Material used for making Automobile clutch plates and Why

Properties Should Consist in Material used for Clutch Plates are: 

  • Static friction coefficient, which describes how well a clutch disc will hold onto a flywheel under acceleration. If the coefficient is low, the clutch disc will slip against the flywheel, get hot, and wear away.
  • Dynamic friction coefficient, which describes how smoothly (or abruptly) a clutch disc will ‘grab’ a flywheel during engagement. If the coefficient is too high, the clutch will grab immediately, leading to uncomfortable shifts that make low-speed manuevering very difficult (a key concern for truck clutch discs).
  • Clamping force, which is the amount of force or “weight” that must be applied to a given clutch disc to make sure it doesn’t slip against the flywheel. The more force applied, the more pedal effort for the driver, the greater the load on the hydraulic system, etc.
  • Fade temperature, which is the temperature at which the clutch material begins to lose cohesion. If the temperature is too low, an afternoon spent towing the family boat (or at the local drag strip) can ruin the clutch disc.
Material used for making Automobile clutch plates
Material used for making Automobile clutch plates

There are five different materials utilized in modern clutch design:

“Organic” clutch material, which is a mix of fiberglass and other materials (including brass in some cases) molded or woven into a friction pad
Kevlar (and it’s cousin Twaron), which are synthetic fibers that make for extremely long-lasting (and very forgiving) clutch friction pads
Ceramic clutch material, which is mostly a mix of silicon dioxide and various metals and additives, sintered or brazed onto the clutch disc
Feramic clutch material, which is fairly similar to ceramic material, except containing a much larger percentage of metal
FeramAlloy, which is a new and superior alternative to feramic and ceramic clutch material
Ceramic and feramic clutch disc materials are used in racing or on vehicles with large amounts of torque (commercial trucks, farm vehicles, even 3/4 and 1-ton diesel trucks, if they’ve been sufficiently modified). A new material called FeramAlloy will likely replace ceramic and feramic clutch materials, as it offers the same key benefits (high static friction coefficient, high fade temp), but with a much lower dynamic friction coefficient that makes shifts much smoother.
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