Clutch is a device used in the transmission system of a vehicle to engage and disengage the transmission system from the engine. Thus, the clutch is located between the engine and the transmission system.
When the clutch is engaged, power flows from the engine to the driving wheels through the transmission system and the vehicle moves. When the clutch is disengaged, power is not transmitted to the driving wheels and the vehicle stops, while the engine is still running. The clutch works on the principle of friction. Most of the present day vehicles use single plate clutch. This clutch is operated either manually or automatically by hydraulic pressure or by electrical energy. Diaphragm clutch uses a flexible diaphragm instead of coil springs for keeping the clutch in the engaged position.
Automated clutch actuations make it easier for the driver, particularly in stop and go- traffic, and have especially seen a recent growth in the European automotive industry. These have raised the interest for automated manual transmission (AMT) systems. An AMT system consist of a manual transmission through the clutch disc, and an automated actuated clutch during gear shifts, and one of the AMT’s largest advantages is low cost, high efficiency, reduced clutch wear and improved fuel consumption.
This is era of automation where it is broadly defined as replacement of manual effort by mechanical power in all degrees of automation. The operation remains an essential part of the system although with changing demand on physical input as the degree of mechanization is increased. Degrees of automation are of two types, via
- Full automation,
- Semi automation.
In semi automation a combination of manual effort and mechanical power is required whereas in full automation human participation is very negligible.