Clutches are used whenever the transmission of power or motion must be controlled either in amount or over time.
In the simplest application, clutches connect and disconnect two rotating shafts. In these devices, one shaft is typically attached to a motor or other power unit while the other shaft provides output power for work. While typically the motions involved are rotary, linear clutches are also possible.
In a torque-controlled drill, for instance, one shaft is driven by a motor and the other drives a drill chuck. The clutch connects the two shafts so that they may be locked together and spin at the same speed, locked together but spinning at different speeds, or unlocked and spinning at different speeds.
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