The Stopping Options of a Sprag Clutch
What are the ways a sprag clutch controls the one-way direction and prevents rotation in the opposite direction?
We’re glad you asked!
There are three main stopping options a sprag clutch can use to prevent rotation from going in the opposite direction:
In this article, we will describe each stopping option and give examples of applications that use them.
Three Ways to Stop the Rotation
One: Backstopping Clutch
A backstop clutch is commonly used for safety precautions.
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.
Backstopping Clutch Machine Examples:
- 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. The most common example is an assembly line or automatic production line.
A production line that moves to one position, stops, waits and then moves one position over is a good example of how an indexing clutch works.
The motion cycle is controlled and protected by sprag clutches.
Many types of conveyors, assembly machines and production machines use an indexing sprag clutch to do business and for added safety precautions in case of motor or electrical failure.
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. The clutch allows idle spinning to keep going without the engagement of 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.
We offer the highest quality of manufactured precision components and would love the opportunity to quote your next project.
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.