car clutch, manual gearbox

A manual gearbox is often named as the manual transmission. Clutch is a type of mechanical device which helps in engagement and disengagement of the gears. It transmits power from the driving shaft to the driven shaft.  It basically works due to friction between the clutch plate and the flywheel.

What is the Purpose of Clutch?
 In manual transmission car, a clutch pedal is pressed first before changing the gears. But in the manual transmission car making the gear changes is not an easy work. To get the smooth gear flow, the engine power to the transmission has to be discontinued. In the practical life, it is not possible to turn the engine off every time only for changing the gears. So, here comes the use of clutch. A clutch is a component which helps in stopping the power supply of the engine to the transmission without turning the engine off.During the manual transmission, every driver has to maneuver the gear lever in order to shift the gear. Here, the car clutch allows engaging and disengaging the gears.

car clutch

Clutch Assembly

The clutch consists of many small parts but there are major four parts. They are:

The flywheel is directly linked with the engine crankshafts it tends to spin with the engine’s motion.

The clutch pressure plate
The pressure plate is tightly bolted with the clutch flywheel. Its major function is to grip the clutch assembly together and helps to release tension which allows the assembly to free rotation.

Also Read: How does a power steering works

The clutch disc resides between the flywheel and the pressure plate. It consists of a frictional surface similar to the brake pads. They are on both of its sides and efficiently make or break the contact with the flywheel and pressure plate. It allows smoother engagement and disengagement.

Clutch bearing and release system
They work concurrently and allow proper engaging and disengaging process. Featuring the release system, the clutch bearing pushes or pulls the pressure plate diaphragm spring. This allows engaging and disengaging the pressure plate’s grip on the disc when one presses or releases the clutch pedal.

How does a car clutch with a manual gearbox works?

A clutch basically consists of a circular disc and its outer surfaces are covered with a frictional material. In a vehicle, this clutch is attached to the flywheel. Also, on the other side of this plate, the input of the transmission is attached to it. So, whenever an external force is applied to the clutch plate the frictional force between the clutch plate and the flywheel comes into the play. Due to this frictional force, the clutch plate starts rotating with the flywheel. The pressure plate is connected to the clutch disc and thus power is supplied to the transmission via a pressure plate. This is the normal condition where the power is continuously supplied to the transmission. But the clutch is used for disconnecting this power supply. A diaphragm spring is connected to the pressure plate. Below is the diagram of the diaphragm plate or spring.

car clutch, manual gearbox

The diaphragm spring is designed in such a way that when we press its inner surface in the inward direction its outer border moves in the outward direction. And when the force from the inner surface is released, the inner surface moves outward and outer surface move inward. This diaphragm spring is attached to the pressure plate.

As previously stated the pressure plate is connected with the disc and the diaphragm spring. So, when someone presses the clutch an external force is applied to the inside surface of the diaphragm spring and due to this force, the outer layer of this spring moves in the outer direction. As the outer layer is attached to the pressure plate, the pressure plate also moves away from the disc. Thus, the power supply is disconnected due to the disengagement of the pressure plate with the disc.

As the power supply to the transmission is stopped, during this interval you can change the gear of your vehicle. After changing the gear, you release the clutch pedal and engagement of the clutch with the flywheel takes place. In this way, the engagement and disengagement of the gears is achieved by the clutch.

In the above explanation, the diaphragm spring plays an important role. Without that spring it is very difficult to control the power supply to the transmission and thus changing of the gear.

In this article, we have talked about the working of a car clutch with a manual transmission. We are sure that your concepts are cleared now after reading this article.


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