Types of clutch and their parts

Types of clutch systems and their parts


The main purpose of the clutch system is to isolate the movement of the engine from the wheels while driving a changing gears. Thanks to the clutch, we can achieve the correct transmission of the engine power from the gearbox, which is then transferred to the vehicle’s wheels.

In this Frenkit post we explain the different types of clutches that exist on the market, all of them different from each other but with the same purpose. Here we tell you all about them, you can’t miss them!

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Types of clutches in cars

The clutch system is mainly a part of the clutch system of cars that are equipped with gearboxes. As mentioned in previous posts, the clutch in a car “allows the correct transmission of power from the engine to the gearbox, which then passes to the wheels of the car”.

Depending on the characteristics of each vehicle model, we can distinguish between different kinds of clutches. For example, we can distinguish the clutch system according to the discs, which can be hydraulic, single-disc, bi-disc or multi-disc; by the type of cooling there are dry clutches or wet clutches; or the type of control, which are divided into friction, electromagnetic or hydraulic clutches, among others.

In the following, we will detail the different types of clutch actuators that we have mentioned above and that are available on the market. Each of them has its own characteristics.

According to the discs

  • Hydraulic clutch. For this type of clutch to work properly, it is necessary for the hydraulic fluid to be actuated. For this reason, the hydraulic clutch does not have discs, as the power required to drive the vehicle is generated by a turbine that is driven by the rotation of the car’s engine. In particular, this type of clutch is not used, due to its high fuel consumption and the high cost of keeping the car in tune. However, it is a type of clutch that can be seen in industrial vehicles.
  • Single-disc clutch. This type of clutch is called a single-disc clutch because it has only one disc between the engine flywheel and the pressure plate.
  • Bi-disc clutch. In this case, this clutch model has two dics in order to properly transmit the power from the engine to the gearbox. The two-plate clutch system can be found in cars that tend to generate quite a lot of power.
  • Multi-disc clutch. This model of clutch is composed of a series of friction discs that are responsible for controlling the transmission of power in the car. The multi-disc clutch can be found in motorbikes, for example.

According to the type of cooling

  • Dry clutch. Depending on the type of cooling of the clutch system we can find that the cooling is air-cooled, in the case of the dry clutch.
  • Wet clutch. When the cooling is by oil, we are talking about a wet clutch type.

According to the type of control

  • Friction clutch. This model of clutch is the most common on cars in circulation. In terms of operation, the friction clutch consists of the flywheel, which is supported on the primary shaft of the gearbox by a bronze bushing. In addition, depending on its type of cooling, the friction clutch is oil-cooled.
  • Hydraulic clutch. This type of clutch system allows the engine to transmit torque when it reaches a certain engine speed. Thus, the power is transmitted by a centrifugal pump which communicates with a turbine.
  • Electromagnetic clutch. Also known as an electric power-assisted clutch, it works on the electromagnet principle, i.e. an electromagnetic field is generated by an iron core and a coil for torque transmission.


Parts of the clutch system

The clutch system consists of a number of elements that make up a complete gear in which the clutch pedal and the gear lever are the two parts at a glance. In terms of clutch parts, we will describe the most common type, the friction clutch. We can highlight the following:

  • Flywheel. This flat circular part rotates whenever the engine is started. The flywheel, being bolted to the crankshaft (the base component on which the combustion engine is built), rotates with the engine.
  • Pressure plate or hub. Bolted to the flywheel, the hub or pressure plate is responsible for rotating in unison. It also consists of a diaphragm or springs, with which the clutch disc is released.
  • Friction disc or clutch disc. Composed of two sides to brake pads, the friction or clutch disc is coupled to the gearbox with the help of a shaft. When the clutch pedal is released, it rotates together with the flywheel and the hub. When the pedal is depressed, the friction disc disengages, which interrupts the transmission to the wheels of the car.
  • Pusher fork. The latter is responsible for exerting pressure on the diaphragm spring of the plate and thus releasing or pressing the disc. The pusher fork moves when the clutch pedal is actuated.

Types of clutch systems and their parts 1-1

Now that you know what are the different types of clutches and their parts, we encourage you to visit our blog section on the Frenkit website, where you will find everything you need to know to carry out a correct maintenance of the components of your car, such as everything about the clutch master cylinder.

Whether you are a professional in the automotive sector or if you decide to change your car’s systems yourself, at Frenkit we are brake part distributor for all vehicle ranges, both passenger cars and light vehicles.

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Tags: Clutch