The transmission clutch is a vital part of your car that transmits the engine’s rotation to the gearbox. It is a mission that allows you to do progressively, thanks to the fact that it does it by friction. However, this makes it just another wearing part of the vehicle.
In reality, the clutch is the first element of the transmission that carries the engine’s power to the wheels. So first, the motor turns the dual mass flywheel, the clutch engages with it to transmit this rotation to the gearbox. Next, we go to the transmission shaft from the gearbox if the engine is on a different axle from the driving wheels. Then we get to the differential, which transmits this rotation to the axle shafts, and these transfer the power to the wheels using the CV joint.
The transmission clutch is a path made of gears that start to rotate thanks to the connection of the clutch with the engine. All this to move a vehicle that can also weigh several tons. So, as you can imagine, the forces that a clutch must withstand are massive, and as soon as it wears out, it starts to slip without being able to transmit torque properly.
The clutch connects and disconnects the engine from the rest of the parts that make the car move because there has to be a progressive transmission to start moving the car. When the engine is on, it always turns at a minimum rpm, but there will be times when the wheels are at a complete standstill. If the transmission of that turn were immediate, the car would give a sudden jerk that would be very unpleasant for the occupants and very damaging to the transmission parts.
Hence the clutch is controlled by a pedal to regulate the friction between the clutch disc and the engine’s dual-mass flywheel. If we step on it, it separates completely. If we release it little by little, it gets closer until it starts to rub and gradually transmits the rotation. The more we release it, the tighter it gets and the more course it sends until when we release it ultimately, it compresses with the necessary force to rotate simultaneously. As it is said in physics, engineering, or mechanics: it turns together with it.
When you press the transmission clutch, you disengage the gearbox from the engine so that its gears move without the enormous pressure that the engine’s rotation makes to move them. This way, you can remove the gear and insert the next one without damaging anything.
You usually can find three main types of clutches that have their own characteristics. We have friction clutches, electromagnetic clutches, and hydraulic clutches.
The friction clutch is the most common in the vehicles that we can find on the street. Its operation corresponds to that described in this article. That is a clutch and a flywheel, which can be joined to form a joint shaft. However, it does not necessarily have to work with a dry single-disc clutch. It can also be dry or wet, bi-disc or multi-disc. More sophisticated systems are often used, for example, with dual-clutch automatic gearboxes.
There are also hydraulic or oil-immersed clutches. The two main parts of the clutch are connected using oil. The most common use of this type can be seen in vehicles equipped with torque converter automatic gearboxes and in commercial vehicles.
Finally, there are electromagnetic clutches, which are the least used and are based on the action of electromagnetic fields. Rarely will we come across any vehicle equipped with this type of clutch.