What is Electromagnetic Clutch? Operation and Applications



The Electromagnetic Clutch is a type of clutch system which gets the power of engagement and disengagement from an electromagnet rather than a mechanical effort by the driver.

Engagement Of Clutch

The figure shows an electromagnetic clutch. In this clutch system, the flywheel consists of winding. The current is supplied in the winding from the battery or dynamo. When the current flows through the winding, it produces a magnetic field which attracts the pressure plate, thereby engaging the clutch.

Disengagement Of Clutch

When the current supply is cut-off, the clutch is disengaged. The gear lever contains a clutch release switch. When then driver holds the gear lever to change the gear, the switch is operated cutting off the current to the winding which causes the clutch disengaged.

At low gear speeds when the dynamo output is low, the clutch is not fully engaged. so, three springs are also provided on the pressure plate which helps the electromagnetic clutch engaged firmly at low speed also. This type of clutch is also used in Renault cars.

Electromagnetic Clutch
Electromagnetic Clutch

Types of Electromagnetic Clutch

  1. Single disk clutches.
  2. Multi-disk clutches.
  3. Electromagnetic Particle Clutches.
  4. Hysteresis Powered Clutches.
  5. Electromagnetic Tooth Clutches.
Electromagnetic Clutch Line Diagram
Electromagnetic Clutch Line Diagram


When the electromagnetic clutch is used in motor vehicles, there is a clutch release switch inside of the gear lever. The driver operates the switch by only holding the gear lever to change the gear, thus shut down Current to the electromagnet and disengaging the clutch. By this mechanism, there is no need to depressing the clutch pedal.

Alternatively, the switch may be replaced by a proximity sensor or touch sensor which senses the presence of the driver’s hand near the lever and cuts off the current.

Electromagnetic Clutch
Electromagnetic Clutch

In most vehicle’s AC systems with open-drive compressors, a small electromagnetic clutch connects the AC system compressor’s shaft end to a pulley driven by the engine crankshaft. because another pulley and a belt-drive allow the compressor to Cycle on only when needed.

Some vehicle compressors featured in automobile AC systems don’t feature such a clutch for the reason that they’re permanently driven by the engine. And their volumetric flow rate controlled through a solenoid valve installed on the body of the compressor and not their operating state.

You can watch the animation video of Electromagnetic Clutch below:


  • The clutch control system is so simple so complications of clutch linkage are not required.
  • Less driver effort is required for engaging and disengaging the clutch for the reason that it is electronically operated.


  • The initial cost is high.
  • Works at less operating temperature, for the reason that at high temperature, the insulation gets damaged.
  • The armature coil used for engagement needs a periodic check.


Electromagnetic clutches have been used in the following areas :

  1. Diesel locomotives.
  2. Auto-airconditioning System of vehicles.
  3. Vehicles with AWD systems.
  4. Office equipment.
  5. Pumps and Compressors.
  6. Servo motors and robotics.
  7. Outdoor power equipment.
  8. Processing machinery and factory automation.
  9. Medical equipment.
  10. Off-road equipment.

Also, Read These Posts

  1. What is Semi-Centrifugal Clutch? Construction and Operation
  2. What is a Hydraulic Clutch?
  3. What is a Dog Clutch?


Creative Blogger And Automobile Engineer.

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