Multi-Plate Clutch

line diagram of Multi-Plate Clutch

Multi-Plate Clutch consists of a number of clutch plates instead of only one clutch plate like in the Single plate clutch.

Friction surface also increased because of a number of clutch plates. Because of a number of friction surfaces, The capacity of the clutch to transmit torque is also increased.

Working Principle

The plates are alternately fitted to the engine crankshaft and gearbox shaft. They are firmly pressed by strong coil springs and assembled in a drum type casing.

Each of the alternate clutch plate slides on the grooves on the flywheel and the other slides on splines on the pressure plate. Thus, each alternate clutch plate has inner and outer splines.

  • The working of Multi-plate clutch is the same as a single plate clutch by operating the clutch pedal.
  • The pressure plate rotates with the flywheel and It press against the friction plate.
  • This forces the clutch plate and clutch shaft as well.
  • When the clutch pedal is pressed, The clutch plates are released and flywheel still rotating because they are not fully pressed by the pressure plate. Thus clutch shaft also stops rotating.

Types of Multi-Plate Clutch

Multi-Plate Clutches are two types. These clutches are used in automatic transmission.

Multi-Plate wet Clutch When the clutch is operated in an oil bath, it is called a wet clutch. In this clutch plate, Thin plates of steel fitted to engine shaft (means drive shaft) and phosphor Bronze plates are fitted to the clutch shaft (means driven shaft). Multi-plate clutch has grooved surfaces for allowing the oil to flow through them. These grooves decrease heat generated when engage and disengage operations.

Multi-Plate dry Clutch When the clutch is operated dry it is called dry clutch. This clutch has plates with friction material the same as in single plate clutch.

Line Diagram

line diagram of Multi-Plate Clutch


  • Multi-plate clutch transmits high torque because of the number of friction surfaces.
  • The overall diameter of Multi-plate clutch is reduced compare to the single plate clutch and transmit the same torque.
  • It is used in heavy vehicle and racing cars to transmit high torque.
  • It is used in two wheelers where there is a limitation of space.


  • Multi-plate clutches are too expensive.
  • Multi-plate clutches are heavy.


  • The multi-plate clutches are used in racing cars, and motorcycles.
  • The multi-plate clutch is used in heavy commercial vehicles to transmit high torque.

General FAQ

Where Multi-Plate Clutches are used?

The multi-plate clutches are used in racing cars, heavy commercial vehicles, and motorcycles.

What are the disadvantages of Multi plate clutch?

Multi-plate clutches are too expensive and heavy.


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