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Dr. M.A. Sai Balaji, B S Abdur Rahman Crescent Inst. of Science & Technology, INDIA

Mr. S. Habib Rahmathulla, Indian Friction Material Engineering Company, INDIA

Mr. H. Sultan Navid, Indian Friction Material Engineering Company, INDIA

Mr. Eakambaram Arumugam, B S Abdur Rahman Crescent Inst. of Science & Technology, INDIA

Mr. P. Baskara Sethupathi, SRM Institute of Science and Technology, INDIA

The effect of directional orientation of Chopped steel wool fiber in a friction material matrix / Brake pads that influences Friction, Wear and Mechanical properties of the Brake pads have been evaluated in a phenolic resin-based asbestos-free semi-metallic friction material composition.

Brake pad compositions widely use chopped steel wool fibers having a nominal length of less than 10 mm; diameter of about 500 microns; carbon content between 0.05 – 0.15 % as reinforcement. During compounding and mixing of friction material formulation, chopped Steel wool fibers along with dozen other raw materials are mixed/homogenized using plough shear mixer resulting in the steel fibers dispersed and oriented randomly in different plan and direction in the mixture and so over the final brake pad matrix too.

Trials have been carried out in Fricmart’s prototype Lab to orient chopped steel wool fiber in an uni directional plan in various semi-metallic formulations and progress has been achieved only in a medium- steel brake pad formulation that contains about 25% chopped steel fibers. Fricmart’s S-428 grade Steel wool fiber conforming to the above said specification has been used in the experiments. Fibers were initially classified using a set of sieves to remove the fines having diameter and length less than 200 microns and 3 mm respectively to meet the desired loose density / bulk density limit of 0.55 – 0.70 gm/cc to support the process of orientation.

Further, a brake pad model that has rectangular geometry ( Merc. W-123 Pad) with an area of about 50 sq. cm was chosen to conduct the trials and to support the process of orientation. Brake pads were molded using conventional compression molding process at temp. of 150 deg. C with specific pressure of 250 bar and 6 minutes curing followed by 4 hours step curing ( post-baking ) to max. temp. of 180 deg. C in an air oven .

Preparation of Samples:

Sample 1 -By employing bi-directional magnetic field coupled with other special charging chute and dispersing techniques, the desired orientation of chopped steel wool fiber that was targeted to be parallel to the sliding direction of the brake (pad) was achieved to a level of more than 90% evenly oriented throughout the layer and matrix of the brake pad. Fricmart’s PLM – Stereo Microscope surveillance facility is used to ascertain percentage orientation during trials.

Sample - 2: Brake pads processed as above by “parallel orientation to sliding direction’’ have later been used to study the effect of “orientation in perpendicular to the sliding direction’’ just by “inverting the new sample” specimen at the time of testing.

Sample - 3: One set of brake pads were processed as per industries standard using the same batch/composition of raw materials with a random distribution of chopped steel wool fiber under identical process condition without carrying out directional orientation.

Testing & Evaluation:

The samples were cut from the brake pad and tested in Chase Type Friction Tester as per SAE J661 – small sample testing and the following are the observations.

Internal shear measured as per ISO 6311 of sample -1 was significantly higher than sample – 2 & least in the case of sample 3

Faster bedding or faster adaptability to the disc in case of the sample- 1. 80% bedding achieved within 10 minutes of burnishing as compared to 20 minutes in case of samples- 2 & 3.

The coefficient of friction is also dependent on the fiber orientation and µ for the developed pad ranges between 0.35 and 0.40. Fade resistance for samples 1 & 2 is superior when compared to sample 3.

Further, it was observed that as temperature increases, initially there was abrasion/plowing and on a further rise in temperature, a transfer film was developed making the steady-state friction.

The wear rates decreased if the sliding path/direction changes from parallel to the perpendicular direction. The worn surface morphology was studied using FESEM and found that wear resistance is found to relate to the stability of the developed film.

Sample 1 with the fibers oriented parallel to the sliding direction exhibited smoother running whereas sample 2 created undesirable judder noise.

Hence it can be concluded that the Orientation of fibers with respect to sliding direction is preferable to the randomly oriented fibers towards frictional characteristics.

EuroBrake 2021





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