Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Filip, Peter


The use of carbon-carbon (C/C) composites for clutch application requires a basic understanding of the structural characteristics of the composites that control their frictional and engineering properties. These are related to the microstructure of the matrix and fiber architecture, with the character of fiber/matrix interface and type of defects, porosity and microcracks being the most relevant. The purpose of this study is to examine and characterize the relation between the fiber architecture of selected C/C composites and its relation to their frictional properties when subjected to different normal forces and relative humidity. Friction tests is conducted using a Brüker Universal Friction Tester (UFT). This study also seeks to characterize and analyze the microstructure and fiber architecture through Polarized Light Microscopy, X-Ray Diffraction and Ultrasound Scans. This study shows that the Coefficient of Friction (COF) at constant normal force and RPM are always slightly lower for the samples with surface fibers orientated at 45° relative to the direction of rotation compared to samples with surface fibers orientated 0/90° at 50% relative humidity. The percent difference ranges from 1.62% to 15.30%. However, at 85% relative humidity, the average COF at the constant normal force and RPM are always slightly higher for the 45° compared to 0/90° samples for Rotor samples, while in contrast the average COF are always lower for the 45° samples compared to 0/90° samples for Stator samples. The percent difference ranges from 3.14% to 35.46%. This study found significant differences between the 0/90° samples and the 45° samples. There is indication that the fiber orientation can cause differences between frictional properties even if the clutches are made from the same material. The change in humidity also significantly changes the resulting COF.




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