clutch


clutch

Device for quickly and easily connecting or disconnecting a pair of rotatable coaxial shafts. Clutches are usually placed between the driving motor and the input shaft to a machine and provide a convenient means for starting and stopping the machine and permitting the driving motor or engine to be started in an unloaded state (as in an automobile). Mechanical clutches provide either a positive (no-slip) or a friction-dependent drive; centrifugal clutches provide automatic engagement. An overrunning clutch transmits torque in one direction only and permits the driven shaft of a machine to freewheel (continue rotating after the driver stops); on bicycles, such clutches permit the rider to coast without moving the pedals.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
For the full entry on clutch, visit Britannica.com.

Seen & Heard

What made you look up clutch? Please tell us what you were reading, watching or discussing that led you here.

Get Our Free Apps
Voice Search, Favorites,
Word of the Day, and More
Join Us on FB & Twitter
Get the Word of the Day and More