Pneumatic Clutches: An Overview to Advantages, Specifications, and Features

Pneumatic clutches, also known as air or hydraulic clutches, use compressed air or hydraulic pressure to transmit power from one part of the power transmission drivelines to the other. By engaging an industrial pneumatic hydraulic clutch, power from an engine can be transferred to down-train devices like transmission and drive wheels. Moreover, power transfer can be stopped by disengaging a pneumatic clutch, but it allows the engine to continue turning. These clutches have superior thermal capacity. By going through this article, one can uncover the advantages, specifications, and features of pneumatic clutches.

Advantages of Pneumatic Clutches

Here are some advantages of investing in pneumatic, hydraulic clutches:

  • Source Availability

Air is the main operating fluid that pneumatic clutches use to transfer power. Now that air is available in abundance and free of cost, it becomes easier for industrial facilities to restock the clutch system.

  • Safety

Now that an industrial pneumatic hydraulic clutch operates on air, safety hazards are significantly minimized. There is a reduced risk of fire since air is inflammable and clutch leakages also don’t threaten the environment.

  • Cost-Effective

The initial manufacturing cost of a pneumatic clutch system is considerably low. Usually, manufacturers use affordable materials such as zinc, plastic, and aluminum to manufacture pneumatic clutch systems.

  • Effective Cleanliness

With air being relatively clean, pneumatic clutches can be easily cleaned. Pressurized air forces out dirt or debris in the clutch system. Moreover, these clutches consist of a limited number of tubes enabling the clutch system to disassemble and clean easily.

Features of Pneumatic Clutches

A manufacturer can add additional capacities to the pneumatic clutches to customize them to meet unique requirements. Some of these features and options include:

  • Adjustable Torque: Adjustable torque is mainly used for torque limiters and slip clutches. The users can adjust the torque when the pneumatic clutch disengages or slips.
  • Zero Backlash: With the zero backlash feature, there is no play or backlash when the load is engaged or no load disengagement during a directional reversal.
  • Bi-Directional: Pneumatic clutch can be set up in such a way that it rotates in either direction.
  • Automatic Re-engagement: The pneumatic clutch can re-engage the load when the torque drops to an acceptable level.
  • Slip Indication: Slip indication installed in the clutch can move a pin radially when it’s overloaded or when it sends an electrical signal to the drive motor.
  • Feedback: The feedback system provides an electrical signal to monitor multiple parameters, including speed, position, torque, slip, or lockup status.


The simple system design of the pneumatic clutches leads to more accurate torque control than mechanical clutches. And when combined with pneumatic brakes, the clutch and brake system can reduce braking distances. And these are often used in heavier vehicles such as buses, trucks, etc. Even some pneumatic clutches are designed to use in automation and robotics systems. There are several important specifications that a person should consider when choosing an industrial pneumatic hydraulic clutch, such as torque rating, power, speed, maximum pressure, drive or load connections, shaft configuration, and more.

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