Development of ecologically safe frictional materials and organization of their production in mechanical engineering

Frictional materials are a broad class of materials intended for manufacture of brake units, clutch linings, frictional inserts, dampers and clutches used in vehicles, rolling stock, aircraft construction, engineering facilities of oil and gas producing enterprises, railways, transport systems, technological equipment and numerous other machines and mechanisms. Their purpose is to absorb or dissipate the kinetic energy. The efficiency of FM depends on their capability of dissipating energy. Within a more than 80-years period of evolution of frictional materials science, asbestos was a primary filling agent for the frictional polymer compositions and some types of sintered frictional materials. Numerous investigations have proved that the fibrous particles incorporated in asbestos are biologically active substances with expressed carcinogenic effect. By the decision of the General Assembly of UNO asbestos was related utterly hazardous for human health.

In spite of strict measures undertaken by the European Community, there were almost no limitations in CIS on the use of asbestos. There exists, however, State Standard R 50507-98 Frictional brake products. General technical information, which regulates application of frictional materials in vehicles. Finally, asbestos was prohibited for usage in 2001. In this connection, to raise competitiveness and vistas for export there arose a necessity in the development and production of a new class of engineering materials, i.e. asbestos-free frictional composites meeting the requirements on technical and ecological safety.

The aim of the project is to elaborate scientific foundations for ecologically friendly frictional materials with the polymer matrix and products on their base. This includes the creation and assimilation of their production technology, development and adoption of the quality control system and means in industry.

Annual output of frictional products in the world market is estimated in a few billion USD. The market shows a firm tendency to growing consumption of the frictional materials based on organic (polymer) binders. It should be noted that substitution of asbestos fillers in such materials is connected with certain problems, where the economic aspect of transfer to asbestos-free components is of paramount importance. Asbestos costs 35 50 times less than its substitute kevlar. Besides, the efficiency of asbestos-free frictional materials is composed of high strength and frictional characteristics, thermophysical and energy bearing parameters.

The demand of home market for frictional products with organic coatings (except for the retail volume of automobile spares) is satisfied via imported goods, which accounts to, according to our estimates, above 30 million USD (99.9% of the market volume). This is why, organizing of a specialized enterprise for production of frictional components in Belarus is highly expedient, providing the products will be competitive. Moreover, such enterprises will have vast space for expansion.

The research carried out at our Institute has solved a number of urgent in tribology and materials science problems. Based on investigation results we have worked out the principles of creating a new class of composites, i.e. asbestos-free frictional materials with the polymer matrix (APFM) along with the novel methods, production techniques and formulations of wear-resistant different-purpose APFM for operation in conditions of dry friction and in oil. The compositions and production methods of APFM have been developed for the friction joints of process equipment used in steel wire and cord manufacture. These materials show elevated resistance to hostile media, stable friction coefficient and wear resistance. A series of APFM of different grades has been developed for the brakes and transmissions of wheel tractors. These materials are superior in the efficiency and durability to the asbestos-containing precursors. The new elastic frictional materials intended for operation in oil (TS BY 400084698.074-2000) have shown perfect results in bench and life tests. Among them are the materials for clutch lining (TS BY 400084698.137-2003), disc brake (TS BY 03535279.075-2000) and friction washer (TS BY 03535279.031-98). The materials and their products have been adopted at Production Amalgamation Minsk Tractor Plant (MTZ) for operation in friction joints of mainline diesel locomotive of 2TE10U series (TS 17.014-99), motorcycle and mocking at JS Motovelo (Motor and Bicycle Works, TS BY 4000.84698.136-2003). APFM developed for new multidisc oil-cooled brake designs for operation in heavy trucks BelAZ ensure stable friction torque in oil medium (TS BY 400084698.111-01). Production organization of new oil-cooled brakes is underway at PA BelAZ.

Materials for brakes
Materials for clutch lining
Dry friction
Friction in oil
Dry friction
Friction in oil
Density, 10-3, kg/cm3
Friction coefficient
Wear rate:
-Dry friction, Ih, 10-8
(P=1.0 P; V=2.0 m/s)
- Friction in oil
(P=0.6-2.5 P; V=0.3-25.0 m/s)


0.01 mm in 20 h


0.002 m
Thermal resistance, K

It is scheduled to solve a priority problem during the project in the tribological materials science, namely to develop scientific bases for designing APFM, which is interrelated with a complex of tasks in physical chemistry, engineering mechanics and heat dynamics of friction.
Investigation results in different problems are presented in numerous papers (above 100).

Formulations of the materials have got patents. Joint investigations on the development of special materials for the rolling stock and heat problems for friction joints are fulfilled by the Rostov State University of Communications under the supervision of Academician of RAS, Prof. Kolesnikov V.I.

Accomplishment of a part of the project presupposing the creation of a flexible line that realizes closed cycle scheme of production requires 200-960 ths USD depending on the presence of infrastructure and range of manufactured goods.

For contacts:
E-mail: sergienko_vp@mail.ru, mpri@mail.ru
Phone: +375 (232) 77 35 75; 55 10 04; mob. +375(29) 677 35 74
Fax: +375 (232) 77 52 11

Copyright 2005-2009 V.A. Belyi Metal-Polymer Research Institute National Academy of Sciences of Belarus
32A Kirov Street, 246050 Gomel, Belarus Phone. +375-232-775-212; Fax. +375-232-775-211; e-mail: mpri@mail.ru

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