The Importance of Friction Materials in Safety Systems

Friction is essential in braking and safety systems to be safe and work efficiently.

Materials are added to brakes and clutches to ensure that a system has sufficient friction. These friction materials are typically created from durable, heat-resistant materials that can endure high amounts of physical stress.

Here’s a quick guide on the different types of friction materials and how they are used in industrial braking and safety systems.

Uses of Friction Materials

Friction materials use a textured or rough surface to stop or slow down their processes of:

  • Clutch and brake systems
  • Operating systems
  • Automotive equipment
  • Gear tooth systems
  • Industrial machinery

Friction materials come in a range of types and shapes to adapt to various applications. However, their form determines their use, as each shape and configuration will only perform specific functions.

Friction Disc

Friction discs are an essential part of a disc brake system. The discs consist of friction material attached to a metal plate with an adhesive or rivets.

This allows them to slow the motion of industrial vehicles so that they can turn or stop.

Clutch Disc and Facing

Clutch discs connect and disconnect the transmission of manufacturing equipment and large machine motors, whether electric, hydraulic, or pneumatic.

They attach to the transmission’s shaft and engage the engines when the clutch releases. When the clutch disengages, it also disengages the transmission, allowing the machine to change gears.

Clutch facings help make clutch operation smooth and consistent, reducing the amount of noise produced.

Brake Pads and Lining

Brake pads and lining are a barrier between braking components to boost friction levels and keep parts from breaking down too quickly.

They are manufactured from either semi-metallic, non-asbestos organic, or ceramic materials.

Brake Shoes

Brake shoes are crescent-shaped components that have friction material applied to their surface.

They serve the same function as brake pads and lining. However, brake shoes apply friction by moving up and outward to make contact with drum brakes.

Drum brakes use hydraulic pressure to push the shoes against the interior surface of a mechanism’s spinning portion to slow the device’s motion.

Brake Block

Brake blocks consist of a hard resin, wire, viscose, or glass that presses against a wheel to stop motion.

While this may seem more straightforward than other braking devices, they have many applications. This includes slowing the speed of mining, engineering, and industrial machines.

Types of Friction Materials

To determine which friction material is most suitable, you will need to consider the following:

  • Speed at which friction can stop the object or system
  • Frequency of use
  • Budget
  • Required chemical and wear resistance
  • Required energy absorption
  • Permissible heat generation
  • Coefficient of friction

Friction materials with rougher surfaces are more efficient but require more energy, while smoother surfaces help transport materials more efficiently. Rubber is one way to enhance the ability of brake and safety systems to produce friction.

One of the most popular friction materials is asbestos fibers. However, ceramic has grown popular as an alternative because of the health concerns associated with asbestos exposure.

Semi-metallic brake materials are also often used, as they have similar durability to ceramic. These materials use brass, copper, and steel wool bonded by resin.

Improving Safety Systems Through Friction Materials

Quality friction materials help ensure braking and safety systems work well, are safe to operate, and will have reduced wear and tear.

Different applications have different requirements for friction material. Kor-Pak will work with you to ensure you receive the best friction material for your industrial machines.

If you need advice, products, or services, contact us today to find out more about our friction materials and braking systems.

Posted in Industrial Brakes and Clutches.