Loughborough University
Leicestershire, UK
LE11 3TU
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Loughborough University

Department of Materials

Research

    Carbon Ceramic Disc Bentley fitted with carbon ceramic brake disks Advanced Friction Materials Team

Advanced Friction Materials

Friction is dependent on the physical contact between two objects, leading to a reduction in velocity of one or both objects. As such the performance of a friction couple is defined almost wholly by the materials used and their surface conditioning. The understanding of the behaviour of a material and its surface under friction conditions is therefore vital to ensuring the correct selection of a new friction couple, and to further optimise any performance potential for an existing friction couple. By uncovering the details of friction surface development, this understanding is precisely the core strategy for the Advanced Friction Materials research team.

We focus specifically on Advanced Friction Materials (AFM) such as Carbon-Fibre Reinforced Ceramic Composites (CFRCC); these have been developed to achieve better friction performance in normal working conditions, and particularly under demanding situations, whilst also improving other attributes including reduced mass, wear resistance, thermal conductivity, and strength. Consisting of new constituents and/or with new microstructures, AFM provide unique solutions to engineering challenges within the friction industry. With these materials however, new knowledge is needed in order to understand the impact that each of these new constituents can have on the friction performance.

Using our newly refurbished, dedicated friction testing laboratory, in conjunction with the materials characterisation suite (LMCC), we can monitor any chemical and micro-structural developments through a friction programme. This acquired knowledge is used as a foundation for our researchers to develop new formulations and technology tailored to Advanced Friction Materials.
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Our research has particularly direct commercial relevance, thanks to our strong links with many prestigious industrial collaborators.

Please have a look around our webpage’s and if we can help you with any research in the field of Advanced Friction Materials, then please do not hesitate to contact us.

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Dr Houzheng Wu
Team leader

 Andy Leatherbarrow

PhD researcher, Post-doctoral Research Associate.
Develop carbon fibre reinforce ceramic composites technology with various carbon fibre and carbonaceous material sources

Now working as a freelance R&D project scientist and previously at Cytec and Lockheed Martin

Changzheng Ji
Post-doctoral Research Associate
Develop high performance friction layers and ceramic coating technologies

Now working as a material scientist for Element Six

Yuan Wang
PhD Researcher
Understand friction surface development of carbon-fibre reinforced silicon carbide composites.

Now working as PDRA in Exeter University

Jingjing Liu
PhD researcher
Develop technology of in situ growth of carbon nanotubes(CNT)/fibres(CNF) on the surface of carbon fibres and ceramic particles.

Now working as a material scientist in China

Arthur Swarbrick
PhD Researcher, Post-doctoral Research Associate
Develop formulation and technology for friction surface conditioning for specific application context; understanding material interaction in-between the friction surfaces.

Now working as a material scientist for Hexcel.

Guangyu Bian
PhD Researcher, Post-doctoral Research Assistant
Understand friction performance through dynamometer testing and post-mortem analysis with focused-ion-beam microscope (FIB) and transmission electron microscope (TEM); tribological study between ceramics and metallic materials.

Now working as a PDRA in North West Polytechnic University, China

James Wade
PhD Researcher
Develop formulation and manufacturing technology of graphene reinforced ceramic composites; understand the potential toughening and strengthening mechanism of graphenes in ceramic matrix; understand the impact of nano-dispersants on the fracture and ductile deformation of ceramics.

Now working as a PDRA on nuclear graphite in Manchester University.

Alex Zaharescu
PhD Researcher (Current)
Understand geosynthetic interface shear strength to quantitatively study surface wear.

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Research topics 

  • Understand friction performance of carbon fibre reinforced ceramic composite brakes for cars, trains and heavy duty machines.
  • Understand friction performance of carbon materials, ceramics, composites for clutch application.
  • Develop formulations and manufacturing technology of coatings for improving or optimising friction performance of a friction pair.
  • Develop affordable fibre reinforced ceramic composites (FRCC) for brakes of cars
  • Develop fibre reinforced ceramic composites using various carbonaceous raw materials, including carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) wastes.
  • Screen materials (metals, ceramics and polymers) for designing friction pairs aiming for specific applications.
  • Understand the development of friction transferred materials and friction layer during braking, or contact sliding.
  • Understand the structure of friction surface with analytic/high resolution TEM, and its impact on friction performance of a friction pair.

Research Capabilities

  • Laboratory-scale dynamometer
  • Customised pin-on-disc tribometer
  • Electrophoresis deposition (EPD) for coating manufacture
  • Fibre-ceramics composite preform manufacture
  • Optical, electronic microscopy analysis of friction surface (LMCC)
  • Cross-section transmission electron microscopy (TEM) analysis of friction surface structure (LMCC)

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1. G. Bian & H. Wu (2016), “Friction surface structure of a Cf/C-SiC composite brake disc after bedding testing on a full-scale dynamometer”, Tribology International, in printing.

2. G. Bian & H. Wu (2015), “Friction performance of carbon/silicon carbide ceramic composite brakes in ambient air and water spray environment”, Tribology International, 92, pp 1-11. doi:10.1016/j.triboint.2015.05.023

3. G. Bian & H. Wu (2015), “Friction and surface fracture of a silicon carbide ceramic brake disc tested against a steel pad”. J. Eu. Ceram. Soc., 35[14], pp 3797-3807. doi:10.1016/j.jeurceramsoc.2015.07.009

4. G Bian & H. Wu (2015), “Bedding performance of carbon-silicon carbide composite brake discs with different microstructure tested against organic pads”. Proceeding of Eurobrake 2015, Dresden, German, EB2015-FMC-003.

5. J. Wade, J. Liu & H. Wu (2013), “Chemically bonded phosphate ceramics reinforced with carbon nanotubes”, Nanostructured Materials and Nanotechnology VII: Ceramic Engineering and Science Proceedings, 34, pp 107-118. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/9781118807828.ch10

6. C. Ji & H. Wu (2012), “Acoustic field assisted drying of electrophoretically deposited colloidal coatings”, Advanced Ceramic Coatings and Materials for Extreme Environments II: Ceramic Engineering and Science Proceedings, 33[3], pp 115-125. DOI: 10.1002/9781118217474.ch10; https://books.google.co.uk/books?hl=en&lr=&id=cxm2V8QmXm8C&oi=fnd&pg=PA115&ots=X_zYOqjmB1&sig=SMuGlfv_IcATjb2Y6tfE3liv6Pk&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q&f=false

7. Y. Wang & H. Wu (2012), “Microstructure of friction surface developed on carbon fibre reinforced carbon–silicon carbide (Cf/C–SiC)”, J. Eu Ceram. Soc., 32[12], pp 3509-3519, doi:10.1016/j.jeurceramsoc.2012.03.039. doi:10.1016/j.jeurceramsoc.2012.03.039

8. A. Swarbric & H Wu (2012), “Surface conditioning of carbon-fiber ceramic rotors against organic pads”, SAE Technical Papers;2012-01-183. http://digitallibrary.sae.org/content/2012-01-1833

9. A. Leatherbarrow & H. Wu (2012), “Mechanical behaviour of the constituents inside carbon fibre/carbon-silicon carbide composites characterised by nano-indentation”, J. Eu. Ceram. Soc., 32[3], pp 579-88. doi:10.1016/j.jeurceramsoc.2011.09.026

10. H. Wu, Y. Wang, D. Pindar, P. Ferdani (2011), “Interaction between ceramic matrix composite and organic pad materials and its impact on the friction performance”, SAE Technical Paper, 2011-01-2350, doi: 10.4271/2011-01-2350. http://digitallibrary.sae.org/content/2012-01-1833

11. H. Wu & Y. Wang (2011), ''Friction surface damage of carbon-fibre reinforced carbon-silicon carbide composites (Cf/C-SiC)'', Key Engineering Materials, 484, pp 32-35.
DOI: 10.4028/www.scientific.net/KEM.484.32. http://www.scientific.net/kem.484.32

12. A. Leatherbarrow & H. Wu (2010), ''Understanding the development of the microstructure inside Cf/C-SiC composites manufactured by liquid silicon infiltration'', High Temperature Ceramic Materials and Composites, Krenkel, W. Prof. Dr. Ing.-, Lamon, J. Dr (eds), 7th International Conference on High Temperature Ceramic Matrix Composites (HT-CMC 7), Bayreuth, Germany, 20th September 2010, pp 308-313.

13. Y. Wang & H. Wu (2010), ''Friction surface evolution of carbon fibre reinforced carbon-silicon carbide (Cf/C-SiC)'', High Temperature Ceramic Materials and Composites, Krenkel, W., Prof. Dr.-Ing., Lamon, J. Dr (eds), 7th International Conference on High Temperature Ceramic Matrix Composites (HT-CMC 7), Bayreuth, Germany, 20th September 2010, pp 371-377.

14. H. Wu (2010), ''Braking the Mould'', Materials World, 18(11), pp 29-30

15. Y. Wang & H. Wu (2010), ''Friction surface evolution of carbon fibre reinforced carbon/silicon carbide (Cf/C-SiC) Composites'', J. Eu Ceram. Soc. 30, pp 3187-3201.
doi:10.1016/j.jeurceramsoc.2010.07.019

16. A. Leatherbarrow & H. Wu (2010), “The nature of silicon carbide phases developed from different carbonaceous sources and its impact on the microstructure of Cf/C-SiC composites”, Ceram. Eng.& Sci. Proc. 31, 73-83. DOI: 10.1002/9780470944066.ch7. https://books.google.co.uk/books?hl=en&lr=&id=PrrDNF-j2o0C&oi=fnd&pg=PA73&ots=Oi2MeeOoxd&sig=cysc3EhvGGe7pRZiw15__xSiI_g&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q&f=false

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1. G. Bian & H. Wu (2015), “Bedding performance of carbon-silicon carbide composite brake discs with different microstructure tested against organic pads”, oral presentation, Eurobrake, Dresden, Germany, 4-6 May 2015.

2. H. Wu & G. Bian (2014), “Friction induced plastic deformation and cracking in silicon carbide”, oral presentation, 38th International Conference and Expo of Advanced Ceramics and Composites (ICACC’11) Jan 26-31, 2014, Daytona Beach Florida, USA.

3. J. Wade, J. Liu & H. Wu (2013), “Chemically bonded phosphate ceramics reinforced with carbon nanotubes”, oral presentation, 37th International Conference and Expo of Advanced Ceramics and Composites (ICACC’11) Jan 27-Feb 1, 2013, Daytona Beach Florida, USA.

4. A. Swarbrick, H. Wu & A. Smith (2012), “Development of coatings for the improvement of friction performance of carbon fibre ceramic composite rotors”, oral presentation, Eurobrake, Dresden, Germany, 16-18 Apr 2012.

5. G. Bian & H. Wu (2012), “Friction performance of silicon carbide ceramics and the friction surface development”, oral presentation, Eurobrake, Dresden, Germany, 16-18 Apr 2012.

6. C. Ji & H. Wu (2012) “Acoustic field assisted drying of electrophoretically deposited green bodies for ceramic coatings. oral presentation, 35th International Conference and Expo pn Advanced Ceramics and Composites (ICACC’11) Jan 23-28, 2011, Daytona Beach Florida, USA.

7. G. Bian, A. Swarbrick, C. Ji & H. Wu (2011) “Friction performance of carbon fibre reinforced silicon carbide composites under wet conditions”, oral presentation, 35th International Conference and Expo pn Advanced Ceramics and Composites (ICACC’11) Jan 23-28, 2011, Daytona Beach Florida, USA.

8. H. Wu & Y. Wang (2010) “Understanding the friction surface damage of carbon-fibre reinforced carbon-silicon carbide composites”, oral presentation, 3rd International Congress on Ceramics, Nov 14-18, 2010, Osaka, Japan.

9. A. Leatherbarrow & H. Wu (2010), ''Understanding the development of the microstructure inside Cf/C-SiC composites manufactured by liquid silicon infiltration'', oral presentation, Bayreuth, Germany, 20th September 2010.

10. H. Wu & Y. Wang (2010), “'Friction surface on carbon-fiber reinforced carbon-silicon carbide (Cf/C-SiC)'', oral presentation, Bayreuth, Germany, 20th September 2010.

11. A. Leatherbarrow & H. Wu (2010), “The nature of silicon carbide phases developed from different carbonaceous sources and its impact on the microstructure of Cf/C-SiC composites”, 34th International Conference and Expo on Advanced Ceramics and Composites (ICACC’10) Jan 24-29, 2010, Daytona Beach Florida, USA.

12. A. Leatherbarrow & H. Wu (2010), “The nature of silicon carbide phases developed from different carbonaceous sources and its impact on the microstructure of Cf/C-SiC composites”, 34th International Conference and Expo pn Advanced Ceramics and Composites (ICACC’10) Jan 24-29, 2010, Daytona Beach Florida, USA.

13. Y. Wang & H Wu (2008), “The development of friction transfer film (FTF) on carbon fibre reinforced ceramic composites”, oral presentation, 3nd International Meeting on the Development in Materials, Processes and Applications of Emerging Technologies, 21-23rd July 2008, Manchester, UK

14. A. Leatherbarrow (2008), “Recycled Cf/C-SiC composites for friction applications”, SAMPE/BCS Annual Students’ Seminar, IOM3 Headquarter in London, Nov 24, 2008

15. H. Wu (2006), “Surface damage characterisation”, invited oral presentation, Brakenet Workshop on Performance Braking, TRW, Birmingham, Dec 13, 2006.

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Advanced Friction Materials Image Gallery

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Past and current industry partners

•   Surface Transforms Plc

•   Federal-Mogul Friction Products Ltd

•   Bentley Motor Ltd

•   Alcon Components Ltd

•   FAIVELEY Transport (Birkenhead)

•   Meggitt Aircraft Braking Systems Ltd

•   Advanced Composites Group

•   AP Racing Ltd

•   Twiflex Ltd

•   Airbus UK

•   Materials in Transport

•   Milled Carbon Ltd

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Research Day 2016

25th May 2016
Sir Dennis Rooke Building
Holywell Park
Loughborough University, UK