A lot of different applications, from torque converters to drilling machines, use a one-way sprag clutch.
But what are the ways a sprag clutch controls the one-way direction and prevents rotation from going in the opposite direction?
We’re glad you asked!
There are three main stopping actions a sprag clutch can use to prevent rotation from going in the opposite direction:
In this article we will describe each action and give examples of applications that use them.
Three Options for Controlling the Momentum
One: Backstopping Clutch
You will commonly see safety precaution applications use a sprag clutch for backstopping.
If a machine malfunctions, the backstopping clutch is designed to hold the load it’s carrying. A good example is an elevator. If the power goes out in an elevator, the backstopping clutch can hold the weight in place & protect the people it’s carrying.
Examples of a Backstopping Clutch:
- Conveyors & Winches: Stop Loads
- High Voltage Switching: Safety Device
- Textile Machine: Material Feed Protection
- Industrial Fan: Motor Protection
Two: Indexing Clutch
An indexing clutch pushes motion in a circular direction and then allows it to idle or stop. An assembly line or automatic production line are common examples of an indexing clutch.
A production line that moves to one position, stops, waits and then moves to the next position is a good visual of how an indexing clutch works. The sprag clutch controls and protects the indexing motion cycle.
Many types of conveyors, assembly machines and production machines use an indexing sprag clutch.
Examples of an Indexing Clutch:
- Copiers: Paper Feeding
- Furniture Production: Glue Roller
- Food Production: Bottling Plant
- Sewing Machines: Material Feeder
- Automatic Winch: Controlled Raising/Lowering
Three: Overrunning Clutch
An overrunning clutch allows the rotating component to spin faster than the actual driving component that is producing the driving force.
Typically, an overrunning clutch engages and disengages when the driven RPM exceeds the driving component’s RPM.
Examples of an Overrunning Clutch:
- Torque Converters
- Conveyors: Speed Compensation
- Mixers: Motor Protection
- Motorcycles: Gear Box or Automatic Transmissions
- Packaging Machine: Spins Down Freely
- Printing Press: Ink Roller Drive
A Critical Component
A sprag clutch works in many different applications and uses different ways to control the momentum. A sprag clutch is a vital component, without it the application would not function correctly.
Our Sprag Clutch Product Line
Quality matters when choosing a sprag clutch. GMN has been manufacturing precision components, like a one-way sprag clutch, since 1908.
If you need a one-way sprag clutch, we have three main product lines that are good for backstopping, indexing, or overrunning:
- Complete Sprag Clutch Units: Designed for big loads with a high torque requirement. Manufactured with both roller bearings and ball bearings. This is our most robust product line.
- Ball Bearing Sprag Clutch Units: Good for most application requirements (sizes are matched to radial bearings). This is our most popular sprag clutch product line.
- Sprag Clutch Elements: Made for mounting on shafts without needing to use adapters, lock-nuts or shoulders. Elements consist of a cage, a spring, and sprags.
Why Buy From GMN Bearing USA?
The success of our business comes from three main pillars of excellence:
- Rapid Response: 99% of inquiries are responded to within one business day and most orders ship out the same day (from Houston, Texas).
- Expert-Level Support: Our onsite mechanical engineers and technical support specialists provide answers to your most difficult questions.
- Quality 360°: Our internal quality control process is one of the highest in the industry. We make sure GMN is synonymous with quality.
Need help finding the right product for your application? Contact us today.