A clutch is a mechanical device that provides for the transmission of power (and therefore usually motion) from one component (the driving member) to another (the driven member) when engaged, but can be disengaged.

Clutches are used whenever the transmission of power or motion needs to be controlled either in amount or over time (e.g., electric screwdrivers limit how much torque is transmitted through use of a clutch; clutches control whether automobiles transmit engine power to the wheels).

In the simplest application, clutches are employed in devices which have two rotating shafts (drive shaft or line shaft). In these devices, one shaft is typically attached to a motor or other power unit (the driving member) while the other shaft (the driven member) provides output power for work to be done.

In a torque-controlled drill, for instance, one shaft is driven by a motor and the other drives a drill chuck. The clutch connects the two shafts so that they may be locked together and spin at the same speed (engaged), locked together but spinning at different speeds (slipping), or unlocked and spinning at different speeds (disengaged).

Read more about Clutch:  Friction Clutches, Other Clutches and Applications

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Famous quotes containing the word clutch:

    I take this evanescence and lubricity of all objects, which lets them slip through our fingers then when we clutch hardest, to be the most unhandsome part of our condition.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882)

    ...I remembered the rose bush that had reached a thorny branch out through the ragged fence, and caught my dress, detaining me when I would have passed on. And again the symbolism of it all came over me. These memories and visions of the poor—they were the clutch of the thorns. Social workers have all felt it. It holds them to their work, because the thorns curve backward, and one cannot pull away.
    Albion Fellows Bacon (1865–1933)

    We have no participation in Being, because all human nature is ever midway between being born and dying, giving off only a vague image and shadow of itself, and a weak and uncertain opinion. And if you chance to fix your thoughts on trying to grasp its essence, it would be neither more nor less than if your tried to clutch water.
    Michel de Montaigne (1533–1592)