Cone Clutches


The cone clutch is an axially actuated clutch which is able to transmit a relatively high torque for its size compared to a single disk plate clutch of the same dimensions.   This results from the wedging action and increased friction area.  Cone clutches are not used widely now and are generally used for low peripheral speed applications.

The cone angle α is always above 8o and is normally between 12o and 15o.  if the angle is less than this value than the clutch is liable to jam in engagement.


Fa = Axial Applied Force (N)
Fn = Axial Normal Force (N)
P = Clutch Power kW
M = Clutch Torque (Nm)
μ = Coefficient of Friction.
& r = Radius of clutche ring thickness dr (m)
r i, r o = Inner, Outer radius of clutch. (m)
n = Rotational Speed (RPM)
p = Pressure for friction surface(N/m2)
p max = Maximum pressure for friction surface(N/m2)


There are two operating conditions applicable to clutch plates.

  • Uniform wear.. Applicable for practical clutch assemblies after period of operation
  • Uniform pressure.. Applicable for new clutch plate friction linings.

Cone Clutch

Uniform Wear

From the above formulae for Force and torque it is clear that

T = F.μ .(ro + ri ) /( 2.sin α)

Uniform pressure

From the above formulae for Force and torque it is clear that

Links to Clutch Information
  1. Clutches and Brakes ...A detailed selection and design guide download book
  2. Mayr ...Brakes and Clutches
  3. Warner ..Brake /Clutch Information/Data sheets