Recognizing the Multi-Plate Clutch

Multi Plate Clutch 1 1

To facilitate the passage of power from the engine shaft to the transmission shaft, a multi-plate clutch has several clutch plates that come into contact with the engine flywheel. A multi-plate clutch is used in vehicles and machinery when a significant amount of torque production is required.
In this lesson, you will become familiar with the concept of a multi-plate clutch and its uses, construction, parts, kinds, operating principle, benefits, and drawbacks.

Can you explain what a multi-plate clutch is?

To transmit power from the engine shaft to the transmission shaft, the multi-plate clutch incorporates several clutch plates that come into contact with the engine’s flywheel. A multi-plate clutch is utilized when there is a need for a large torque output, such as in vehicles and industry.

A multi-plate clutch is used in automobiles to transmit more power from the engine to the transmission shaft of the vehicle while at the same time compensating for the loss of torque that occurs due to slippage. This clutch is utilized in various applications, including racing automobiles, commercial vehicles, military vehicles designed for specific roles, heavy machinery, and motorbikes. Multi-plate clutches are what you’ll find on scooters and motorcycles because of the limited space in the gearboxes of these vehicles. Multiple clutches are constructed using more than three discs or plates to achieve greater torque production.

Multi Plate Clutch
Image Source: YouTube


As was said earlier, multi-plate clutches are typically found in high-performance motor vehicles like racing cars and motorcycles because of their ability to transfer massive amounts of torque. Compared to clutches with a single plate, these are more user-friendly and have a smoother operation because of the assembly of friction surface contact. It can be utilized in settings with a restricted amount of room. The following is a list of popular applications for multi-plate clutches:

  • It is used in scooters and motorcycles, both of which have a restricted space that must contain the clutch, and it is where it is most commonly found.
  • A multi-plate wet clutch is utilized in two-wheeled vehicles with a restricted amount of room.
  • It is also used in racing vehicles, which require the highest possible transfer of torque to compete.
  • Vehicles such as Heavy Transport and Special Purpose Vehicles are known to include this component.
  • It is used in large cars to transmit powerful torques when a single plate clutch of the same size isn’t sufficient. This is the case when the vehicle is too large.
  • Heavy-duty transport vehicles like tractor-trailers, which have higher power and torque needs, employ a multi-plate dry clutch because it can accommodate those specifications.
Multi Plate Clutch 1
Image Source: The Machine Design


The design of a multi-plate clutch is comparable to the architecture of a single-plate clutch; the only difference is the number of clutch plates used in the multi-plate clutch. The entire number of clutch plates is split between two sets, and the positions of one clutch plate from each set are rotated in a counterclockwise direction.

The first pair of plates is inserted into the groves on the flywheel, and the second pair is moved onto the splines on the pressure plate hub. These plates are reliably pressed by a powerful coil spring, then connected to form a drum. A multi-plate clutch may be made to operate in a manner analogous to that of a single-plate clutch by modulating the clutch pedal.

Multi Plate Clutch 2
Image Source: mechanical gossips

As the number of clutch plates rises, the friction surfaces will also increase accordingly. The larger the friction surface, the greater the clutch’s potential to transmit additional torque while maintaining the same dimensions. The amount of torque communicated by a compact clutch with many plates is comparable to that of a single-plate clutch that is twice as wide.


The following is a list of the primary components that make up a multi-plate cone:

Pressure plate:

A plate was attached to the splined sleeves and subsequently to the pedal fulcrum once it had been assembled. When the clutch pedal is depressed, the sleeves attached to the pedal fulcrum move outward. This movement drives the pressure plate that is coupled to the splined sleeve.

Pressure plate
Image Source: YouTube

The multi-Clutch Plate is:

It’s a metal plate having ridges and grooves on the outside to increase traction. It makes frictional contact with the flywheel, transferring the power from the engine shaft to the transmission shaft.

Thrust Springs:

These are the springs that are utilized in the process of the pressure plate. The pressure plate takes advantage of the springs’ inherent rigidity to keep the clutch plates in frictional contact to facilitate clutch engagement.

Pedal for the Clutch:

The car’s driver manipulates the clutch’s engagement and disengagement by using a pedal for the clutch.

The splined shaft and the inner splined sleeves are as follows:

The complete clutch assembly is attached to an externally splined gearbox input shaft. This system rotates with it since it has several components, including the clutch plates, the pressure plate, the inner splined sleeve, and the clutch casing.

Image Source: Grimmer Motors


It is a part of the motor that drives the engine. It is also possible to consider it part of the clutch system, which is defined as the process of transferring power from the engine’s output shaft to the transmission shaft through frictional contact between a clutch and the flywheel of the engine. This can be thought of as another function of this part.

Diaphragm Spring:

In a diaphragm-type clutch system, the several thrust springs typically employed in spring-type clutches are replaced with a single diaphragm-type spring.

Several Variations on the Multi-Plate Clutch

The many forms of multi-plate clutches are described in the following paragraphs.

Multi Plate Clutch 5
Image Source: ResearchGate

Multi-Plate Clutch with many spring-loaded plates:

In this particular style of Multi-Plate Clutch, the flywheel is outfitted with a cover. Multiple clutch plates are displayed on the cover of the item. The outer plates of the clutch apply thrust on the inner plates, producing a drive and engaging the plates. This is made possible with the assistance of clutch springs or thrust springs. The mechanism will draw the endplate back to disengage the clutch, which will cause the springs to be compressed and the other plates from being released. Older autos and bikes typically have this type of clutch installed.

Diaphragm multi-plate clutch:

In certain circles, the spring-type multi-plate clutch is referred to by its other name, the diaphragm-type clutch. Because this sort of finger spring is formed like a crown, the diaphragm clutch gets its name from how it is constructed. There is neither a push spring nor a clutch in this package. When the clutch is engaged, the diaphragm presses on the outer ring, but when the clutch disengages, the inner ring bears the response load. This clutch is utilized in the production of contemporary motorbikes and vehicles.

Multi Plate Clutch 6
Image Source: Automobile Informer

Hydraulic multi-plate clutch or automated transmission clutch:

Automobiles that have automated transmissions require this type of clutch. The acceleration pedal activates a hydraulic mechanism that contains highly pressurized fluid coupled to the multi-plate clutch. The hydraulic system carries this mechanism. The engagement and disengagement of the clutch plates are sent to and received by the hydraulic device. The accelerator pedal controls this mechanism.

Plate Clutch, Both Wet and Dry:

In most cases, wet clutches consist of several clutch plates and a reservoir of oil used to lubricate and cool the various components (in vehicles). This clutch is located inside the housing for the engine itself. Because of its amplification, wet clutches can manage substantially greater torque inputs than dry clutches. Wet clutches often have fewer eggs than their dry counterparts.

Multi Plate Clutch 7
Image Source: YouTube

Wet clutches are noticeably quieter than their dry counterparts in terms of operation. The lubrication of the space between the plates contributes to noise reduction. The wear and tear on the wet clutch are significantly lower. Because the lubricating fluid in a wet clutch maintains the surfaces clean, the clutch’s performance is more consistent and has a longer lifespan. Wet clutches have a higher coefficient of friction than dry clutches because they have a greater surface area due to the increased number of plates.

A clutch that depends only on friction to engage is referred to as a dry clutch since it does not require any liquid (oil). This particular clutch has a plate mounted externally to the engine casing. Because friction causes the friction plate to get hot, dry clutches are often larger than wet ones. This is done to optimize the surface area of the friction plate, which allows for more effective air cooling. The dry clutch generates more noise, increasing as the clutch deteriorates.

A dry clutch transfers power between the plates via a single frictional surface. As a direct consequence, their friction coefficient is not noticeably reduced in any way. A dry clutch does not contain any oil, contributing to the improved torque transmission offered by these clutches. Dry clutches are single-plate clutches that do not have an oil supply. Dry clutches are also known as friction clutches.

Multi Plate Clutch 8
Image Source: Dubizzle

Principle Operation Of a Multi-Plate Clutch

The operation of a multi-plate clutch is not as complicated and may be comprehended with relative ease. When the clutch is in the engaged position, also known as when the clutch pedal is not depressed, the clutch is said to be in the engaged position. Because the thrust springs do not move, the stiffness created by these springs maintains the pressure at a level higher than the pressure, even though the plate’s inner surface contains friction lines.

Because of the pressure given to the pressure surface, the frictional contact between the friction lines of the pressure plate and the friction lines of the various clutch plates continues to exist. This, in turn, causes a frictional force to be applied to the flywheel. This frictional force helps maintain the frictional contact between the different clutch plates and the wheel, ultimately resulting in clutch engagement.

Principle of Operation
Image Source: YouTube

When the clutch pedal is pushed, the fulcrum at its inner end begins to spin. This causes the inner splined sleeve, which is attached to the pressure plate, to go outward. This causes the thrust springs to be subjected to pressure. Because of this force, the thrust springs move, which removes the tension from the pressure plate and also eliminates the frictional force that was previously present between the pressure plate, clutch plate, and flywheel.

Because of the elimination of the frictional force, the frictional contact that was previously present between the pressure plate, clutch plate, and flywheel is now broken, which results in the disengagement of the clutch.

Principle of Operation

The benefits and drawbacks of utilizing a clutch with many plates


In the many contexts in which it can be utilized, a multi-plate clutch offers the following benefits.

  • It is attainable to get a higher torque transmitting capacity.
  • Because of the higher friction surface, the clutch assembly’s size is lowered, resulting in a smaller diameter.
  • It is quite reliable.
  • It is constructed to bear the weight of enormous automobiles.
  • There will be an improvement in better acceleration.
  • Bringing down the overall weight of the clutch is a smart move.
  • Lessen the pressure that must be applied to the clutch pedal to engage it.
Benefits and Drawbacks
Image Source: Engineering Learn


There are still certain restrictions to consider when using a multi-plate clutch, even though it has several benefits. The following is a list of the drawbacks that can be associated with the use of multi-plate clutches in their different applications.

  • Their temperature rises quickly.
  • Multi-plate clutches are notorious for being bulky and difficult to use.
  • Because of their prohibitively high price, multi-plate clutches are not widely used.
Multi Plate Clutch 12
Image Source: Meineke


To transfer power from the engine shaft to the transmission shaft, multi-plate clutches include numerous clutch plates that come into contact with the engine’s flywheel. A multi-plate clutch is utilized when there is a need for a large torque output, such as in vehicles and industry. The definition, applications, construction, parts, kinds, operating principle, benefits, and disadvantages of a multi-plate clutch have been explored throughout this article. This brings the total number of topics covered in this article to ten.

I hope the reading teaches you a lot, and if it does, would you mind sharing what you’ve learned with the other students? Thank you for taking the time to read; I’ll see you around!

Mia A Chloe
Author: Mia A Chloe

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