Multi-plate clutch consists of a number of clutch plates instead of only one clutch plate as in case of single plate clutch. As The number of clutch plates are increased, the friction surfaces also increases. The increased number of friction surfaces obliviously increases the capacity of the clutch to transmit torque.
The plates are alternately fitted to engine and gear box shaft. They are firmly pressed by strong coil springs and assembled in a drum. Each of the alternate plate slides on the grooves on the flywheel and the other slides on splines on the pressure plate. Thus, each alternate plate has inner and outer splines.
The multi-plate clutch works in the same way as a single plate clutch by operating the clutch pedal. The multi-plate clutches are used in heavy commercial vehicles, racing cars and motor cycles for transmitting high torque. The multi-plate clutch may be dry or wet. When the clutch is operated in an oil bath, it is called a wet clutch. When the clutch is operated dry it is called dry clutch. The wet clutch is used in conjunction with or part of the automatic transmission.