Water-Cooled Clutches and Brakes

April 7, 2009
Water-cooled clutches and brakes suitable for marine environments

The AquaMaKKs line of clutches and brakes from Wichita Clutch, an Altra Industrial Motion company based in Wichita Falls, Tex. (wichitaclutch.com), uses a simplified design to make the units more reliable, more powerful, and easier to install and maintain. The units are pneumatically or hydraulically controlled and water cooled. They consist of a series of alternating friction discs and water jackets. Axial forces generated by a pneumatic, hydraulic, or spring-set actuator provide the stopping or holding torque. Copper wear plates dissipate heat, which helps the water jackets keep the unit cool. A shim feature makes it easy to adjust the clutches and brakes for wear. The units work with electronic drilling systems, PLC and analog controllers, and tension controllers,

Stainless-steel components and marine-quality finishes let the devices withstand saltwater environments with no further anticorrosion protection. Some of the other features include reinforced neoprene air tubes, a hub spline to ensure rotating discs are always aligned, a release spring to make sure disengagements are complete, and external air and water connections. Options include HICO friction plates for up to 50% more torque, electronic wear monitoring, and custom back-plate mounting configurations. It is also possible to get the unit made with special materials for operating in low temperatures

With 80 psi of compressed air, the device generates between 66,500 and 1,288,000 lb-in. of torque; with 100 psi, the figures jump to 83,100 to 1,611,000 lb-in.

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