfer power between the engine shaft and the transmission shaft.

Multi-plate clutch used in which vehicle?

The multi-plate clutch use in some heavy commercial vehicles to transmit high torque.

Why are multi plate clutches used in motorcycles?

The multi-plate clutch is very compact, takes up less space and transmits more torque. Also in motorcycles, the space available for the clutch is small. Therefore, multi-plate clutch is used in motorcycles.

Why are multi plate clutches called wet clutches?

In multi plate clutch heat generation is more due to more frictional surface. So it needs a cooling medium, therefore, multi plate clutches are also called “wet clutches.”

What are the parts of a multi plate clutch?

1. Pressure Plate
2. Clutch Plate
3. Thrust Springs
4. Clutch Pedal
5. Splined Shaft & Inner Splined Sleeves
6. Flywheel
7. Diaphragm Spring

What are the types of multi plate clutch?

1. Spring Multi Plate Clutch
2. Diaphragm Multi Plate Clutch
3. Hydraulic Multi Plate Clutch
4. Wet Multi Plate Clutch And Dry Multi Plate Clutch

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