A variety of friction clutches, that can be shifted manually by an external force are used in automotive and engineering applications. They are used to connect and disconnect the energy flow from a drive shaft to a driven shaft. In this case the power flow is realised by a frictional connection.
In most of these applications friction materials come into operation. As the friction contact between a pair of e.g. steel surfaces is limited and not well defined, a friction material in contact with a metal mating material can guarantee a more stable and higher coefficient of friction. Up to date mainly organic friction materials are used in the clutches for manually shifted automotive gear boxes. Alternative tests have been carried out with friction material made of sintered metals, carbon fibre compounds and ceramic materials, but in the automotive industry their use is limited to special applications only.
Particularly due to their well defined frictional and excellent comfort behaviour over the life time period of the vehicle organic bound friction materials in combination with cast iron and steel mating materials are widely accepted.
The matrix of organic bound friction materials comprises of thermosetting resin and rubber binder components. These polymeric binders are the substrate for the filler materials necessary for the frictional function and they bind the reinforcing fibres.
Applied as a clutch facing in an automotive clutch application the friction material has to meet very high tribological and mechanical requirements. In this case a friction material is a well balanced multi component mixture. Only in close combination with a highly technological production process it is able to fulfil all these requirements.
Groups of experienced specialists in all teams connected to the development and production processes at Schaeffler Friction Products make it possible to provide the customers with innovative friction materials for a variety of applications.
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