This Floating-Opposing-Arm (FOA) Centrifugal Clutch, developed by the BYU CMR lab, utilizes compliant mechanism technology to produce a high performance clutch with only two components. The clutch shoes are fabricated from a single piece of material and the flexible segments connecting the shoes eliminate the need for springs. The two parts of the FOA clutch can be seen below.
What is a centrifugal clutch?
- A clutch that uses centrifugal force to engage two concentric shafts.
How does it work?
-The torque is transmitted from the central drive hub through the floating clutch shoes to the outer drum. Since centrifugal clutches rely on centrifugal force to actuate, there is increased engagement and friction between the shafts at greater speeds. Likewise, as the drive hub slows down, the floating clutch shoe retracts and disengages from the outer drum.
-low part count
-easy clutch assembly and replacement
-symmetry that allows for use in either rotational direction
-higher torque than non-aggressive shoes
-smoother start than aggressive shoes
-low probability of self-locking
-adaptable to a variety of materials and loads
The BYU Compliant Mechanisms Research Group (CMR) involves students and faculty who strive to make an impact by creating compliant mechanism theories and applications that are novel, used by others, and make a difference for good.