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Title:
MAGNETICALLY ACTUATED CLUTCHES AND RELATED METHODS
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2018/213693
Kind Code:
A2
Abstract:
A magnetically actuated clutch is provided that locks when power to a magnet is off and unlocks when power to a magnet is one. The clutch remains in the locked position when there is no power, thereby providing a failsafe mechanism for a clutch driven member.

Inventors:
CATANZARITE, David (12371 Crestview Court, 12371 Crestview CourtEdinboro, Pennsylvania, 16412, US)
DOBBS, David (629 Delaware Ave, 629 Delaware Ave.Erie, Pennsylvania, 16505, US)
O'CONNOR, Timothy (2020 West 27th Street, 2020 West 27th StreetErie, Pennsylvania, 16508, US)
Application Number:
US2018/033366
Publication Date:
November 22, 2018
Filing Date:
May 18, 2018
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
LORD CORPORATION (111 Lord Drive, Cary, North Carolina, 27511, US)
International Classes:
F16D27/01; F16D13/04; F16D43/06
Other References:
None
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MILLER, Richard (LORD Corporation, 111 Lord DriveCary, North Carolina, 27511, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

What is claimed is:

1. A magnetically actuated clutch comprising:

a drive member;

a driven member;

a plurality of magnetically responsive bearings disposed between the drive member and the driven member; and

at least one magnet spaced apart from the bearings, the magnet being configured to actuate the bearings between a first position and a second position during rotation of the drive member in a first direction around an axis of rotation, wherein:

in the first position, the bearings disengage from the drive member in response to a magnetic field generated by the magnet; and

in the second position, the bearings engage the drive member and the driven member in response to an absence of the magnetic field.

2. The clutch of claim 1, wherein the magnetic actuation of the bearings generates a spring-like force encouraging the bearings to disengage when a magnetic field is applied and move the bearings to a deeper portion of the plurality of recesses.

3. The clutch of claim 1, wherein the drive member and the driven member are formed from a non-magnetic material.

4. The clutch of claim 1, wherein the drive member and the driven member are coaxial with respect to the axis of rotation.

5. The clutch of claim 4, wherein the driven member is at least partially nested in a portion of the drive member.

6. The clutch of claim 1, wherein the bearings are needles or balls.

7. The clutch of claim 1, wherein the drive member is supported on a planar face of the driven member.

8. The clutch of claim 1, wherein the driven member comprises a plurality of recesses configured to retain the bearings during actuation between the first and second positions.

9. The clutch of claim 8, wherein the recesses are radially disposed over a planar face of the driven member.

10. The clutch of claim 8, wherein the recesses are axially disposed over the driven member, and substantially parallel to the axis of rotation.

11. The clutch of claim 9, wherein the recesses comprise floors being inclined relative to the planar face of the driven member.

12. The clutch of claim 11, wherein, in the first position, the magnetic field creates a magnetic force or centripetal force that exceeds a magnitude of forces acting on the bearings to position each bearing proximate a lowest point of a respective floor.

13. The clutch of claim 11, wherein, in the second position, the centrifugal force acting on the bearings positions each bearing proximate a peak of a respective floor.

14. The clutch of claim 1 being devoid of a slip ring.

15. The clutch of claim 1 being devoid of spring-type biasing members.

16. A vehicle comprising the clutch of claim 1.

17. A transmission, pump, compressor, pump or drill comprising the clutch of claim 1.

18. A magnetically actuated clutch comprising:

a rotatable portion comprising:

a drive member;

a driven member; and

a plurality of bearing members disposed between the drive member and the driven member, the bearing members being formed from a magnetically responsive material; and

a non-rotatable portion disposed adjacent to the rotatable portion, the non-rotatable portion comprising a magnet.

19. The clutch of claim 18, wherein the non-rotatable portion comprises an electromagnet.

20. The clutch of claim 18, wherein the non-rotatable portion comprises a plurality of permanent magnets.

21. The clutch of claim 18, wherein the magnet actuates the bearings between a first position and a second position during rotation of the drive member in a first direction around an axis of rotation.

22. The clutch of claim 21, wherein, in the first position, the bearings disengage from the drive member in response to attraction to a magnetic field generated by the magnet.

23. The clutch of claim 21, wherein the driven member comprises a plurality of recesses configured to retain the bearings during actuation between the first and second positions.

24. The clutch of claim 23, wherein the recesses are radially disposed over a face of the driven member.

25. The clutch of claim 24, wherein an angle of placement of each recess relative to a center of the driven member varies.

26. The clutch of claim 24, wherein the recesses comprise an inclined floor.

27. A method of unlocking a clutch, the method comprising:

providing a clutch, comprising:

a drive member;

a driven member;

a plurality of bearings disposed between the drive member and the driven member; and

at least one magnet spaced apart from the bearings;

rotating the drive member and the driven member in a first direction around an axis of rotation; and

moving the bearings from a locked position to an unlocked position during rotation in the first direction, wherein, in the unlocked position the bearings disengage from the drive member in response to a magnetic field generated by the magnet.

28. The method of claim 27, wherein moving the bearings from a locked position to an unlocked position comprises moving the bearings in a recess disposed in the driven member.

29. The method of claim 27 further comprising providing a plurality of recesses in the driven member.

30. The method of claim 27 further comprising tuning the amount of force necessary to position the bearings in the locked position, wherein tuning the amount of force necessary to position the bearings in the locked position comprises providing a plurality of recesses in the driven member and varying the angle of the recesses relative to the axis of rotation.

31. The method of claim 27, wherein rotating the drive member and the driven member in a first direction comprises rotating the drive member and the driven member in a counterclockwise direction or a clockwise direction.

32. The method of claim 26, wherein the bearings are needles or balls.

33. The method of 26, wherein the bearing are formed from a magnetically responsive material.

34. The method of claim 20, wherein the bearing are formed from an electrically conductive material.

35. The method of claim 27, wherein the bearing comprise copper (Cu).

36. The method of claim 27, wherein the tuning step comprises selecting an angle θη offset for the recess of the driven member such for a desired application the magnetic attraction of the bearings are matched to the force to unlock the clutch.

37. A magnetically actuated clutch comprising:

a drive member;

a driven member comprising a plurality of recesses disposed in a face that opposes the drive member;

a magnet; and

a plurality of magnetically responsive bearings disposed between the drive member and the driven member, wherein the bearings are movable in the recesses when actuated by the magnet.

38. The clutch of claim 37, wherein the recesses are radially disposed over a planar face of the driven member.

39. The clutch of claim 38, wherein the recesses are disposed at a plurality of different angles over the driven member.

40. The clutch of claim 38, wherein in a first position, the bearings disengage from the drive member in response to a magnetic field generated by the magnet.

41. The clutch of claim 40, wherein in the second position, the bearings engage the drive member in response to a centrifugal force generated during rotation of the driven member.

Description:
MAGNETICALLY ACTUATED CLUTCHES AND RELATED METHODS

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

[0001] The present application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 62/508,437, filed May 19, 2017, the disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.

TECHNICAL FIELD

[0002] The present invention relates to clutches and, more particularly, to magnetically actuated clutches and related methods.

BACKGROUND

[0003] For certain applications, it is desirable to have a "power to unlock" clutch as a failsafe feature. Such a clutch would remain locked (i.e., drive/driven members are locked or engaged) when the power is off and unlocked (i.e., drive/driven members are unlocked or disengaged) when the power is on. The "power to unlock" feature is advantageous, as it allows driven parts to be controlled, even in the event of a power loss or interruption.

[0004] Existing clutches utilize motion coupled wear surfaces or drag components to lock and unlock the clutch. The wear surfaces or drag components couple the drive and driven members upon receiving power, and generate increased friction at interfaces between the coupled parts. This leads to clutch systems having shorter, limited lifetimes in which special materials, such as specialized anti-wear lubricants, become necessary.

[0005] Accordingly, a need exists for improved clutches, namely magnetically actuated clutches having a "power to unlock" feature and overrunning capability.

SUMMARY

[0006] In accordance with this disclosure, magnetically actuated clutches and related methods are provided. Such clutches are failsafe, for example, as control over the driven part is maintained during power outages or losses. The clutches described herein also exhibit longer lifetimes due to less wear between the drive and driven members. The clutches described herein exhibit an increased torque capacity and an improved ease of manufacture by virtue of a more efficient, simplified design. The clutches described herein are configured with "power to unlock" capabilities, and can be unlocked during rotation in a clockwise or counterclockwise direction, and is not dependent upon the degree and/or direction of rotation. Thus, the clutches set forth herein can unlock and overrun in any direction, including the non-overrunning direction, rendering the clutch suitable for high-torque applications.

[0007] In accordance with this disclosure, magnetically actuated clutches and related methods are provided. An exemplary magnetic clutch comprises a drive member, a driven member, a plurality of magnetically responsive bearings disposed between the drive member and the driven member, and at least one magnet. The magnet may comprise one or more permanent magnets or an electromagnet that is configured to actuate the bearings between a first position and a second position during rotation of the drive member in a first direction around an axis of rotation. In the first position, the bearings disengage from the drive member in response to a magnetic field generated by the magnet and in the second position, the bearings engage the drive member and the driven member in response to an absence of the magnetic field.

[0008] In a further aspect, a magnetically actuated clutch comprises a drive member, a driven member facing the drive member, a plurality of bearings and a magnet. The driven member comprises a plurality of recesses disposed in a face thereof, which opposes the drive member. A plurality of magnetically responsive bearings are disposed between the drive member and the driven member. The bearings are movable in a radial direction relative to the driven member between a first position and a second position in the recesses.

[0009] Methods of locking and/or unlocking a clutch are also disclosed. In an exemplary embodiment the clutch is unlocked via moving the bearings to an unlocked position. In the unlocked position, the bearings move within a recess to disengage from the drive member in response to a magnetic field generated by the magnet. The bearings move to the unlocked position when the magnet is energized to generate the magnetic field.

[0010] These and other embodiments are described in more detail in the detailed description which follows.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0011] FIG. 1 is an exploded view of a magnetically actuated clutch according to an embodiment of the presently disclosed subject matter.

[0012] FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a magnetically actuated clutch according to an embodiment of the presently disclosed subject matter. [0013] FIGS. 3A-3B are sectional views magnetically actuated clutch according to an embodiment of the presently disclosed subject matter.

[0014] FIGS. 4A-4D are perspective views of the respective drive part, driven part, permanent magnet housing, and electromagnet housing according to an embodiment of the presently disclosed subject matter.

[0015] FIG. 5A is a front plan view of the driven member according to an embodiment of the presently disclosed subject matter.

[0016] FIG. 5B is a sectional view of the driven member according to an embodiment of the presently disclosed subject matter.

[0017] FIG. 5C is a view of the driven member during actuation according to an embodiment of the presently disclosed subject matter.

[0018] FIG. 5D illustrations various positions of a magnetically responsive bearings during actuation of the driven member according to an embodiment of the presently disclosed subject matter.

[0019] FIGS. 6A-6D are front plan views of driven members having differently angled recesses for tunable locking according to an embodiment of the presently disclosed subject matter.

[0020] FIGS. 7A-7C are perspective and sectional views of a magnetically actuated clutch system according to an embodiment of the presently disclosed subject matter.

[0021] FIG. 8A-8E are various vies of a magnetically actuated clutch system according to a further embodiment of the presently disclosed subject matter.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0022] Embodiments described herein can be understood more readily by reference to the following detailed description, examples, figures (also, "FIGS."), and the previous and following descriptions. It is understood, however, that the clutch devices, features, and methods described herein are not limited to the specific embodiments presented in the detailed description and examples. It is recognized that these embodiments are merely illustrative of the principles of the instant subject matter. Numerous modifications and adaptations will be readily apparent to those of skill in the art without departing from the subject matter disclosed herein.

[0023] The Figures (also "FIGS.") 1 to 8E illustrate various views, embodiments, and/or aspects associated with magnetically actuated clutches and related methods. FIG. 1 is an exploded view of a magnetically actuated clutch, generally designated 100, according to one embodiment. The clutch 100 can comprise, consist, and/or consist essentially of a drive member 200, a driven member 300, a plurality of magnetically responsive bearings 400, and a magnet 500. The magnetically responsive bearings 400 are positionable and/or disposed between the drive and driven members 200 and 300, respectively. The magnet 500 can comprise an electromagnet or one or more permanent magnets that are spaced apart from the bearings 400. When energized, the magnet 500 is configured to generate a magnetic field for actuating the bearings 400 between a first position (see e.g., Pi, FIG. 5D) and a second position (see e.g., P 2 , FIG. 5D) during rotation of the drive member in a first direction around an axis of rotation. In the first position, the bearings 400 can disengage from the drive member 200 in response to actuation by the magnetic field generated by the magnet 500. In the second position, the bearings 400 can engage the drive member 200 and the driven member 300 in response to an absence of the magnetic field.

[0024] For example, and in some cases, the magnet 500 actuates the bearings 400 to a desired position via generating a magnetic field that either attracts or repels the bearings 400 to lock or unlock the clutch. As used herein, the terms "lock" and "locked" refer to an embodiment in which the drive and driven members are coupled or engaged, and thus, the members rotate together, simultaneously around a rotation axis. As used herein, the terms "unlock" and "unlocked" refer to an embodiment in which the driven member 300 is decoupled or disengaged from the drive member 200, so that the driven member 300 can freely rotate or in any direction relative to and/or independently from the drive member 200. In certain embodiments, when unlocked, the driven member 300 does not rotate. Notably, the driven member 300 disengages from the drive member 200 and unlocks when the magnet 500 is energized so that control over the driven part can be maintained in the absence of power. Although not shown, it is recognized that the magnet can be energized via a power source. The power source may include and/or be in communication with a controller, which instructs the power source to energize the magnet, as desired. The magnetic field generated by the magnet 500 is statically positioned relative to the drive and driven members, and therefore, does not rotate. The magnetically energizing field encourages the bearings 400 to move in a desired direction causing the clutch to unlock in the non-overrunning direction.

[0025] In some instances, the magnet 500 generates an attractive magnetic field when energized, whereby the bearings 400 move towards the magnet 500 to unlock the clutch 100. For example, the magnet 500 may be oppositely poled from the bearings 400 such that the magnetic force attracts the bearings. It is similarly envisioned that the magnet 500 may generate an attractive magnetic field to actuate the bearings 400 to lock the clutch, in certain embodiments. Alternatively, the magnet 500 may generate a repulsive magnetic field when energized, whereby the bearings 400 move away from the magnet 500 to lock or unlock the clutch. The magnets and/or bearings described herein may exhibit any desired polarity and/or combinations of polarity, not inconsistent with the instant disclosure, for facilitating locking and/or unlocking of the clutch. Further, any strength and/or type (e.g., attractive, repulsive) of magnetic field may be generated that is not inconsistent with the instant disclosure.

[0026] As FIG. 1 further illustrates, drive member 200, driven member 300, and magnet 500 can be concentric with respect to a central axis A. The central axis A may also be an axis of rotation. For example, the drive member 200 and driven member 300 can rotate simultaneously around the central axis A, either together or independently (i.e., at different revolutions) and either in a clockwise or counterclockwise direction during operation. The drive member 200 can be formed as an annular ring that can be disposed on, over, and/or around portions of the driven member 300. A rolling element 600 can be positioned inside a portion of driven member 400 and employed for transmitting torque from the drive member 200 to the driven member 300, when locked. The drive member 200 can further comprise a central aperture 204 defined or formed therein. The drive member 200 can be formed from any material not inconsistent with the instant disclosure. For example, the drive member 200 can comprise or be formed from a metal, a metal alloy, a plastic, a polymer, a ceramic material, or a composite material. The body of the drive member includes a rear or lower face 202 that engages, faces, and/or is supported on or over the driven member 300.

[0027] In certain embodiments, the drive member 200 is not magnetic and/or not magnetically responsive. The drive member 200 can be provided and/or formed via any process or technique known in the art that is not inconsistent with the instant disclosure. For example, the drive member 200 can be formed via molding, extruding, laminating, 3D printing, forging, casting, or the like. The drive member 200 is configured to attach to a rotating drive component, such as a drive shaft, and transfer torque and/or loads to the driven member 300.

[0028] The driven member 300 is configured to receive and/or retain the plurality of bearings 400 during operation of the clutch 100 in some instances. The driven member 300 can comprise a body 302 having a plurality of recesses 304 formed therein, the recesses may include pockets, grooves, slots, trenches, and/or channels disposed therein. During actuation by a magnetic field and/or a centripetal force resultant from rotation of driven member 300, the bearings 400 will roll, slide, translate, or otherwise move in the recesses 304 to lock and unlock the clutch 100 via engaging and disengaging the driven member 300 from the drive member 200. Alternatively, magnetic actuation of the bearings 400 generates a "spring-like" force encouraging the bearings 400 to disengage when a magnetic field is applied and move each of the bearings 400 to a deeper portion of one of the plurality of recesses 304. The driven member 300 can comprise a rear face 306 configured to contact the magnet 500 and a front face 308 opposite the rear face. The front face 308 is configured to face and/or contact the drive member 200. At least a portion of the front face 308 is substantially planar for facing and opposing the lower/rear face of the drive member 200.

[0029] The driven member 300 can be formed from any material not inconsistent with the instant disclosure. For example, the driven member 300 can comprise or be formed from a metal, a metal alloy, a plastic, a polymer, a ceramic material, or a composite material. The driven member 300 can also be formed via any process not inconsistent with the instant disclosure. For example, the driven member 300 can be formed via molding, extruding, laminating, 3D printing, forging, casting, or the like. The driven member 300 receives torques and/or loads transferred from the driven member 300, and transfers the torques and/or loads to a driven part attached thereto (e.g., a working part attached to the driven member).

[0030] The bearings 400 can comprise and are formed from a magnetically responsive material. The bearings 400 may be formed from any material not inconsistent with the instant disclosure. For example, the bearings can be formed from a magnetically responsive metal, polymer, ceramic, laminate, composite, gel, or any other magnetically responsive material not inconsistent with the instant disclosure. Moreover, the magnet 500 can include an electromagnet or one or more permanent magnets that, when activated, will generate a magnetic field to actuate the bearings 400 causing the bearings 400 to move in the recesses 304. The bearings 400 can comprise any size and/or shape not inconsistent with the instant disclosure. For example, and in certain embodiments, the bearings 400 are substantially spherical in shape. Alternatively, needle bearings or any other type of bearing not inconsistent with the instant disclosure can be provided.

[0031] FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the magnetically actuated clutch 100. FIGS. 3A-3B are sectional views of the clutch 100 along the line indicated in FIG. 2. As FIGS. 2-3B illustrate, the clutch 100 can comprise and/or consist of a substantially stacked arrangement in which the drive member 200 is stacked over and faces the driven member 300, and the driven member 300 is stacked over and faces the magnet 500.

[0032] Referring to FIGS. 3A-3B, and in some embodiments, the lower or rear face 202 of the drive member 200 faces an upper or front face 308 of the driven member 300. The bearings 400 are disposed between the drive and driven members, for example, and positioned in recesses 304. The bearings 400 are at least partially movable in a radial direction relative to the driven member 300 when actuated, for example, in response to a magnetic field or centripetal force. In some cases, the bearings 400 are actuated by the magnet 500. In other cases, the bearings 400 are actuated by the centrifugal force that arises and/or is generated during rotation of the drive and/or driven members. For example, when a coil 502 of the magnet 500 is energized to generate a magnetic field, the bearings 400 are movable in the recesses in a direction towards or away from the magnetic field to unlock the clutch 100. In the absence of a magnetic field and/or in instances where the centrifugal force exceeds the magnetic field, the bearings 400 can move at least partially radially outwards towards a perimeter of the driven member 300 to wedge or lodge between the drive and driven members thereby locking the clutch 100. Notably, the clutch 100 is devoid of a slip ring by virtue of the static magnetic field. The clutch 100 is also devoid of spring-type biasing members that would otherwise be necessary to encourage movement in the bearings.

[0033] FIGS. 4A-4D are perspective views illustrating the respective drive part 200, driven part 300, permanent magnet housing 500B, and electromagnet housing 504 according to an embodiment of the presently disclosed subject matter. As FIG. 4 A illustrates, the drive part 200 can comprise an annular shaped member configured to engage and/or communicate with a drive part (e.g., a shaft or rod) either directly or via the rolling element 600 (FIG. 1). As FIG. 4B illustrates, the driven part 300 can comprise a plurality of recesses 304 defined in the front face 308. A portion of the front face is planar 308 and the recesses 304 can be oriented at least partially outwards from a center of the driven member 300. The angle or degree of the recesses 304 relative to the center of the driven member 300 can be customized, where desired, and optionally varied. Any size, shape, and/or quantity of recesses 304 can be formed in the driven member 300.

[0034] As FIG. 4C illustrates, the magnet 500 can comprise a permanent magnet housing 500B having a plurality of openings 506 defined therein for housing a plurality of permanent magnets. Alternatively, the magnet 500 can comprise a housing 504 including an opening 508 configured to retain a coil of an electromagnet. The magnets 500 are configured to actuate the bearings 400 away from the drive member 200 for unlocking the clutch 100.

[0035] FIG. 5A is a front plan view of the driven member 300 according to an embodiment of the presently disclosed subject matter. As FIG. 5 A illustrates, the recesses 304 are at least partially radially positioned, disposed, and/or oriented over the front face 308 of the driven member 300. For example, and in some cases, the recesses 304 are radially oriented relative to a center axis CA of the driven member 300.

[0036] FIG. 5B is a sectional view of the driven member 300 according to one embodiment of the presently disclosed subject matter. As FIG. 5B illustrates, the recesses 304 can define a cavity having a variable depth within the driven member 300. The recesses 304 can comprise an inclined floor 314 over which the bearings 400 can move (e.g., via rolling, sliding, etc.). As the bearings 400 move to the deeper portions (PI) of the recesses 304 (i.e., the lowest points of the floor 314), the clutch unlocks. As the bearings 400 move to the shallowest points (P2) of the recesses 304 (i.e., the peaks or highest points of the floor 314), the clutch locks by virtue of the bearings 400 being lodged or wedged between the drive member 200 and the driven member 300.

[0037] FIG. 5C is a view of the driven member 300 during actuation according to an embodiment of the presently disclosed subject matter. In this embodiment, the driven member 300 rotates about the central axis in a clockwise (CW) direction. Alternatively, the driven member 300 can rotate about the central axis in a counterclockwise (CCW) direction, where desired. During rotation, a centrifugal force is generated. As FIG. 5D illustrates, the bearings 400 are movable between a first position Pi and a second position P 2 . In the first position Pi , the depth of the recesses 304 is greater than the diameter of the bearings 400, which causes the bearings 400 to un-lodge from the drive member 200 and thus, unlocks the clutch. In the second position P 2i portions of the bearings 400 protrude and/or axially extend above the recess 304 and become lodged, wedged, or otherwise positioned between the drive member 200 and the driven member 300, thus locking the clutch. Accordingly, when the power is off, the centrifugal force acting on the bearings 400 actuates the bearings to lock the clutch 100 and when the power is on, the magnetic force exceeds forces acting upon bearings 400 and creates centripetal force that actuates the bearings 400 to unlock the clutch 100. The magnetic force is stronger proximate the lowest point of the recessed floor 314, as the bearings 400 are closer in proximity to the magnet 500 disposed below the driven member 300 (see e.g., FIG. 3B).

[0038] FIGS. 6A-6D are front plan views of driven members 300 having differently profiled or angled recesses 304 for tunable locking according to an embodiment of the presently disclosed subject matter. As illustrated in FIGS. 6A-6D, the recesses 304 can assume various positions and/or orientations over the face of the driven member 300, whereby the degree of force necessary to lock and unlock the clutch can be "tuned" or customized for different applications. For example, and in some instances, more force may be desired and/or necessary to lock the clutch, whereas in other instances, less force may be desired and/or necessary to lock the clutch. The magnetically actuated clutches described herein are configured for use in a variety of different applications, including automotive, vehicular, and/or industrial applications. In the embodiments illustrated and disclosed herein, the tuning process includes selecting an angle θ η offset for recess 304 of driven member 300 such that for a desired application the magnetic attraction of the bearings 400 are matched to the necessary force to unlock clutch 100 when the magnetic field is applied.

[0039] Referring to FIG. 6A, recess 304 is an arced recess having an angle θι offset from perpendicular line PLi. Angle θι offset is one of n possible angle θ η offsets, as are the other angle θ 1-4 offsets discussed herein. Perpendicular line PLi is perpendicular to radial line Ro, where Ro radially extends outwardly from the center of driven member 300. FIG. 6 A illustrates the arced edged endpoint 304a of arced inner edge 305 of recess 30 where arced edged endpoint 304a is a radial distance Ri from the center of driven member 300. Also illustrated is the arced edged endpoint 304b of arced inner edge 305 of recess 30 where arced edged endpoint 304b is a radial distance R2 from the center of driven member 300. In the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 6A, recess 304 has a slight counter-clockwise angle θι offset, thereby radial distance Ri is less than the radial distance R2 (Ri<R2).

[0040] Referring to FIG. 6B, recess 304 is an arced recess having an angle Θ2 offset from perpendicular line PL2. Perpendicular line PL2 is perpendicular to radial line Ro, where Ro radially extends outwardly from the center of driven member 300. With recess 304 having angle Θ2 offset, FIG. 6B illustrates the arced edged endpoint 304a of arced inner edge 305 of recess 30 where arced edged endpoint 304a is a radial distance Ri from the center of driven member 300. Also illustrated is the arced edged endpoint 304b of arced inner edge 305 of recess 30 where arced edged endpoint 304b is a radial distance R2 from the center of driven member 300. In the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 6B, recess 304 has a slight clockwise angle Θ2 offset, thereby radial distance Ri is greater than the radial distance R2 (Ri>R 2 ).

[0041] Referring to FIG. 6C, recess 304 is a straight recess having an angle Θ3 offset from perpendicular line PL3. Perpendicular line PL3 is perpendicular to radial line Ro, where Ro radially extends outwardly from the center of driven member 300. With recess 304 having angle Θ3 offset, FIG. 6C illustrates the straight edged endpoint 304c of straight inner edge 305 of recess 30 where straight edged endpoint 304c is a radial distance Ri from the center of driven member 300. Also illustrated is the straight edged endpoint 304d of straight inner edge 305 of recess 30 straight edged endpoint 304d is a radial distance R2 from the center of driven member 300. In the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 6C, recess 304 has a slight clockwise angle Θ3 offset, thereby radial distance Ri is greater than the radial distance R2 (Ri>R 2 ).

[0042] Referring to FIG. 6D, recess 304 is a straight recess having no angle offset from perpendicular line PL4. Perpendicular line PL4 is perpendicular (90 degrees) to radial line Ro, where Ro radially extends outwardly from the center of driven member 300. Even though recess 304 does not have an angle offset, FIG. 6D illustrates the straight edged endpoint 304c of straight inner edge 305 of recess 30 where straight edged endpoint 304c is a radial distance Ri from the center of driven member 300. Also illustrated is the straight edged endpoint 304d of straight inner edge 305 of recess 30 where straight edged endpoint 304d is a radial distance R2 from the center of driven member 300. In the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 6D, recess 304 does not have any angle offset, thereby radial distance Ri is equal to the radial distance R2 (Ri=R 2 ).

[0043] Although not illustrated, other combinations of the foregoing are anticipated to include a mixture of offset angles on a single driven member 300, where there is an arced recess 304 having an angle θ η in a clockwise offset and followed by an arced recess 304 having an angle θ η in a counter-clockwise offset. The combinations can also include arced and straight recesses 304 in varying combinations. [0044] FIGS. 7A-7C are perspective and sectional views of a magnetically actuated clutch system 800 according to embodiments herein. In this system 800, the clutch 100 is coupled to a rotating drive shaft 804. For example, the drive member 200 can be coupled to the drive shaft 804 and the driven member 300 can be coupled to a driven part 802. The drive shaft 804 is used to transfer loads and/or torque to the driven part 802 when the clutch 100 is locked. When the clutch 100 is unlocked, the driven part 802 can rotate (or not rotate) independently from the drive shaft 804. As noted hereinabove, when the clutch 100 is powered "off (e.g., via electric power) the driven and drive members are coupled so that the shaft 804 and driven part 802 rotate together simultaneously, and when the system 800 is powered "on" the clutch unlocks via de-coupling of the drive and driven members. The system 800 may include a cooling system, an engine or motor system, a transmission system, a turbine system, a pump system, an HVAC system, a compressor system, a power generator system, a drill or any other system having rotating parts that generate loads. FIG. 7C illustrates the drive side and the load side of the exemplary clutch system 800.

[0045] FIG. 8A-8E are various views of a further embodiment of a magnetically actuated clutch 900 according to a further embodiment of the presently disclosed subject matter. In this embodiment, the driven member 902 is at least partially nested within the drive member 904. A magnet 906 is positioned around portions of the driven member 902 to magnetically actuate one or more bearings 908 to unlock the clutch 900. In this embodiment, the bearings 908 are needle type bearings. However, as noted earlier, any type of bearing not inconsistent with the instant disclosure may be provided. The bearings 908 may be magnetically and/or electrically actuated for locking and unlocking the clutch. In certain embodiments, the bearings 908 are formed from an electrically conductive material, such as copper, that can be actuated via a localized electric current that is induced by a varying magnetic field (i.e., an Eddy current).

[0046] In this embodiment, the drive and driven members 904 and 902, respectively, are coaxially aligned and concentric. Further, the bearings 908 move and/or are caused to actuate in recesses 910 that are axially disposed over the driven member 904 and are substantially parallel to the axis of rotation. In this embodiment, the magnet 906 generates a magnetic field that actuates the bearings away from the drive member 904 to unlock the clutch. In the absence of the magnetic field, the bearings are wedged between the drive and driven members 904 and 902, respectively. The clutch 900 is also devoid of a slip ring and/or rotating brushes, as the magnetic field is stationary. [0047] Other embodiments of the current subject matter will be apparent to those skilled in the art from a consideration of this specification or practice of the subject matter disclosed herein. Thus, the foregoing specification is considered merely exemplary of the current subject matter with the true scope thereof being defined by the following claims.