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By spec’ing 3M™ Friction Shims into your chassis and powertrain designs, you can enhance the coefficient of static friction by up to 5× for improved performance and reliability at peak loads – all while expanding design flexibility.
3M combines world-class expertise in technical ceramics with a century of experience in the automotive industry. 3M™ Friction Shims are ultra-thin, compact, reproducible, extensively tested in house and highly customizable to your precise design requirements.
A vehicle is only as strong as its foundation. Control movement in bolted connections and manage high force loads by incorporating 3M™ Friction Shims into your chassis and axle designs. Various grades work on multiple dissimilar mating surfaces to help strengthen joints and bear the weight of large and sophisticated components. By helping stabilize the chassis, they also help mitigate NVH for enhanced passenger comfort and experience.
As EV batteries grow larger and more sophisticated, automotive engineers need chassis-mounting solutions that can handle stress without adding weight. 3M™ Friction Shims enable bolted connections to withstand up to 5× more shear force, helping bear the weight of heavy battery packs. They work with dissimilar mating surfaces such as aluminum, e-coated, painted and composite-material surfaces. They even help downsize components by allowing the use of smaller and lighter bolts and fasteners.
They reinforce bolt-on battery mounting systems with no redesign required.
Maximize torque transfer in ePowertrain applications. Harness the full power of your eMotor. 3M™ Friction Shims can enhance friction coefficients in torsional joints by up to 5×, helping ePowertrains handle the high torque of powerful electrified engines.
By reducing the number and size of certain components, 3M™ Friction Shims can help smaller engines maintain or increase power density, making the best use of small packaging spaces.
They can be spec’d into your ePowertrain designs or dropped in as a quick-fix solution.
Boost power in ICE and hybrid vehicles. 3M™ Friction Shims offer up to a 5× increase in torque transfer, enabling more powerful and efficient ICE engine designs. By reducing the number and size of certain components, they can help smaller engines maintain or even increase power density.
3M™ Friction Shims expand design freedom to enable new and unique designs such as pancake motors.
By increasing torque transfer, they help increase power output with no costly redesign required.
Maximize the coefficient of static friction in bolted connections. Preserve and strengthen joints in e-coated chassis, battery mounts, suspensions and other areas. Manage shear forces from large and heavy EV batteries. Boost torque transfer to help powertrains handle the high torque of powerful electrified engines.
The following study illustrates the modeled force (kN) at slippage exhibited by various bolts in an automotive chassis. The slippage point is defined as a displacement of 0.02 mm or greater.
Comparing the smaller M10 bolt to the larger M12 bolt, using the larger bolt produced a minor 1.4× increase in force at slippage. In contrast, adding a 3M™ Friction Shim to the smaller bolt produced a 4.9× increase over the same bolt with no shim. It enabled the bolt to withstand a substantially greater force load with no design changes required.
3M™ Friction Shims can help small bolts withstand equal or greater force loads as larger bolts. The M8 bolt with shim exhibited a force at slippage of 19.8 kN, greater than the 12.0 kN exhibited by the far larger M14 bolt with no shim.
3M™ Friction Shims consist of a nickel-coated steel substrate partially embedded with diamond particles. When placed between two mating surfaces in a bolted connection and applied with pressure, the diamonds “bite” into each surface to create a microform fit. This allows for a coefficient of static friction up to 5× greater than in a conventional bolted connection.
The coefficient of static friction is a system property. It is influenced by many parameters within the complete tribological system including mating materials, surface treatments, roughness, flatness, environmental conditions and more. Based on our testing, the coefficient of static friction can be increased by up to a factor of 5 by adding a 3M™ Friction Shim to a joint.
The following graph displays test results of different materials with and without 3M™ Friction Shims.
3M™ Friction Shims work with all commonly used metals: aluminum, carbon steel, stainless steel, cast iron, titanium, magnesium and more. They also work with many pairings of these metals. We have also developed special grades of shims ideal for e-coated steel.
They work with a variety of nonmetal mating materials including glass fibers and carbon-fiber-reinforced plastics.
2D shims with tabs
Tabs on the inner or outer diameter of the shim fit into grooves on the mating parts. If your components have the required grooves, this is the lowest-cost attachment option.
3D clip shims
Clips on the inner or outer diameter of the shim enable attachment where tabs are not an option. 3D clip shims are ideal for chassis applications.
We’ve all been there: testing produces unanticipated failure rates and your prized design hangs in the balance. With 3M™ Friction Shims, you can strengthen and stabilize critical joints with no costly redesigns required. Ultra-thin 3M shims fit within most existing engineering tolerances for quick, seamless friction enhancement. We’ll help you expect the unexpected.