A new compliant, over-running ratchet and pawl clutch with centrifugal throw-out has been developed that drastically reduces the overall part count as compared to traditional ratchet and pawl clutches. Part count for the pawl hub assembly was virtually eliminated by making the hub a single compliant mechanism. This results in large savings in manufacturing, assembly and maintenance costs. Peak torque output for a polypropylene clutch was measured at over 66.2 N-m with an over-running torque measured at < 0.01 N-m. A mathematical model has been developed to predict the rotational speed at which the pawls disengage from the ratchet when free-wheeling. This model was verified experimentally to be accurate within 5.2%. This clutch also demonstrates the advantage of compliant mechanisms to reduce assembly and manufacturing costs.

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