AIR-OPERATED MAGNETIC CLUTCH
Original Publication Date: 1985-Jun-30
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2004-Apr-04
Xerox Disclosure Journal
One possible configuration of an air-operated magnetic clutch assembly is shown in the accompanying figure. Its function is to couple two mechanical components 11 and 13 magnetically, so that when coupled, they will move as a single unit. When uncoupled, there is minimal interaction. It consists of a very strong permanent magnet 12 and a ferrous mating surface 14 of suitable flatness and texture to produce strong frictional resistance to sliding when coupled. Decoupling is accomplished by the introduction of air pressure in the range of 12 to 100 psig via hose 18 between the mating surfaces through an internal passage 19 and at a centralized orifice 20 built into the magnet 12. The air pressure pad so developed forces the magnet to lift from the ferrous surface until a dynamically stable condition exists where the flowing air film pressure produces an equal and opposing force to the magnetic force field 16. The air film acts as an air bearing to produce virtually no friction between the ferrous surface 14 of component 13 and the confronting surface of the magnet 12.