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Eaton’s New Mineral Processing Clutch Is World’s Largest; Reduces Component Wear and Power Consumption

Diversified industrial manufacturer Eaton Corporation today announced it has expanded its Airflex® clutch line with creation of the world’s largest clutch for the mineral processing industry.

Eaton’s new Airflex 76VC2000 dual clutch system transmits rotary torque from high-speed electric motors that drive gearboxes or low-speed synchronous motors to high-performing mills up to 14,750 horsepower per pinion. The clutch’s 76-inch-diameter friction drum enables it to transmit adequate torque for large grinding mill-drive applications.

The clutch offers a new motion-control solution for higher horsepower grinding mills, which have been driven primarily by clutchless, low-speed motors offering a very slow startup rate that keeps component wear to a minimum and reduces power consumption.

“Eaton is well positioned across all of our businesses to deliver effective power management technologies that help our customers control cost and reduce their energy requirements,” said Eaton’s Don Keck, Airflex global market development manager—mining.

“High-speed motors using gearboxes or low-speed synchronous motors have been available for grinding mills, but mismatched clutches resulted in a startup rate that was too fast, causing increased stresses on mechanical systems. Eaton’s new VC clutch will enable low-speed synchronous motors or high-speed motors driving through a gearbox to achieve full engagement at a slower rate not achievable with previous clutch solutions, thereby protecting the power train by slowing the acceleration of the entire drive system.”

The new VC clutches have performed 500,000 cycles in field testing—equivalent to 50 years of operation. They are custom built to specific motor and mill configuration requirements and are available in 24 sizes.

Eaton’s Hydraulics Group is a segment of the company’s Industrial Sector. The business is a worldwide leader in the design, manufacture and marketing of a comprehensive line of reliable, high-efficiency hydraulic systems and components for use in mobile and industrial applications. Mobile and industrial markets include agriculture, construction, mining, forestry, utility, material handling, earthmoving, truck and bus, machine tools, molding, primary metals, automotive, power generation, port machinery and entertainment. Eaton’s Hydraulics Group provides customer-driven solutions under product names such as Aeroquip®, Boston®, Char-Lynn®, Eaton®, Hydro-Line®, Synflex®, Vickers®, Walterscheid™, and Weatherhead®. For more information, visit www.eaton.com/hydraulics.

Eaton Corporation is a diversified power management company with 2009 sales of $11.9 billion. Eaton is a global technology leader in electrical components and systems for power quality, distribution and control; hydraulics components, systems and services for industrial and mobile equipment; aerospace fuel, hydraulics and pneumatic systems for commercial and military use; and truck and automotive drivetrain and powertrain systems for performance, fuel economy and safety. Eaton has approximately 70,000 employees and sells products to customers in more than 150 countries. For more information, visit www.eaton.com.

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