Archive: Mar 2014

Applications for Industrial Friction Clutches

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You might be surprised to find how many applications there are for centrifugal clutches. A clutch is simply a mechanical device that permits the transmission of power from one component of a machine to another. Most people are familiar with the clutches used in personal vehicles such as cars and motorcycles, but in reality, clutches are also widely used in the mining, chemical and military industry, among others.

clutch-for-the-mining-IndustryThe mining industry relies on heavy-duty machines with reliable and durable components. Coal crushers are one example. Put simply, a coal crusher is a machine used for crushing rock and other bulk materials for further processing.  They reduce hard materials such as ore, coal and stone into smaller particles that are more convenient to use. These machines work by feeding the material between two large rollers that turn together while applying great force. They rely on a clutch, which connects the two rolling components so that they can spin together at the same speed.

In the chemical industry, clutches are employed in mixers. Mixers come in a number of different shapes and sizes, but essentially work according to the same principle. They use a motor to drive the shaft and blade rapidly, in a circular motion. In this case, the clutch serves to transmit motion from the motor to the mixer shaft, which then spins the blades. A special consideration when manufacturing clutches for the chemical industry is their ability to withstand heavy loads and demanding tasks.

Clutches are also widely employed in the military industry.  In military aircrafts, for example, clutches are found in autopilot systems, fuel control and air cabin control systems, among many others. These clutches must be able to endure harsh environmental conditions without sacrificing quality of performance. Some of these conditions include humidity, heat and vibrations. This type of application often calls for high performance friction materials.

Over the past 80 years, at BLM Automatic Clutch, we’ve manufactured a countless number of friction clutches for several types of applications. We work with customers in all manufacturing industries, and our clutches come in all types of combinations: coupling, flywheel, universal shaft, pulley, and soft start combinations. Our experienced engineering, design and manufacturing team can provide the correct clutch configuration to meet all types of requirements.