Non-Jamming Gear Clutch
Original Publication Date: 1984-Jan-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Feb-02
Friction clutches are conventionally used to couple a driven shaft with a driving shaft. Such clutches are relatively expensive due to the fact that they require one shaft to be floating so that it will always be in contact with the clutch surface. Gear clutches are known and have the advantage over friction clutches of being less expensive when molded gears are used because such gears are themselves inexpensive and fewer parts are required for a gear clutch since there is no floating shaft. In addition, bearing loads are lower for gear clutches, requiring less power to drive. The principle problem with gear clutches is the possibility of gear lockup if the driven gear does not mesh with the driving gear when the two gears are engaged. This problem is solved by the gear clutch mechanism shown in Fig. 1.