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Electromagnetic

clutch
In heavy trucks the manner in which the clutch is disengaged and re-engaged can
adversely affect the clutch wear, produce speed feedbacks to the engine, result in
acceleration jolts, and ultimately subject the driver to undesirable physiological
stresses.

In the drive mechanism of a heavy truck, the friction disc clutch is generally the
weakest member in the torque transmission. Thus improper operation can easily
destroy the clutch. Prior art systems have failed to minimize these effects.

object of the invention is to provide a method and an apparatus, which upon
command, automatically disengages the clutch of a vehicle and then re-engages the
clutch in such a manner as to reduce clutch wear to a minimum, minimize speed
feedback to the vehicles' engine and avoid sudden acceleration jolts so as to protect
the transmission parts and limit physiological stresses upon the driver to the lowest
possible level.

another object is automatically to control the engagement of the clutch members so as
to minimize the danger of excessive clutch wear.
The electromagnetic clutch is most suitable for remote operation since no linkages are
required to control its engagement. It has fast, smooth operation. However, because
energy dissipates as heat in the electromagnetic actuator every time the clutch is
engaged, there is a risk of overheating. Consequently the maximum operating
temperature of the clutch is limited by the temperature rating of the insulation of the
electromagnet. This is a major limitation. Another disadvantage is higher initial cost.
Automobiles

When the electromagnetic clutch is used in automobiles, there may be a clutch release
switch inside the gear lever. The driver operates the switch by holding the gear lever to
change the gear, thus cutting off current to the electromagnet and disengaging the clutch.
With this mechanism, there is no need to depress the clutch pedal.

Alternatively, the switch may be replaced by a touch sensor or proximity sensor which
senses the presence of the hand near the lever and cuts off the current. The advantages
of using this type of clutch for automobiles are that complicated linkages are not required
to actuate the clutch, and the driver needs to apply a considerably reduced force to
operate the clutch. It is a type of semi-automatic transmission.
Electromagnetic clutches are also often found in AWD systems, and are used to vary the
amount of power sent to individual wheels or axles.

A smaller electromagnetic clutch connects the air conditioning compressor to a pulley
driven by the crankshaft, allowing the compressor to cycle on only when needed.
How it works

Engagement
When the clutch is required to actuate, current flows through the electromagnet, which
produces a magnetic field. The rotor portion of the clutch becomes magnetized and sets
up a magnetic loop that attracts the armature. The armature is pulled against the rotor
and a frictional force is generated at contact. Within a relatively short time, the load is
accelerated to match the speed of the rotor, thereby engaging the armature and the
output hub of the clutch. In most instances, the rotor is constantly rotating with the
input all the time.

Disengagement
When current is removed from the clutch, the armature is free to turn with the shaft. In
most designs, springs hold the armature away from the rotor surface when power is
released, creating a small air gap.