Sharif University Scientists Improve Mechanical and Friction Properties in Train Brake Pads with Nanocomposites

The researchers at Sharif University of Technology, Iran, proposed an effective way to improve mechanical and friction properties of nanocomposites used in train brake pads.

Addition of nanofillers (nanoclay) to matrix of friction materials has let the researchers obtain a type of improved nanocomposite and investigate the effect of nanoclay upon the mentioned materials.

“Rubber was subjected to mechanical tension with the help of a roll mill for a few minutes, initially. Afterwards, resin and nanoclay was added to the baking system and again underwent mechanical tension for a certain interval. The formed paste was pressed and baked at proper temperatures and followed by a complimentary baking in a vacuum oven,” Morteza Faqihi, a member of the research group, said to the news service of INIC.

Faqihi reiterated that the nanofillers can cause proper interactions with polymer matrix owing to their small size and high surface to volume ratios.

Comparing the results of interlayer distance of nanoclay for rubber and rubber-resin composites, no significant differences was observed. Thus, nanoclay layer detachments are greatly under the influence of polymer chains and it can be deduced that nanoclay fillers had more been distributed in rubber phase. SEM characterization also confirmed a relatively better distribution of nanoclay in rubber and rubber-resin matrixes. Moreover, it was observed that the addition of nanoclay to rubber composites would better the thermal properties.

“Nanoclay fillers can be applied to improve the performance of friction materials, especially those used in train brake pads, as well as such polymer matrices,” he added.

Details on this research work are available in the Journal of Polymer Composites, volume 30, pages 1298 to 1290, 2009.