Engagement characteristics of a friction pad for commercial vehicle clutch system
A commercially available sintered friction pad is coupled with a standard gray cast iron pressure plate (FG 250 grade) and tested in a clutch dynamometer for understanding the engagement characteristics and thereby predicting the useful life in number of engagements. Results show that sintered friction pad has a very stable range of friction coefﬁcient (0·43–0·61) even after 5000 engagement cycles. The torque transmitted ranges from 350 to 400 N during one engagement cycle. The energy dissipation and mass loss of friction materials linearly increases with increasing sliding distance. A correlation is derived based on energy dissipation and mass loss in terms of total number of useful or available engagements before replacement or repair of friction pad or clutch pressure plate. Both the pressure plate and clutch disc with the sintered friction pad was tested in a 49 tons load capacity vehicle on a test track. Both sintered friction pad and pressure plate showed scoring marks along the sliding direction. Friction pad showed dense cracks along the top edge. Microscopic features of worn sintered friction pads show silica particle providing the required wear resistance for the pads. Pressure plate showed transfer layer of oxides and carbon with less scoring marks due to short duration vehicle level trials.