The How and Why of Centrifugal Clutches

BLM designs and manufactures centrifugal clutches for a wide variety of small and large applications. They are integral components in machinery in almost every industry and the benefits of using a centrifugal clutch are many. This important component is ideal for starting po wer equipment safely and effectively.

How a centrifugal clutch operates

The main purpose of a centrifugal clutch is to connect the power source (engine, motor, turbine, etc.) to the load that is accelerated. It uses centrifugal force to turn the drive shaft and acts as a transmission activated by the increasing rpm of the engine. It uses centrifugal force to turn the drive shaft and basically acts as a transmission that is activated by the increasing rpm of the engine. Sizing the clutch to the running requirements of the load, and not the horsepower capacity of the motor, allows the motor to develop maximum torque and offers the advantage of using a smaller motor and gear reducer.

Utilizing a centrifugal clutch allows maximum torque with minimum current draw. This is the most efficient condition for accelerating the load as the clutch does the slipping and heat dissipation, preventing the motor from absorbing and becoming damaged by the heat. Clutches can be adjusted for capacity by varying the weight of the internal operating mechanism enabling a wide range within each clutch size.

Why choose a centrifugal clutch

When the clutch is properly selected it will eliminate BLM_Dec06084_001shock loading of the power train,
enable smooth acceleration, and provide overload protection to the motor and machinery if an overload situation should occur. BLM clutches are designed to:

  • Automatically engage and disengage
  • Enable motor start without load
  • Allow smooth acceleration without shock
  • Permit smaller motor use
  • Slip in overload conditions
  • Eliminate the need for starting equipment
  • Save energy when starting up


custom centrifugal solutionsCentrifugal clutches are widely used in machinery throughout industry, including mining, manufacturing, and the military, to protect motors from damaging conditions and to keep machinery running at optimal levels.

BLM’s centrifugal clutches are available in a wide range of sizes with custom solutions available for any application. To learn more about these products, please contact BLM today or visit our website.

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