Even Roller Coasters Need Overrunning Clutches

Altra Industrial Motion
Altra Motion roller Coaster overrunning clutches

Even Roller Coasters Need Overrunning Clutches

One of the most popular inverted roller coasters at a large, Midwestern theme park needed a replacement overrunning clutch. This thrilling coaster starts with a lift hill that ascends 137 ft. (42 m). A 9,000 lb. chain pulls the trains through various climbs, corkscrews, and dives while reaching a maximum speed of 57 mph (92 km/h).

Formsprag Clutch was specified based on years of exceptional reliability and long-lasting performance on many other coasters at the park. To meet the ride’s requirements, Formsprag supplied a grease-lubricated, 15″ diameter FSO-1027 clutch with a 27,000 lb.ft. (36,720 Nm) torque capacity. All FSO automatic backstopping clutches feature a high torque density and require no adjustments or controls.

As with most coasters, the ride’s drivetrain is located at the base of the initial lift hill. For this backstopping application, the FSO clutch has a torque arm mounted to the outer race and is positioned on the gearbox’s double extended input shaft, on the opposite side of the gearbox from the motor. The gearbox output shaft drives the chain lift sprocket. The clutch prevents reverse rotation of the chain lift to keep the attached loaded train cars from sliding backward down the steep lift hill in the event of a power failure.

Altra Motion Overrunning Clutch



• FSO grease-lubricated clutch
• 27,000 lb.ft. (36,720 Nm) torque capacity
• Requires no adjustments or controls

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