Innovative clutch disk
In vehicles, the clutch is the component separating and linking the engine from / with the drive train. It interrupts power flow for changing gears or in standstill and balances the speed difference between the combustion engine and drive train, in particular during startup and changing gears.
For comfortable, jerk-free starting of the vehicle, organic materials are usually applied as friction materials in clutches. But they have limits in terms of transmissible torque and wear behavior. Especially at higher temperatures, organic materials can be damaged or destroyed easily.
Scientists of the KIT Institute of Product Engineering (IPEK) are working on the development of a compact clutch disk for sophisticated drive systems. The KIT researchers found that inorganic materials are suited well as friction materials in principle. Inorganic friction materials, such as monolithic ceramics, allow for far higher torques at low wear and have a higher thermal stability. Compared to organic materials, inorganic friction materials, however, have a worse comfort level. This fact made the scientists develop a clutch disk of hybrid design, with the friction lining being made of both inorganic and organic friction material. In this way, the advantages of both materials are combined.
One challenge consisted in making the contact force acting on both friction linings and, hence, system behavior independent of service life or wear. The hybrid design developed by KIT increases the transmissible torque, service life, and thermal stability at the same comfort level. The clutch system is smaller in dimension, as a result of which weight of the vehicle is reduced.
The KIT looks for partners for the further development of the technology and construction of a prototype clutch disk.
Your contact person for this offer
Dr.-Ing. Philipp Scherer,
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
Innovation Manager Mobility, Innovation and Relations Management (IRM)
Phone: +49 721 608-28460