The clutch offers a releaseable mechanical, electrical or hydraulic connection between the engine and the gearbox. In contrast to the brakes, it forms a frictional connection between two rotating components. The clutch can be engaged or disengaged either mechanically, electrically or hydralically. It is necessary for pulling off and for the changing of the gears. You can even (not too long!) stop, without having to bring the gear into neutral position. The driveaway is made by a clutch without jerk and if the drive train should be overloaded, there is the possibility of a predetermined breaking point. In the inactivated state, the clutch transmits the torque almost without loss.
The foot operated clutch is on the way out
Normally, one group of components is rotationally fixed to the crankshaft, another, to the transmission input shaft. The connection between the two groups is implemented through a foot pedal and in newer vehicles, it can be automatically triggered. Friction and electro-magnetic clutches
function when engaged, without any slippage. In this they differ in principle from connections, where the torque is transferred through hydraulic oil.
Incredible amount of clutch variations
Nowadays, single-disc (membrane-spring) dry-clutches are installed in motor cars and in most utility vehicles. In these vehicles, the clutch is operated by pressing a foot-pedal. In construction vehicles there are also clutches which are engaged by activity. In the case of planetary gearboxes, a torque converter generally replaces the clutch. 09/11