Browse Publications Technical Papers 2021-26-0092
2021-09-22

Intelligent Adjustment of Free Play in Mechanically Operated Release System Achieved Digital 2021-26-0092

Agricultural Tractors consisting of a conventional manual transmission and dry friction clutch are mostly assembled with a mechanical type of clutch release mechanism where a defined amount of free play needs to be maintained between the clutch and Release Mechanism. A defined free play is required for efficient operation of clutch, Release Bearing as well as to ensure the durability of the system. As the clutch disc wears the free play between diaphragm spring or levers (as the case may be) and the release bearing is reduced. The rate at which the clutch disc wears is dependent on many factors like working condition of the tractor, grade of the friction lining material, experience of the driver, etc. This makes it very difficult to predict the exact timeline when the free play needs to be adjusted even though an approximate indication is given in instruction manuals. In today’s situation the adjustment of the free play is carried out manually and approximately. Many times, the adjustment activity is neglected, and this leads to early failures of the clutch release bearings and / or clutch. The purpose of this solution is to ensure that the free play adjustment is automatically carried out ensuring longer life of components. The system used for automation consists of a sensorized bearing, smart logic controller, and an actuator motor. As the adjustment would be carried out digitally, it would check and ensure the required free play is always available in the system, as well as eliminate manual intervention. The same can be extended to other areas of applications like commercial vehicles etc. where a mechanical release system is used. This paper describes the innovative ways to automatically maintain a fixed value of free play between the Diaphragm Spring fingers and the clutch release bearing at any point of time as well as to automate this process without manual intervention.

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