A (rotary) clutch is a simple device: if the torque between its two axes is greater than a threshold, it slips. Is there a linear motion equivalent?
I can think of a simple arrangement such as two cylindrical magnets within a tube, each tied to a cable. pulling the cables strongly enough will disconnect the magnets. However, this is probably difficult to make accurate and repeatable at a specific desired threshold force. I can add thin separators between the magnets until the separation force is near my target value, but because of the very strong dependency on distance it will be cumbersome and inaccurate. An alternative implementation would be something based on friction (change from static friction to sliding friction) but again, I'm not sure how to make this a repeatable over dozens or hundreds of usage cycles, and adjustable and calibrated to a specific threshold.
I'm looking for something that I can set to disconnect at, e.g., 100N +/-5% or at most +/-10%. Bonus points if the threshold force level can be calibrated within some reasonable range, e.g. by some kind of screw. A nice-to-have feature would be that it will not move much, or at all, until the threshold force is reached and it separates, but it's not a requirement.
This is probably a common mechanism and I just wasn't using the correct search terms... surely this is a somewhat common requirement for a mechanism? Is there a name for this? off-the-shelf products? if not, can you suggest a custom solution?