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Wear 324-325 (2015) 10–16

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Optimization of tribo-performance of brake friction

materials: Effect of nano filler
Tej Singh a,n, Amar Patnaik b, Brijesh Gangil c, Ranchan Chauhan d
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Manav Bharti University, Solan 173229, India
Department of Mechanical Engineering, M.N.I.T. Jaipur, Jaipur 302017, India
Department of Mechanical Engineering, H.N.B. U. Garhwal, Garhwal 246194, India
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Shoolini University, Solan 173229, India

art ic l e i nf o a b s t r a c t

Article history: This research work examined brake friction materials containing nanoclay and multi-wall carbon
Received 9 August 2014 nanotube (MWCNT) to determine their effect on the tribo-performance. The tribo-performance of brake
Received in revised form friction materials were investigated using a Kraus friction testing machine conforming to the Regulation-
18 November 2014
90 as per the ECE (Economic Commission for Europe) norms. The result of experiment indicated that
Accepted 20 November 2014
Available online 5 December 2014
MWCNT enhances the friction and fade performance, but depresses the wear performance, whereas
nanoclay improves the wear and recovery performance but simultaneously depresses the friction
Keywords: performance as well. Variability coefficient improves with nanoclay contents whereas, friction fluctua-
Friction material tions (μmax–μmin) improve with MWCNT content. Preference selection index (PSI) method was applied to
rank the friction materials by using several performance defining criterions (PDC) including coefficient of
friction (μ), wear, friction recovery-%, friction fade-%, stability coefficient, variability coefficient, friction
PSI fluctuation and disc temperature rise, respectively. These results show that the best combination of
tribological properties was exhibited by nanoclay filled formulation.
& 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction become more complicated in which optimized coalescence of

interdependent properties was sought. Hence, the friction material
The designing of efficient brake friction material for passenger selection was based on multiple criteria optimization, which further
car and commercial vehicle becomes a vital issue which not only rests upon multiple criteria decision making (MCDM) [8]. As MCDM
involves the complication of handling four prime classes of con- methods are prospective quantitative approaches for solving
stituents (i.e. binder, fiber, filler and friction modifiers) but also the decisive problems involving finite number of alternatives and
reaching at a felicitous level of performance related demands such criterions. It has received wide acceptance over the last decades and
as: high and stable level of friction, low fade, more preponderant extensively applied to various areas such as engineering, science,
recovery, low wear and less noise at wide ranges of braking management etc. [9–12].
conditions [1,2]. Numerous efforts were made for development of Over the past several years, the problem of friction formulation
multi-ingredients predicated brake friction materials since a friction optimization with different methods has been investigated by
material with single or few ingredients has never been prosperous many material scientists and formulation designers [13–22]. Jang
to meet the numerous performance related demands [3–6]. The and co-workers [13] were employed the experimental technique
tribo-performance of brake friction materials was generally deter- based on Taguchi design for friction material manufacturing. This
mined by the selection of ingredients and their relative fractions. technique was helped to optimize proper manufacturing para-
The influence of ingredients on the performance of brake friction meters of a brake friction material. Kato and Soutome [14] used
materials was so complex that the design of such formulation was database technique for designing friction material. Satapathy and
still considered as an art rather than science [1–7]. Therefore, design Bijwe [15] used balancing and ranking method to determine the
and development of brake friction material formulation was performance ranking of friction composites. Zhao et al. [16] used
combinational friction material research with golden section
sequence, relational grade analysis, sensitivity series of wear and
Corresponding author. Tel.: þ 91 9418175001. friction with least-square method for development of best perfor-
E-mail address: (T. Singh). mance formulation. Satapathy et al. [17] stated six criterions for
0043-1648/& 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
T. Singh et al. / Wear 324-325 (2015) 10–16 11

tribo-performance analysis of fly ash based friction composites. become a great interest for assessment of tribo-performance in
The relative weight of importance of the criterions was deter- braking circumstances [25]. Over the past years, material scientist
mined by AHP (Analytic Hierarchy Process). The ranking of the and formulation designers have studied the effect of nano-fillers
friction materials has been carried out by TOPSIS (The Technique on the tribo-performance of brake friction materials [26–33]. Most
for Order Preference by Similarity to Ideal Solutions) method. Zhu of those studies mentioned the individual aspect of particular
et al. [18] used AHP and PROMETHEE (Preference Ranking Orga- nano-fillers like, nano alumina [26], nano silica [27], nano pow-
nization Method for Enrichment Evaluations) in order to select the dered rubber [28], carbon nanotubes [29–31], nanoclay [32], nano
optimal friction material formulation according to several criter- copper [33] and comparative aspects of nano-fillers were also
ions that were conflicting. Similarly, Singh et al. [19,20] imple- conjointly mentioned to some extent [34]. Despite of these
mented hybrid AHP-TOPSIS technique for evaluation and ranking studies, it is still tough to create any clear conclusion on the role
of multi-walled carbon nanotube based friction formulations. of nano-fillers in brake friction formulations. Thus it absolutely felt
Lu [21] and Han et al. [22] used golden section sequence and necessary to own a typical platform to match the performance of
component permutation with relational grade analysis as an nano-fillers. Therefore, the present research work focuses on the
experimental design tool for the development of brake friction development and tribo-performance evaluation of unfilled/nano
material. filled friction composite materials. Finally, an optimization tech-
Albeit, a number of MCDM methods were available in the nique has been implemented in order to find out the best friction
literature to enable the formulation designers to cull best for- material combination based on their performance defining criter-
mulation, it was observed that in some of these methods, the ions by using PSI method.
alternative ranking was affected by the criterion weight, whereas
some methods are quite arduous to understand and intricate to
implement requiring extensive mathematical erudition. Thus, 2. Experimental procedure
there is still requisite of a logical, systematic and simple method
to solve the friction material selection problems. As compared to 2.1. Fabrication of composites
other MCDM methods, preference selection index (PSI) method
was more facile to understand as it involves less numerical Friction composite formulation containing proportions of nano-
calculations [23,24]. The PSI method was considered a novel tool filler (nanoclay (Southern Clay USA) and MWCNT (Nanoshel, USA))
for selection of the best alternative among multi-alternatives to graphite (Graphite India Limited) are shear mixed with fixed
without deciding the relative importance between criterions; amount of Kevlar fibre (IF 258; Twaron, Teijin-Germany), lapinus fibre
instead the overall preference value of criterions was calculated (RB-220, Lapinus intelligent fibres, Holland), phenol-formaldehyde
utilizing the concept of statistics. Hence, it finds usability when resin of Novolac type (JA-10) and Barium Sulphate (BaSO4), amounting
there are conflicts in deciding the relative importance between to 100% by weight as depicted in Table 1. The composite fabrication
criterions. conditions during compression molding are given in Table 2.
Technically growths in non-asbestos fibre reinforced brake
friction materials has been achieved, but still they are reported
to be vulnerable to many braking induced performance defining 2.2. Tribological performance evaluation methodology
criterions as compared to asbestos based friction materials. In this
consideration, combinations of fibrous ingredient, including the The tribological tests are conducted on a Krauss type friction
hazardous chrysotile asbestos fibre are used for incorporation in machine which is computer-controlled along with data acquisition
materials to match the performance of traditional. Furthermore, capabilities as shown in Fig. 1. The rotor disc is connected to a
research based on incorporation of chrysotile asbestos nanotubes shaft through an interchangeable flange that engenders a moment
and carbon nanotubes or clay nanotubes like halloysites reveals of inertia of 2.5 kg-m2. A pair of brake pads (area¼30 cm2) is
that the carbon nanotube or clay nanotubes like halloysites has press-fit into a pressure-actuated sliding caliper assembly against
opposite sides of the rotor disc at a mean contact radius of 95 mm.
Table 1 The contact pressure is maintained at 2 MPa by adjusting load on
Details of composite composition and designation. the brake pads. The frictional force is quantified with the avail-
ability of a load cell mounted on the frame carrying the caliper pad
Composition PF BaSO4 Kevlar Lapinus Graphite MWCNT Nanoclay
(wt%) Resin
assembly, whereas the rise in temperature of the rotor disc is
quantified by using a thermocouple for every cycle of braking in a
FC-1 15 50 5 10 5 0 0 synchronized manner. In order to evaluate the tribological perfor-
FC-2 15 50 5 10 2.50 2.50 0 mance of the brake friction material, a standard test procedure
FC-3 15 50 5 10 2.50 0 2.50
(PVW-3212) as per the European norms conforming to ECE R-90
FC-4 15 50 5 10 2.50 1.25 1.25
(European Commission for Energy Reguation-90) is adopted

Table 2
Processing details while fabricating the friction composites.

Procedure Conditions

Sequential mixing A plough type of shear mixture with feeder and chopper speeds fixed at 300 and 3000 rpm, respectively, are used for mixing. Mixing sequence: For
FC-1 phenolic resin mixed with Kevlar and lapinus fibres for 5 min, thereafter Graphite and Barite are added for another 5 min. For FC-2/FC-3/FC-4
nano-filler (MWCNT/nanoclay) and phenolic resin are mixed for 20 min, thereafter Kevlar and lapinus fibres are added for 5 min and lastly Graphite
and Barite are added for another 5 min
Compression 155 1C, Compression pressure of 15 MPa, Curing time ¼10 min with four intermittent breathings to expel volatiles
Post-curing 150 1C, 5 h for relieving any residual stresses developed during the compression molding cycle
12 T. Singh et al. / Wear 324-325 (2015) 10–16

Fig. 1. Schematic of Krauss testing machine for friction and wear testing of brake friction materials. (1) Machine bed (2) compressed air supply (3) bearings movable (4) air
inlet (5) bearings (6) option SH 2.5 kg-m2 (7) emergency stop option (8) bearings (9) options SH 5 kg-m2 (10) flywheel connected to DC motor housing through a belt drive
with clutch option actuated by a generator.

[35,36]. The experimental parameters used in tribological perfor- Table 3

mance evaluation are described in Table 3. Experimental parameters for tribo-performance evaluation.
The polished pads are mounted on sliding calliper and a nominal
braking pressure of 2 MPa is applied in accordance to protocol. The
testing procedure consists of a bedding cycle, a cold cycle, five fade Bedding Cold cycle Fade cycle Recovery cycle
cycles and a recovery cycle. The braking instances and interval
between successive brakes is 10 s. The bedding cycle is provided to Rotational speed (rpm) 660 660 660 660
Braking pressure (MPa) 2 2 2 2
achieve  80% conformal contact with the disc surface. During this Initial temperature (1C) 100 45 100 100
experiment, specimen temperature is maintained between 100 and Braking time (s) 10 10 10 10
280 1C aided by air-blowers. Thereafter, actual testing cycles resume. No of applications 30 10 50 10
During cold cycle minimum temperature of 45 1C is maintained, Air blower On On Off On
whereas for each fade cycle minimum maintained temperature is
100 1C while during recovery cycle temperature is continuously
lowered up to 100 1C aided by an air blower. After the completion
of the braking performance evaluation run, the brake pads are 2.3.2. Phase II: Ranking of the alternatives using PSI
removed and weighed to measure the wear in terms of weight loss. The various steps of PSI method can be expressed as:
Experiment is repeated twice for each friction formulation and the
results obtained are within 95% confidence level. Step I: After identification of alternatives and PDC a decision
matrix is created. If the numbers of alternatives are M (Ai, i¼1,
2, 3…, M), and numbers of PDC are N (Cj, j¼ 1, 2, 3…, N), then
2.3. Preference selection index method the decision matrix having an order of M  N is represented as:

Multiple attributes decision making or multiple criteria

decision-making (MADM/MCDM) is the approach dealing with 2 3
the ranking and selection of one or more materials from a set of d11 d12 ⋯ d1N
6 7
alternatives. The MCDM provides an emphatic structure for 6 d21 d22 ⋯ d2N 7
DMN ¼ 6
6 ⋮
7 ð1Þ
material selection based on the evaluation of multiple conflict 4 ⋮ ⋯ ⋮ 75
criteria. However, there are several PDC, one must obtain an dM1 dM2 ⋯ dMN
optimal solution of any decision making problem. Maniya and
Bhatt proposed PSI method for material selection [23]. The PSI
method is intended to provide a complete ranking of the alter- where, an element dij of the decision matrix DMN represents
natives from the best to the worst. The evaluation methodology the actual value of the ith alternative in term of jth perfor-
consists of two main phases as shown in Fig. 2: mance defining criteria.
Step II: In order to measure all criterions in dimensionless units
Phase I: Identification of the alternatives and PDC. the entries of the decision matrix are normalized so that
Phase II: Ranking of the alternatives using PSI. different values of the decision matrix become comparable in
the range of 0–1. The normalization of the decision matrix is
performed according to the benefit (larger-the-better) and cost
(smaller-the-better) criteria as:
2.3.1. Phase I: Identification of the alternatives and PDC dij
The number of alternatives and various PDC used in the xij ¼ max ; if j is the benefit criteria and
performance evaluation of given MCDM are identified.
T. Singh et al. / Wear 324-325 (2015) 10–16 13

dj Step VI: In this step, the overall preference value ðζ j Þ is
xij ¼ ; if j is the cost criteria ð2Þ determined with the help of the following equation:
ζj ¼ ð6Þ
Step III: In this step, the mean of the normalized (χ j ) value of j ¼ 1 Δj
PDC j is determined by using the equation:
1 M Moreover, the total overall preference value of all the PDC
χj ¼ ∑ x ð3Þ
M i ¼ 1 ij should be one i.e. ∑N j ¼ 1 ζj ¼ 1
Step VII: In this step, the preference selection index ðϖ i Þ value
Step IV: In this step, preference variation value ðφj Þ for each for each alternative is determined by using the following
PDC is determined with the help of the following equation: equation:

M h i2
φj ¼ ∑ xij  χ j ð4Þ N  
i¼1 ϖ i ¼ ∑ xij  ζ j ð7Þ

Step V: In this step the deviation in the preference variation

value ðΔj Þ is determined for each PDC by using the following Finally, after the calculation of the ϖ i value of each alternative,
equation: the entire alternatives are then ranked according to the ϖ i
value. The alternative with the highest ϖ i value is ranked
Δj ¼ 1  φ j ð5Þ highest.

Fig. 2. Optimization methodology for friction material selection.

Table 4
Description of the different performance defining criterions.

Performance defining criterions Performance implications of Description of the individual PDC

(PDC) different PDC

Coefficient of friction (m) PDC-1 Higher-the-better It is the average friction coefficient of cold, fade and recovery cycles.
Wear (g) PDC-2 Lower-the-better It is the progressive loss of the material from the brake pad surface during working.
Friction fade-% PDC-3 Lower-the-better %-Fade¼ mP  mF =m  100, mF is the minimum coefficient of friction for the fade cycles taken
after 270 1C.
Friction recovery-% PDC-4 Higher-the-better %-Recovery ¼ mR =m  100, mR is the maximum coefficient of friction for the recovery cycle
taken after 100 1C.
Stability coefficient (%) PDC-5 Higher-the-better It is the ratio of the coefficient of friction to the maximum friction i.e. μP/μmax
Variability coefficient (%) PDC-6 Lower-the-better It is the ratio of minimum friction to the maximum friction coefficient, i.e. μmin/μmax
Friction Fluctuation (μmax–μmin) PDC-7 Lower-the-better It is the difference between the maximum and minimum friction coefficient i.e. μmax–μmin
Disc temperature rise (DTR) (1C) PDC-8 Lower-the-better It is the maximum temperature rise of the disc due to the friction braking irrespective of the cycle.
14 T. Singh et al. / Wear 324-325 (2015) 10–16

Table 5 3.1.1. Influence of nano-filler on PDC-1 and PDC-2

Experimental results of the PDC as evaluated on a Krauss testing machine. The influence of nano reinforcement on PDC-1 (coefficient of
friction) and PDC-2 (wear) of the composites is depicted in Fig. 3.
Composite PDC-1 PDC-2 PDC-3 PDC-4 PDC-5 PDC-6 PDC-7 PDC-8
designation It is observed that nano reinforcement has caused a distinct
transition in terms of their performance. The magnitude of m
FC-1 0.361 5.58 9.42 112.47 0.74 0.22 0.377 579 remains appreciably high (40.32) in all friction composites which
FC-2 0.352 6.26 8.52 120.46 0.72 0.41 0.291 587 may be attributed to the presence of hard metallic–silicate in
FC-3 0.323 4.5 49.23 145.51 0.65 0.166 0.413 505
FC-4 0.341 5.3 30.49 140.18 0.68 0.231 0.384 539
lapinus that enhances abrasive component in the investigated
composites. As seen in Fig. 3, friction coefficient remains max-
imum (0.361) for unfilled friction composite i.e. FC-1. However,
MWCNT content in formulation has a little effect on the friction
performance of the composites. The m and wear are observed to
decrease for the friction formulation having nanoclay content. The
Cofficient of friction (µ) presence of nanoclay in combination with graphite and Kevlar
0.40 Wear (gm) 8
fibre readily forms a good quality transfer film that adheres nicely
0.35 7 to the rubbing surfaces, thereby minimizing wear and reducing
PDC-1 (Coefficient of friction)

the friction performance, whereas MWCNT continued to control

0.30 6
the formation–deformation–destruction–reformation of friction film

PDC-2 (Wear)
0.25 5 due to its mild abrasive nature, hence maintaining higher frictional
response: consequently resulting in higher m and reduced wear
0.20 4
performance [29–31].
0.15 3

0.10 2
3.1.2. Effect of nano-filler on PDC-3 and PDC-4
0.05 1 Fig. 4 shows the influence of nano-filler on the PDC-3 (friction
fade-%) and PDC-4 (friction recovery-%) of the investigated friction
0.00 0
composites. The temporary loss of braking effectiveness at higher
FC-1 FC-2 FC-3 FC-4
temperature (usually 4300 1C) due to the loss of friction between
the sliding surfaces as a result of the frictional heat is known as
Fig. 3. Friction and wear performance as a function of composition.

0.8 Stability Coefficient 0.45

Variability Coefficient
0.7 0.40

PDC-6 (Variability Coefficient)

PDC-5 (Stability Coefficient)

60 160 0.30
Friction Fade-% 0.5
Friction Recovery -% 140 0.25
PDC-4 (Friction Recovery -%)

PDC-3 (Friction Fade -%)

120 0.20
40 0.15
30 80
0.1 0.05
20 0.0 0.00
FC-1 FC-2 FC-3 FC-4
Fig. 5. Stability coefficient and variability coefficient as a function of composition.
0 0
FC-1 FC-2 FC-3 FC-4
Temperature rise of the disc
0.45 700
Fig. 4. Friction fade-% and friction recovery-% as a function of composition.
PDC-8 (Temperature rise of the disc)

PDC-7 (µmax-µmin)

3. Results and discussion 400

3.1. Experiment results 0.20 300

The tribo-performance evaluation for all formulations is carried 0.10
out in similar test conditions. The coefficient of friction (μ), wear, 100
friction recovery-%, friction fade-%, stability coefficient, variability
coefficient, friction fluctuation (μmax–μmin) and disc temperature 0.00 0
rise (DTR, 1C) were measured and considered as PDC of the FC-1 FC-2 FC-3 FC-4

evaluation. A detailed description of the selected PDC is given in Composition

Table 4. The experiment results corresponding to each PDC are Fig. 6. Frictional fluctuations (μmax–μmin) and temperature rise of the disc (1C) as a
listed in Table 5 and depicted in Figs. 3–6. function of composition.
T. Singh et al. / Wear 324-325 (2015) 10–16 15

Table 6
The normalized decision matrix.

Composite PDC-1 PDC-2 PDC-3 PDC-4 PDC-5 PDC-6 PDC-7 PDC-8


FC-1 1.000 0.806 0.904 0.773 1.000 0.755 0.772 0.872

FC-2 0.975 0.719 1.000 0.828 0.973 0.405 1.000 0.860
FC-3 0.895 1.000 0.173 1.000 0.878 1.000 0.705 1.000
FC-4 0.945 0.849 0.279 0.963 0.919 0.719 0.758 0.937

Table 7
Preference variation, deviation in the preference variation and overall preference

PDCs Preference variation Deviation in preference overall preference

value ðφj Þ value ðΔj Þ value ðζ j Þ

PDC-1 0.006 0.994 0.139

PDC-2 0.041 0.959 0.134
PDC-3 0.537 0.463 0.065
PDC-4 0.035 0.965 0.135
PDC-5 0.009 0.991 0.139
PDC-6 0.179 0.821 0.115
PDC-7 0.051 0.949 0.133
PDC-8 0.013 0.987 0.139

Table 8 Fig. 7. Ranking of the alternatives.

Preference selection index ðϖ i Þ and ranking of the friction materials.

Composite designation Preference selection index ðϖ i Þ Ranking lowest variability coefficient. Such observations clearly reveal that
the combination of lapinus and Kevlar fibres with or without
FC-1 0.8598 2 MWCNT content contribute to increase the stability coefficient
FC-2 0.8430 3 whereas nanoclay inclusion in friction formulation contribute to
FC-3 0.8745 1
FC-4 0.8347 4
minimal variability coefficient.

3.1.4. Influence of nano-filler on PDC-7 and PDC-8

fade, whereas the revival of the same when the friction surface
Fig. 6 shows the influence of nano-filler on the PDC-7 (frictional
is cooled down is called recovery [37]. Higher extent of fade is
fluctuations) and PDC-8 (temperature rise of the disc). It is observed
unwanted since it deteriorates the braking efficiency of vehicles.
from Fig. 6 that the frictional fluctuations as indicated by mmax–mmin
The fading-% remains  9% for FC-1/FC-2 formulations having 5 wt%
have remained higher in the unfilled and with nanoclay or hybrid
graphite and 2.5/2.5 wt% of graphite/MWCNT content, thereafter for
nanoclay/MWCNT content filled composites, i.e. in the range of
graphite-to-nanoclay/nanoclay-MWCNT proportion i.e. FC-3/FC-4 it
0.38–0.42, whereas the same remained much lower for MWCNT
deteriorates to  4079.5%. This deterioration in fade may be
filled composites ( 0.29). As compared to other friction formula-
attributed to the presence of nanoclay, which along with Kevlar
tions, MWCNT filled friction formulation (FC-2) proved more valu-
and graphite allows the promotion of friction film formation leading
able in the absorption of the unwanted phenomenon like judder
to an effective increased in the true contact area and thereby
and noise to a larger extent. The temperature rise of the disc has
reducing the applied pressure on the pad, which precipitates fade
been observed to be highest in case of FC-2 closely followed by FC-1
[31,32]. On the other hand, recovery-% is observed to exceed 100%
and remained lower for the composite FC-4. The temperature range
irrespective of the formulation. It remains  11474% for FC-1/FC-2
of 58374 1C is achieved for the formulation FC-1/FC-2 i.e. unfilled
and increases abruptly to 14272.5% for the formulations having
and MWCNT filled friction composites whereas it remains
graphite-to-nanoclay/nanoclay-MWCNT proportion i.e. FC-3/FC-4.
522717 1C for the formulations having nanoclay and hybrid
Such, an abrupt increased in recovery-% may possibly be attributed
nanoclay/MWCNT content i.e. FC-3/FC-4. Such observations clearly
to the presence of nanoclay that promotes faster formation–
reveal that hard lapinus fibres in combination with MWCNT content
deformation–reformation dynamics of the operating friction film
contribute to enhanced temperature rise of the disc, whereas
at the braking interface for FC-3/FC-4 [31,32].
nanoclay and hybrid nanoclay/MWCNT contribute to minimal disc
temperature rise [29,30].
3.1.3. Effect of nano-filler on PDC-5 and PDC-6
Fig. 5 shows the influence of nano-filler on the PDC-5 (stability 3.2. Ranking of the alternatives with respect to various PDC
coefficient) and PDC-6 (variability coefficient). It is essential that
stability coefficient should be as high as possible and variability As can be observed from Table 5 and Figs. 3–6, there is no
coefficient should be as low as possible for the efficient frictional certain formulation which has superior performance concerning
response while braking [36]. It is observed that composition FC-1 all PDC. Hence, to select the optimal formulation by taking all PDC
shows higher stability coefficient and closely followed by FC-2 at a time becomes a critical task. Thus, in such scenarios PSI
whereas FC-3 composition shows the lowest stability coefficient. method has been adopted to find the optimal formulation. The
Further, it is observed that variability coefficient remains highest for decision matrix from Eq. (1) is used for the PSI analysis. To make
FC-2 followed by FC-1 and FC-4 with FC-3 composition showing the matrix more compatible, the performance values (Table 5) are
16 T. Singh et al. / Wear 324-325 (2015) 10–16

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