What Is Cone Clutch? – Parts, Working, Applications, Diagram

A cone clutch is a type of friction clutch that has cone-shaped frictional areas. It is commonly used in synchromesh and epicyclic gearboxes. In this article, we will cover the construction, working, applications, and advantages of cone clutches.

What Is Cone Clutch?

What Is Cone Clutch
What Is 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.

Construction 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 aluminum 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 the 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 a 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.
Cone-Clutch Video

Parts 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 is 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.

Working Of Cone Clutch

Cone Clutch
Working Of Cone 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 driving 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.

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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.

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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)

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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.

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FAQ‘s

What does the cone clutch do?

A Cone clutch is used to transmit rotating motion or torque from the driving shaft to the driven shaft.

Why are cone clutches obsolete now?

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.
22. 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.

Why is a single plate clutch better than a cone clutch?

Even small wear in the cone surface interrupts the proper working of the cone clutch clutch. Due to the poor working characteristics of the cone clutch, single-plate clutch is better.

What are the main types of clutch?

Friction Clutches :
1. Cone clutch
2. Single plate clutch
3. Multiplate clutch
4. Semi-centrifugal clutch
5. Centrifugal clutch
6. Fluid Flywheel – The fluid flywheel has been used in cars employing automatic transmission and torque transmission is the type of fluid flywheel.

Where is the cone clutch used?

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

What is the principle of cone clutch?

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

In which vehicle the cone clutch is used?

1. Mercedes 37/90 PS in 1914.
2. A double cone clutch was used in Mercedes Grand Prix Rennwagen.

What is the difference between a multi plate clutch and a cone clutch?

The multi plate clutch is used for small power transmission. Multi plate clutch has larger size as compared to cone clutches. The cone clutches are used for large power transmission. Cone clutches have smaller size as compared to multi-plate clutch.

How to replace Bravo 3 cone clutch?

1. Disconnect the power supply and remove the propeller.
2. Drain the gear oil from the stern drive unit.
3. Remove the stern drive unit from the boat and place it on a workbench.
4. Remove the top housing of the stern drive unit.
5. Disconnect the shift cable and the steering cable from the drive unit.
6. Remove the drive plate and the cone clutch.
7. Install the new cone clutch and drive plate.
8. Reassemble the stern drive unit and refill it with gear oil.
9. Reinstall the stern drive unit on the boat and connect the shift and steering cables.
10. Reinstall the propeller and reconnect the power supply.

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