How To Choose the Right Magnetic Particle Clutch

Clutches are vital components in many machines, enabling the engagement and disengagement of power transmission between rotating shafts. In applications requiring tensioning, resistance, or testing, clutches primarily focus on controlling force and allowing the accurate execution of tasks. With a well-selected clutch, the machine can operate at optimal efficiency and productivity, resulting in better product quality and overall performance.

With the increasing use of magnetic particle clutches in various industries, businesses must understand how to choose the best-performing product for their requirements. This post provides a comprehensive guide on choosing a magnetic particle clutch specific to the needs of your business. We will discuss the key considerations for selecting the best clutch for your application and the benefits of using magnetic particle clutches.

Key Considerations in Choosing a Magnetic Particle Clutch

The following factors must be considered when choosing a magnetic particle clutch for bottle capping, rewinding, feedback control, and testing motors and power tools:

Torque Requirements

The clutch should be capable of transmitting the required torque efficiently and consistently. Placid Industries provides its customers with the smoothest running torque, which is vital for precise motion control. To determine the required torque capacity, you must consider the torque requirements of the application and the operating conditions, such as speed and load. Torque is adjusted very accurately with Placid Industries magnetic particle clutches by changing the current provided. Using a Placid Industries Power Supply with your magnetic particle clutch can ensure the provided current is adjusted accurately.

Operating Speed

The clutch should operate efficiently under the application’s speed specifications without excessive wear or damage. For example, high-speed applications require a clutch with a high maximum rotational speed, while low-speed applications can be handled with a lower top speed.

Heat Dissipation

To minimize heat in clutch applications, keep the clutch input RPM around 30-40 RPM higher than the required output RPM. Faster slip speeds generate excess heat and wear without benefits. Ensure sufficient heat dissipation and consider the gearmotor ratio if needed. Systems that produce too much heat may need a cooling system. This can be accomplished using piped air and fans to remove heat.

Environmental Conditions

The environment in which the clutch will be operating will impact its performance and lifespan. Therefore, the clutch should withstand the conditions of the application — such as temperature, humidity, and vibration without affecting its performance or durability.

Benefits of Placid Industries’ Magnetic Particle Clutches

Placid Industries’ magnetic particle clutches provide smooth and repeatable torque, critical in applications requiring precise motion control. Furthermore, the torque is directly proportional to the applied current, making them highly controllable and allowing for precise torque adjustment. Placid Industries magnetic particle clutches are highly efficient and require minimal maintenance costs over a long lifespan. Placid Industries also offers supplementary products to provide a seamless setup and integration of our magnetic particle devices. Read more about these supplementary products below.

Power Supply

Magnetic particle clutches require a constant current power supply. Placid Industries’s power supplies are designed for use with brakes and clutches and are available in a range of configurations to suit different needs:

PS Power Supplies

The PS Power Supplies are ideal for our small brakes and clutches. Depending on the specific application requirements, they are available in enclosed (bench-top) and open configurations. The output current can be controlled using the potentiometer knob or a 0-10v signal, providing flexibility and ease of use. The scalable output current range also allows for precise control, even for miniature brakes and clutches.

PST Power Supplies

For larger braking and clutch systems, Placid Industries offers PST Power Supplies. These have an output of 24 Volts DC and are available in 2, 3, and 4 Amp versions. The output current can be controlled using the potentiometer knob, 0-5 volt, or 0-10 volt signal.

PSH Power Supplies

The PSH Power Supplies are designed for large brakes, clutches, or multiple smaller ones. They have an output range from 0-30 Volts DC and are available in 2, 3, and 5 Amp versions. The output current can be controlled using the potentiometer knobs, providing optimal performance and flexibility.


Applications like winding or unwinding require constant tension. Placid Industries offers accessories that are used concurrently with magnetic particle brakes and clutches. These accessories include follower arm potentiometers, ultrasonic sensors, and signal isolation cards.

Follower Arm Potentiometer

The follower arm potentiometer is used to maintain constant tension when using a brake to produce unwind (payout) tension or a clutch for rewind tension. It rides on the surface of the material during wound or unwound. As the follower arm potentiometer raises during winding or lowers during unwinding, the shaft is rotated, changing the provided current from the power supply to the clutch. This accurately and effectively adjusts the torque and maintains constant tension.

Ultrasonic Sensor

The ultrasonic sensor maintains constant tension when using a brake to produce unwind (payout) tension or a clutch for rewind tension. The sensor measures the diameter of the roll and sends a 0-10 VDC signal directly to the Placid PS power supply. Connect the ultrasonic sensor to the Signal Isolation Card using the PST power supply. Torque is automatically varied as roll size changes to keep tension constant. A remotely mounted potentiometer adjusts the tension. The sensor measures distances by sending an ultrasonic sound pulse and then measuring the time for the return echo pulse.

Signal Isolation Card

The Signal Isolation Card SIC powers the Ultrasonic Sensor. The Ultrasonic Sensor measures the diameter of the roll to keep the tension constant as the roll size changes and sends a 0-10 VDC signal to the SIC. The SIC’s 0-10 VDC output signal controls a Placid Industries PST power supply. The Tension Adjustment Potentiometer adjusts web tension.

Choose Placid Industries for Your Magnetic Particle Clutch Needs

Placid Industries has consistently produced superior-quality magnetic particle clutches and brakes with exceptional technical abilities and notoriously smooth operating torque. We prioritize performance, speedy shipping, and attentive customer service. Thus, we have earned a reputation as a reliable supplier of clutches and brakes to a diverse global clientele across various industries!


Contact us or request a quote to begin your project with us.