Single Plate Clutch - Working, Constructon, Parts and Diagram

August 30, 2021
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A Single Plate Clutch has one clutch plate. This clutch works on the principle of friction. It is the most common type of clutch used in motor vehicles. The clutch primarily consists of two members, one mounted on the driving shaft and the other on the driven shaft.

Apart from this in this article, we look at the following points about the Single Plate Clutch.

1. What is a single plate clutch?

2. Construction of a single plate clutch.

3. Single Plate Clutch Parts.

4. Working off a single plate clutch.

5. Applications of the single-plate clutch.

6. Advantages and Disadvantages of a single plate clutch.

Before the starting point of a single plate clutch, we want to know some basic information about Clutch.

In the transmission system, the system by which power develops by the engine transmits to road wheels to propel the vehicle. In automobiles, the power develops by the engine which use to turn wheels. Therefore, the engine is to connect to the transmission systems for transmitting power to wheels.

Also, there should be a system using which the engine could be engaged and disengaged with the transmission system smoothly and without shock so that the vehicle mechanism is not damaged and passengers do not feel inconvenience. A clutch is employed in automobiles for this purpose.

A Clutch is a mechanism used to connect or disconnect the engine from the rest of the transmission elements. It is located between the engine and gearbox. The clutch disengages for starting, changing gears, stopping, and idling.

The function of the Clutch is to permit the engagement or disengagement of gear when the vehicle is stationary and the engine is running without damaging gear wheels. So, we come back to our point of Single Plate Clutch and let us start.


A single plate clutch has one clutch plate. This clutch works on the principle of friction. It is the most common type of clutch used in motor vehicles. The clutch primarily consists of two members, one mounted on the driving shaft and the other on the driven shaft.

These two shafts are parallel and concentric with each other; one shaft is fixed to its housing while the other is splined so that it can move axially. The driving torque can increase by increasing the effective radius of contact.


· A single plate clutch consists of different parts for proper working. They are arranged in a systematic order.

· Mainly it consists of a clutch plate with both side friction lining and some other parts which help in the proper functioning of a clutch like a flywheel, pressure plate, thrust bearing, hub, springs, and input mechanism for engagement and disengagement of the clutch.

· The clutch plate attaches to the hub between the flywheel and the pressure plate, it moves axially on the driven shaft.

· In a single plate clutch, the clutch plate should have both side friction lining because it mounts between the pressure plate and flywheel, friction is responsible for the torque transmission.

· The pressure plate engages with the flywheel and springs. Pressure plate helps to push the clutch plate with the flywheel.

· A lever attaches to thrust bearings with some mechanism on the driven shaft which transmits input and output motion from the clutch pedal.


A single plate clutch assembly for transmission of power consists of a flywheel, a clutch plate, pressure plate, clutch covers, release levers, primary or clutch shaft.

1. Flywheel

The flyWheel is an integral part of the engine, which also use as a part of the clutch. It is a driving member and connects to the pressure plate of the clutch shaft is houses with bearings in a flywheel. The flywheel rotates as the engine crankshaft rotates.

2. Pilot Bearing

The pilot bearing or bushing press into the end of the crankshaft to support the end of the transmission input shaft. The pilot bearing prevents the transmission shaft and clutch disc from wobbling up and down when the clutch releases. It also assists the input shaft center of the disc on the flywheel.

3. Clutch plate or Disc plate

It is the driven member of the single-plate clutch and line with friction material on both surfaces. It has a central hub with internal splines to limit the axial travel along the splined gearbox driving shaft.

This helps to provide damping actions against torsional vibrations or variations of the driving torque between engine and transmission.

A clutch disc is a plate between flywheel and friction or pressure plate. It has a series of facings inverters on each side to enlarge the friction. These clutch facings are made of asbestos material. They are highly worn and heat resistant.

4. Pressure plate

The pressure plate is made of special cast iron. It is the heaviest part of the clutch assembly. The main function of the pressure plate is to establish even contact with the driven plate facing through which the pressure springs can exert a sufficient force to transmit the full torque of the engine.

The pressure plate presses the clutch plate on to the flywheel from its machined surface. Between the pressure plate and clutch cover assembly, pressure springs are fitted.

The pressure will be withdrawn from the flywheel whenever release levers are depressed by the toggle or release levers are pivoted accordingly.

5. Clutch cover

The clutch cover assembly bolts to the flywheel. It consists of a pressure plate, release lever mechanism, clutch cover, and pressure springs. Generally, the clutch plate revolves with the flywheel.

However, when the clutch has disengaged, the flywheel, as well as the pressure plates, are free to rotate independently from the driven plate and driving shaft.

6. Release levers

These pivots on pins to the clutch cover, their outer ends locate and positions on pressure plate legs, and the inner ends are projecting towards the clutch shaft.

A careful and accurate adjustment of the release mechanism is one of the most important factors governing the performance of a clutch assembly.

7. Clutch shaft

It is a component of the gearbox. Since it is a splined shaft to the hub of the clutch plate, which is sliding on it. One end of the clutch shaft attaches to the crankshaft or flywheel and the other end connects to the gearbox or forms a part of the gearbox.


· In the Clutch the three parts needs. These are the engine flywheel, a friction disc or a clutch plate and a pressure plate.

· Some springs give axial force to stay the clutch in the engaged position. When the engine is running and therefore the flywheel is rotating, the pressure plate also rotates because the pressure plate attaches to the flywheel. The friction disc is located between the flywheel and the pressure plate.

· When the driving force has pushed down the clutch is released. This action forces the pressure plate to move away from the friction disc against the force of pressure springs. With this movement of the pressure plate, the friction plate is released, and therefore the clutch disengaged.

· When your foot is off the pedal, the springs push the pressure plate against the clutch disc, which successively presses against the flywheel. This locks up the engine to the transmission input shaft, causing them to spin at the same speed.

· The quantity of force the clutch can hold depends on the friction between the clutch plate and the flywheel, and in this way, much force the spring puts on the pressure plate.

· When the clutch presses, the piston pushes on the release fork, which presses the throw-out bearing against the center of the diaphragm spring. As the middle of the diaphragm spring pushes in, a series of pins near the outside surface of the spring causes the spring to pull the pressure plate away from the clutch plate. This releases the clutch from the spinning engine.


Single plate clutches are used where large radial space is available. e.g. cars, buses, and trucks.



1. The working of engagement and disengagement is very smooth in a single plate clutch.

2. Power losses are very less.

3. As sufficient surface area is available for heat dissipation in such clutches, no cooling oil is required. Therefore, single plate clutches are dry type.

4. Single plate clutches have a quick operation and respond fast.

5. It makes it easier to change gears than a cone type.


  • Single plate clutches have high wear and tear rate.
  • It has less torque transmitting capacity.
  • The springs have to be the more stiff hence greater force requires to disengage.
  • It requires high maintenance.
  • The space required to accommodate the clutch is more as compared to the multi-plate clutch.