Jaw Clutches & Jaw Brakes
and Tooth Clutches & Brakes

Jaw Clutches and Tooth Clutches

Jaw clutches and brakes – also known as tooth clutches and brakes – utilize a serrated tooth design to transfer or absorb energy from one rotating device to a second rotating device. The friction between the surfaces of the teeth of the rotating and non-rotating device allows these jaw clutches to transmit torque, and jaw brakes to hold a device in a stopped condition.

Once the torque capacity of the jaw teeth is exceeded then the jaws will disengage, dragging the teeth of one along the surface of the teeth on the second. However, this is not a recommended use for a jaw-type clutch.

Torque Handling and Variations
Jaw Clutches and Brakes / Tooth Clutches and Brakes

Jaw and tooth clutches typically transmit much higher torque in the same model size as a friction disc designs, but they are limited by engagement speed; slippage is not allowed unless the tooth form is specifically designed for it. The jaw teeth offer an easy method of obtaining a positive registration between the two devices that will be coupled together. Exceeding 100 RPM during engagement is not recommended in jaw clutches or brakes, due to violent action resulting in possible equipment damage.

Various tooth forms as well as different physical numbers of teeth are available to the designer, depending on the application. The design of the tooth form will determine the torque capacity of the clutch or the holding capacity of the brake. Using different tooth forms allows the device to slip or disengage at a predetermined point as determined by the application requirements.


Engagement Advantages of Jaw
Clutches & Brakes

  • High torque in a relatively small size
  • Capable of indexing or registration of input to output
  • Positive engagement of teeth allowing virtually zero backlash


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