Share this page on

Friction Material Manufacturers and Suppliers

IQS Directory provides an extensive list of friction material suppliers. Utilize our website to review and source friction material suppliers with our easy-to-use features which allow you to locate friction material companies that will design and engineer friction materials for your exact specifications. Our request for quote forms make it easy to connect with leading friction material suppliers. View company profiles, website links, locations, phone number, product videos, customer reviews, product specific news articles and other production information. We are a leading manufacturer directory who will connect you with the right manufacturers whether you are looking for friction clutch material, friction brakes, or break blocks.

Related Categories

You only need to know one name for your friction material needs: Cook Bonding & Manufacturing. We have been working hard for over 3 decades and specialize in the manufacture of high quality friction materials, gear tooth facings, press blocks, crane brake shoes and hoist frictions. Most products are in stock; custom-made products are also available. Let our experience and expertise work for you.
Read Reviews
ProTec Friction Group is a producer of friction components and forms. By combining our manufacturing expertise with our supply chain knowledge, we are able to bring friction solutions to our customers. Our broad stock selection includes a full line of organic and synthetic friction materials, clutch and break sets, clutch buttons and more. Specialized products are also available.
Read Reviews
Our friction discs come in a variety of shapes and sizes to better serve you. If we don't have the exact product that you need our technicians will work closely with you in order to come up with the product that you need. We strive to keep our products on the leading edge of innovations at all times because we realize technology is required to keep your business moving along smoothly. Visit our website or send us an email today to receive more information!
Read Reviews
With over 50 years of experience, Carlisle Industrial Brake & Friction designs, develops and manufactures friction materials such as brake friction materials, brake linings, clutch facings and asbestos free friction materials. We also produce custom friction material products. ISO-9000 certified.
Read Reviews
As the originators of sintered metallic friction materials, GMP Friction Products develops unique clutch plate and brake pad solutions tailored to our customers` needs. We have a dedicated staff for research and development, devoted to engineering materials that provide the optimum blend of durability and effectiveness. We serve the agricultural, vehicle, aerospace, and other specialty markets.
Read Reviews
More Friction Materials Companies More Friction Materials Companies
Industry Information

Friction Materials

Friction materials are used in most industries to induce resistance in several applications that require slow or decreased movement, such as in brake and clutch systems. For example, industrial machinery, automotive equipment, operating systems etc. all require the ability to slow down and/or stop their processes. Disc brake pads, friction pads and linings are common components of these arrangements and these are made of friction materials. They are also referred to as brake materials and clutch materials.

Materials used in the production of friction are usually rough or textured in order to provide added friction and increase efficiency. Smooth surfaces are used to transport materials easily and with little friction, however adding texture to a surface increases the energy required to move over it, thus slowing a moving object more quickly. Heat-resistant materials are often utilized as the process of creating friction typically generates heat energy as a byproduct. While asbestos fibers were once the most popular choice for friction materials, due to health concerns about the use of asbestos, there has been a growth in manufacturing of alternatives such as ceramic brake pads. Ceramic is a durable and highly heat-resistant material which allows for its use in many high friction environments. As the process of friction occurs inevitably with wear and tear, the materials used need to be able to withstand a certain amount of physical stress. There are several applications for which friction materials are essential. Brake pads, clutch sets, brake bands, brake lining, clutch facing, disc brake pads, clutch discs and friction discs, brake shoes and brake blocks all demand friction materials in order to operate at optimum levels. These materials are utilized by a variety of industries such as mining, oil and gas, forestry and construction. The automotive industry relies heavily on these friction material components as well.

Friction is defined as the resistance to relative motion that opposes the travel direction of an object. At its most simple, it is used to slow an object down enough to stop it, or to bring it to a controllable speed. It is created by contact of one solid body with a divergent surface. The type of material suited to a given task is dependent upon the type of friction. Different types of friction include static, kinetic and rolling. Static friction is found between two solid objects that are not moving relative to each other, preventing movement entirely. Slope is an important consideration when utilizing this particular type of friction. Kinetic friction, also known as dynamic, occurs between two objects moving relative to each other. Both surfaces may be moving or one may be sliding along a stationary object. Rolling friction involves wheels or balls. The rough texture of friction materials catches the wheel and stops it from sliding or slipping. A car tire spinning on ice or snow, for instance, is an example of low rolling friction and thus the tire does not catch on the ground, but keeps moving around.

A high coefficient of friction and good energy absorption are the key requirements of all friction materials. It is necessary to know the system for which the material is needed in order to ensure efficiency and effectiveness. In instances where quick stopping is an issue, a material that creates a large amount of friction is needed. In addition to speed, heat generation is an important consideration. Resin bonded asbestos and carbon was once the most popular friction material, but recent technological advances have significantly expanded material possibilities. Ceramic, as aforementioned, has become a popular choice due to its desirable attributes. Semi-metallic brake elements are also available using copper, brass and steel wool bonded by resin as these compounds share many of the long-lasting characteristics of ceramic options.

Braking systems use friction materials to slow and stop wheels and other mechanisms from moving. When a brake is pressed, it activates a system that places friction material against the moving disc in order to slow the connected tire. Friction discs are most often constructed of durable metal. The drawback of metallic components is the inherent grinding noise created by their friction. For this reason several manufacturers coat them with rubber and other high friction materials. Rubber or other materials have the added benefit of increased surface friction. Brake pads, linings, blocks and shoes are different mechanisms engaged by the action of braking which presses them against the disc. Clutch facing and discs function in a similar manner to offer consistent clutch engagement and disengagement. Although it is an important aspect of many other industries, the production of friction materials has more recently become an industry in its own right. While generalizations can be made, manufacturers are often secretive of their specific friction material compositions. The major changes in the industry throughout the years have caused several companies to try and protect their own advancements in order to beat out competitors. The introduction of ceramics, for example, has provided several opportunities for efficient and reliable systems. Faster stopping and lower noise are common claims in brake and clutch related products. Friction materials continue to advance and developments are a consistent occurrence in the industry markets.

Friction Materials: Forms, Types of Material, and Factors to Consider while Buying

Friction materials are used extensively in a range of industries to generate controlled friction. By controlling friction, braking and power transfer is achieved in automobiles and machinery. The products that are made with friction materials are: brake pads, brake lining, friction disc, clutch facing, clutch sets, and brake shoes. For some applications, liners and rolls are also manufactured with friction materials.

There are a number of forms in which friction materials are available for different application.

Friction shoes

Friction shoes and pads are the most known form of friction materials that play a major role in braking mechanisms. In disc braking systems, it is these pads or shoes, which are placed in brake calipers and touch the disc, which results into conversion of kinetic energy into thermal energy. As the energy is converted, an automobile loses its momentum and stops.

Friction Clutch Sets or plates

This is another application where friction materials are used extensively; all clutches are fitted with friction materials for smooth transmission action in machines. Friction plates are also used in other transmission devices, such as disc drives and torque limiters.

Friction columns or blocks

You probably have not heard about this, since they have specialized application in mining and oil rigging industry. The cranes components, such as, winches and hoists are fitted with friction blocks that regulate the movement. The blocks, however, have the same function that a brake pad has in an automobile.


Bands are another form of friction material that is used in transmission and machining. Friction bands are used in the machining process known as sawing, where blades running at high angular velocity cut metal.

To make these different forms, a number of friction materials are available, ranging from organic to ceramic to fibers and metallic materials. Ceramic materials are used in heavy loads, since ceramic can endure high temperatures. Ceramic can withstand thermal energy higher than any other alternative, however, it wears pretty fast. Organic friction material makes use of fiberglass and other materials, since asbestos proves to be a hazardous material for humans. Aramide fibers such as Kevlar is also used for making friction materials, it has the property of organic material that helps in smooth engagement of components and braking ability of ceramic pads. The other options involve high-end metallic materials, such as, sintered steel. No other additives are required for making metallic pads; however, they take heavy toll on the machinery, therefore, used only in performance vehicles.

Since there are a number of options in friction material, it is necessary to consider factors that determine its functionality and life. Before buying a friction material, you need to see the following characteristics:

  • Whether material provides smooth engagement
  • All materials loses its ability to brake with the rise of temperature, therefore, it is important that you consider whether a material can resist brake fade as the temperature rises.
  • The archenemy of friction materials is water, and once they are exposed to water, the brake fade becomes significant. You need consider whether it endures temporary exposure to water.

These factors can help you to choose an appropriate friction material that will serve you for longer periods.

Types of Friction Materials Used in Various Industries

"A necessary evil" is an idiom that is used quite often and friction is often referred to as a necessary evil. However, what does that mean? Is friction evil, and if yes, how?

To answer that question you need to know, what friction is? Friction is a natural phenomenon where a surface resists the movement of other surface over it. For most machinery, friction is what that hinders the smooth functioning and leads to wear and tear. That is why machines are lubricated periodically to reduce friction. More or less, friction is an evil that is an ultimate reason for all your operation and maintenance costs.

Now, we know friction indeed is an evil. However, why it is necessary? Why cannot we have a machine that needs no maintenance and works until eternity? The answer is: without friction no machine can work, no gear can transmit movement. Therefore, friction is necessary, too.

Now, moving to, why we need friction materials? This question is interesting and worth writing about. The most extensive use of friction material is in braking and transferring power. Whether it is a car, tank, heavy industrial machinery, all need friction material for generating controlled friction to minimize wear and tear during braking and transferring power.

Motion control products, such as clutch facing, clutch sets, clutch discs, and brake shoes are fitted with different types of friction materials.


Ceramic is one of the conventional friction materials used for making ceramic brake pads and ceramic button-style clutch. Ceramic has a unique property; it does not lose its structural integrity even under extreme temperature. The outer covering of spacecrafts is made from ceramic tiles that act as a shield against the melting temperature when spacecraft enter earth's atmosphere. As the temperature increases, ceramic starts to show better resistance against movement, making it an appropriate material for clutches and brake pads.


Kevlar is a new friction material. After proving its endurance in the armor industry, Kevlar is also used in making clutch and brake pads. Kevlar is a durable friction material that can last two to five times than a conventional friction material. It has the same pulling capabilities of ceramic, but has smooth engagement properties, unlike ceramic. With the use of Kevlar, the life of driveline components, such as, differential gears and universal joints, can be elongated significantly.


The term organic in friction materials industry is not new. Organic brake and clutch sets have existed for more than 70 years. It is one of the oldest friction materials, originally made with asbestos, which has lead to many health issues, including cancer. Therefore, its use is phased out from the manufacturing process, and its place in organic friction material is taken by fiberglass and brass. The organic pad engages clutches smoothly; however, it goes through high wear and tear leading to short life span.

The other alternatives include carbotic and fibertuff, which have the properties of all above mentioned friction material but have longer life.

Have You Ever Acknowledge Friction Materials for the Safe Car Rides You Have Taken?

Friction materials serve a great purpose-- stopping or reducing the speed of moving things. They have found their use in the automotive, aircraft, aerospace, railroad, heavy machine manufacturing, and defense industries. Friction is a force we encounter all the time-sometimes, it is undesirable; the other times, we use it to our advantage. One beneficial use is motion control products such as ceramic brake pads and brake lining; these products are used in a brake system of a vehicle. They help to control the motion of the vehicle; an uncontrollable automobile is undesirable and unusable. By allowing us control a car or an automobile, these friction materials facilitate smooth and safe rides. Therefore, if you have just taken a car ride, you need to acknowledge these items as much as you need to thank the driver for driving responsibly.

When two surfaces slide against each other, a resisting force is generated-this force is called friction. Several parts in automobiles use this force to facilitate movement or control it. Brake shoes or brake lining, clutch facing, clutch disks-all use friction. When you press the brake pedal, brake pads are rubbed against the friction disks in the brake system (or drums in drum brakes), creating friction that stops the car or reduces its speed. Other components of the vehicle, such as clutch facing and clutch discs also use the force. A clutch works as a bridge between the engine and the transmission; to facilitate movement and stoppage, the engine needs to be engaged and disengaged from the transmission, these items make that happen.

The brake system in a vehicle is one of its most crucial elements. There are ceramic brake pads and there are brake shoes made from a variety of materials such as advanced fibers and different metal alloys. As the speed of cars has increased over time, the need for a powerful and efficient braking system also increased. Sports cars, super cars, and heavy-haul vehicles need far more powerful brake power than other vehicles. In these cases, ceramics are used, which is more durable than other friction materials.

Unlike a braking system where friction is used to our benefit, there are areas where friction is generated but that is unwanted. In such scenarios, lubricants are used to reduce the friction coefficient. Engines, wheels, transmissions are example of such components.

A traditional braking system prevents motion by means of friction, converting kinetic energy of the vehicle or a moving object to heat. However, in regenerative braking, which is relatively a new concept, the kinetic energy is converted into electrical energy. This is found in hybrid or electric vehicles.

Friction is with us all the time, so are friction materials. Without these materials, the concept of an automobile and many other things is simply not possible. When we create momentum, there is also the need to control it. A brake lining or a friction disk aids you to do that, when talk about vehicular momentum. Thanks to friction, you can enjoy a peaceful and safe journey in an automobile.

  • Asbestos materials used to be the most common type of friction materials, but due to connections to lung disease, they are being phased out of the market.
  • Brake bands use friction material to slow vehicles by pressing against the brake disc.
  • Brake blocks encompass both the brake shoe and brake pad or lining which apply pressure to the brake disc or spinning surface of a wheel to reduce speed as a result of increased friction.
  • Brake lining is the heat-resistant material that creates friction in braking devices.
  • Brake materials encompass a wide variety of durable and heat resistant substances used in the construction of devices which reduce the speed and stop spinning surfaces of vehicle wheels.
  • Brake shoes house the brake pads or linings and press them into the brake disc or spinning surface of a wheel to reduce speed due to increased friction.
  • Ceramic brake pads are implemented by brake shoes or calipers which press them against spinning wheels, rotors or discs to reduce speed as a result of increased friction.
  • Ceramic friction materials are very popular because they eliminate squeal and audible vibrations. They are also less abrasive to rotors and their brake pads tend to have a longer life-span than those of other materials.
  • Clutch discs are rounded plates used to connect the engine of a vehicle to the transmissions input shaft allowing the temporary separation needed to shift gears.
  • Clutch facings are used to maintain lower coefficients of friction, which provide smooth and stable clutch engagement/disengagement. They help reduce clutch chatter, are available in molded and woven compositions and can be found with asbestos or asbestos-free materials.
  • Clutch materials encompass a wide variety of durable and heat resistant substances used in the construction of devices used to connect the engine of a vehicle to the transmissions input shaft allowing the temporary separation needed to shift gears and coast.
  • Clutch sets are pre-arranged assemblages of mechanical components used to enhance or replace existing clutch systems.
  • Disc brake pads squeeze the rotor to slow the disc.
  • Elastomeric materials are resilient and adaptable, and help maximize the consumption of power and energy. They were created especially for high speed and energy applications.
  • Fiberglass materials are new to the market, and are currently being tested for durability, preservation of rotors and drums and noise level.
  • Friction discs are metal plates bonded with friction materials that are used to brake.
  • Graphitic materials are used in applications that have a higher temperature because of their good energy absorption. These kinds of materials help hold in heat for a long period of time.
  • Non-asbestos lining includes all friction materials made without asbestos, due to concern over the affect of asbestos on health. These tend to be more abrasive and accelerate rotor wear.
  • Paper materials have some of the best performance of the friction materials. They are made of fibers and fillers and, after the addition of water, are dried and compressed into a sheet.
  • Semi-metallic friction materials are high performance and designed to prevent fade and squeal. They handle heat better than many others.
  • Sintered metal materials are compacted friction modifiers and metallic powders, and work best with very little oil flow. They have the ability to operate in very high temperatures.

Balance - Refers to the stability between the front and rear brakes.
Bleeding - The process by which overheated or spoiled brake fluid and air bubbles are removed from the brake system.
Brake Drum - Metal housing bolted to an axle and vehicle wheel that looks like a large jar lid. Brake shoes are forced against the drum to stop rotating wheels.
Brake Lining - Heat-resistant friction material that presses against the disc/drum to create braking force.
Brake Pad - Made of friction materials and bonded to metal plates. Brake pads need to be replaced occasionally due to heavy wear.
Burnish - Process of wearing in brakes so that the contact between the friction material and the rotor or drum becomes stable.
Caliper - The assembly that houses the brake pad(s) and applies them to the rotor. This also houses the hydraulically operated pistons to which the pads are bonded.
Clutch - Any of various contraptions used to engage and disengage two moving parts of a shaft or shaft and driving mechanism. When changing gears, the clutch pedal is pressed, disengaging the clutch and allowing the gear change; when released, the clutch engages and transfers the rotating motion throughout the entire driveshaft.
Coefficient of Friction - The ratio of force necessary to move an object compared to the weight of the object itself.
Disc Brake - Consists of brake pads, caliper and rotor. This is the part of the brake system that actually stops the vehicle.
Drum - A large circular metal housing that looks like an oversized jar lid and is bolted to a vehicle's axle and wheel. Brake shoes are forced against the inner section of the drum, which then stops the rotating wheel.
Dynamometer - Apparatus in a laboratory used to test brake system performance.
Fade - Temporary reduced braking power. Fade results from overheating of the friction material.
Groove Patterns - Grooves on friction material that help dispel heat, get rid of fluid and eliminate noise.
Master Cylinder - The cylinder that contains hydraulic fluid and a piston. It is connected directly to the brake pedal and transmits pressure to the brake operating system.
Recovery - The return of braking performance to a normal level after fade has diminished. This measures friction materials' ability to perform after overheating.
Rotor - Also referred to as a disc or drum, this is the circular metal object to which the brake pads are applied, creating friction to slow and stop the vehicle.
Shoe - A steel semicircular form coated with a friction agent that presses against the inside of a drum when activated.
Squeal - High-pitched noise made when braking. Squeal indicates that brakes should be inspected for wear.

Move to Top