There are four
different types of freewheeling clutch, also known as overrunning clutches.
They are all used to freewheel or overrun in one direction while maintaining
the driving rotational force in a different direction.
One of the main
characteristics of all freewheeling clutch occurs when the driven shaft rotates
faster than the driving shaft. When this happens, an overrunning clutch will
disconnect the driving shaft from the driven shaft. This makes such clutches
ideal for use with heavy duty applications and when backstops and dual or
one-way drives are required, as well as with multiple speed drives.
of a freewheeling clutch makes them a popular choice for machinery used in
industries such as mining, agriculture and metal processing.
Below we take a
look at the four types of freewheeling clutch.
Roller Ramp Overrunning Clutch
Roller ramp freewheeling clutches consists
of cylindrical rollers in the wedge-shaped area between the outer cylindrical
surface and the inner flat surface. The clutch is engaged when friction is
generated between these surfaces and the rollers, which become wedged when the
flat inner surface rotates in the driving direction. The roller ramp
overrunning clutch is known to a long lasting design.
applications for roller ramp clutches include agricultural machinery, pumps and
compressors, and these and other types of clutches are available through
industrial clutches supplier Yorkshire’s YB Components.
Sprag Overrunning Clutch
clutches work similarly to roller ramp clutches with inner and outer
cylindrical shapes, but instead of the uniform rollers they use figure 8-shaped
sprags that only move in one direction. These clutches provide better torque
but their radial space restrictions limit the bore size.
A sprag clutch can be used in some automatic gearboxes to
enable the transmission to change gears smoothly under load. Other applications
include the starting turbine of a jet engine, and in helicopters where they
help transfer power from the engine to the main rotor.
Wrap Spring Freewheeling Clutch
clutches feature a helical spring that tightens around a cylindrical sleeve to
transmit torque in a single direction. They are usually found in low speed or
light load operations.
Wedge Freewheeling Clutches
Wedge clutches provide
high overrunning speed and torques and are usually a cost-effective alternative
to other varieties of freewheeling clutch. They don’t use a cylinder-shaped
outer housing but instead have a flat surface fitted with compact springs. This
design tweak gives the wedge clutch a larger surface
with which to increase torque and makes them very easy to look after and
If you need an
industrial clutches supplier, Yorkshire’s YB Components keep local stocks ready
to ship out fast and free all over the UK and the rest of the world. You can contact
to speak to the UK’s leading supplier of industrial clutches in Yorkshire.