Centrifugal clutches and brakes use centrifugal forces to transmit power (clutch) or to limit speed (brake).
As the brakes are based on a physical principle, centrifugal clutches or brakes do not require any additional external power supply, which makes them a perfect solution for safety applications.
The main difference between a centrifugal clutch and a centrifugal brake is in the drum: At a centrifugal clutch, the drum is not fixed and will begin to turn when the engagement speed / operating speed is reached. At a centrifugal brake, the outer drum is fix and cannot turn. This causes a braking force when the friction pads touch the drum. When designing and operating centrifugal brakes, there must be a special focus on braking time and the maximum heat.
Centrifugal clutches are mainly used as a start up clutch. A centrifugal clutch allows the usage of a smaller motor, because the motor can start load free until it has reached its optimum operating speed, at which the load is smoothly added by the centrifugal clutch.
The main application for centrifugal brakes is limiting the speed of e.g
- descending weight or persons
- safety- and fire doors – industrial applications
- leisure applications – Go Kart to a safe level.
Centrifugal clutches and brakes consist of a driving shaft with flyweights mounted around it. Flyweights are kept on the shaft by springs, on the outer side of the flyweights there are friction pads.
Watch the video below to learn more about the design and the function principle of centrifugal elements.