Compliant Floating-Opposing-Arm (FOA) Centrifugal Clutch

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This paper introduces the floating-opposing-arm (FOA) centrifugal clutch, presents a mathematical model for its analysis, and demonstrates the validity of a model to predict clutch performance with experimental data. The novelty of the clutch includes an arrangement of aggressive and non-aggressive contact surfaces in connected pairs to achieve a high torque carrying capability while maintaining starting smoothness and stability. As a compliant mechanism, it has fewer parts than traditional centrifugal clutches, and has the potential for significant cost reductions in manufacturing and assembly. Analysis of the FOA clutch is made difficult by the combination of dynamics and elastic deformation required for its operation. A model, based on the pseudo-rigid-body model, simplifies the engagement speed and torque capacity analyses. The model is validated by testing individual clutches and by demonstrating clutch designs in typical applications.

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Journal of Mechanical Design, v. 126, issue 1, p. 169-177