3M™ Friction Shims

3M ID B49000165
  • Offers up to 5X increase in the coefficient of static friction even with dissimilar counterparts
  • Allows same bolted connection to transmit significantly higher torque loads
  • Increases design freedom by enabling higher loads and shear forces without the need to change parts or component sizes
  • Simple drop-in solution typically requires no modifications to component design
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  • Offers up to 5X increase in the coefficient of static friction even with dissimilar counterparts
  • Allows same bolted connection to transmit significantly higher torque loads
  • Increases design freedom by enabling higher loads and shear forces without the need to change parts or component sizes
  • Simple drop-in solution typically requires no modifications to component design
  • Enables downsized components by using smaller and lighter bolts and fasteners

3M™ Friction Shims consist of a nickel-coated steel substrate with partially embedded 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.

3M™ Friction Shims come in four grades:

  • Grade 10
  • Grade 25
  • Grade 35
  • Grade 55

The selection of the right grade depends on the highest surface roughness (Rz) or highest average surface finish (Ra) of the two mating counterpart surfaces (transversal to direction of machining).

In general, Grade 55 is recommended for e-coated and painted substrates. See the technical data sheet for additional details.

Guard critical joints against high shear force
Reinforce bolted connections in automotive chassis and axles, aircraft structures and more. 3M™ Friction Shims help strengthen and secure joints, enabling them to withstand up to 5× higher shear force. By helping protect against joint fatigue, loosening and failure, they allow designs to support significantly higher loads without the need to change parts or component sizes. 3M friction shims work with a variety of dissimilar mating counterparts: aluminum, carbon steel, stainless steel, cast iron, titanium, magnesium and more. Special grades ideal for e-coated steel are also available.

Boost torque transfer and downsize components
Optimize power density in your ICEs, eMotors, wind turbines and other applications. 3M™ Friction Shims are a proven, cost-effective means to boost torque transfer by up to 5× while reducing the number and size of certain components. In automotive applications, they help powertrains handle high torque from powerful electrified engines and can also maximize power density in smaller, more compact engines. In wind energy applications, they help downsize turbine components by allowing for smaller and lighter bolts and fasteners. 3M friction shims can even help strengthen torsional joints in precision robotics systems such as wrists, end-effectors and grippers.

Proven performance across multiple industries
3M™ Friction Shims are supported by a global network of world-class application engineers with extensive experience in multiple industries. They are well-suited as design-in or drop-in solutions for a wide variety of engineering challenges. 3M friction shims are produced in 3M facilities that are ISO 9001 and 14004 as well as IATF 16949 certified, and our in-house lab capabilities are equipped to test friction coefficients, corrosion resistance and other key properties. 3M maintains an active global presence including full technical support for high-performance project partnerships, integrated solution-selling concepts and customer-centric innovations in the designs of today and tomorrow.

To learn more about how 3M™ Friction Shims work, watch this video.

Learn more about automotive applications for 3M™ Friction Shims

Suggested Applications

  • Automotive: Guard against shear force in the chassis and axles. Optimize power density in your ICE, hybrid and electric vehicles. 3M™ Friction Shims help OEMs strengthen the load-bearing capacity of static joints and boost torque transfer in torsional joints. We offer various grades that work on multiple mating surfaces such as aluminum, e-coated (cathodic-dip-coated), painted and composite-material surfaces.
  • Robotics: Build a better robot. 3M™ Friction Shims fit within narrow engineering tolerances to help reinforce and protect precision components such as wrists, end-effectors, joints, links and grippers. By strengthening joints, 3M friction shims can help you enable smaller design size contact areas and thus smaller part dimensions. This helps reduce inertia and greatly facilitates fast and nimble robotic devices working in tight spaces.
  • Wind Energy: Optimize performance and reduce weight at the same time. 3M™ Friction Shims are used in flanges, bolted connections on the bed plate, fasteners, brakes and other wind turbine components. They can help you boost torque transfer in wind turbine designs while downsizing components and achieving substantial weight savings. This helps you meet restrictive size requirements, facilitate transport and reduce overall costs.
  • Aerospace:From airplanes to satellite systems and beyond, 3M™ Friction Shims go where the job is. They can withstand extreme conditions to help protect critical joints in aircraft structures and engines from loosening, fatigue, slippage and failure. In satellite systems, 3M friction shims can be used in the satellite bus, rotary actuators, robotic arms, antenna systems and more.
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  • 3M™ Friction Shims are intended for industrial applications and manufactured to industrial specifications. 3M Advanced Materials Division (3M) will assess the intended use of 3M™ Friction Shims and reserves the right not to sample, sell or supply if 3M determines that it is not in a position to support the intended use of 3M™ Friction Shims.


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