3M Technical Ceramics
Zweigniederlassung der 3M Deutschland GmbH

3M™ Friction Shims

As the concept states: In general, the aim is to avoid “friction losses”. Therefore, it appears counter-intuitive that a targeted increase in friction brings about higher efficiency in machines. However, this is exactly what 3M™ Friction Shims, formerly known as “EKagrip Shims“, proved over 100 million times!

In principle, the following stands: the more power to transfer, the larger or heavier components will be required. Friction enhancing shims, on the other hand, prevent slipping of the assembly parts and enable power transmission of up to four times higher than with a screw transmission. What is even more surprising is that the shims are just a tenth of a millimeter thick, weigh less than one gram and in most applications cost less than one euro. They are made out of thin, elastic, nickel-plated on both sides metal foil with embedded diamond particles. Placed between two components, hard diamond particles are pressed against each other's surface and produce a microform closure. As a result, the 3M™ Friction Shims are capable of transmitting increased power and torques without any structural alterations.

So far, the main application area for Friction Shims has been the automotive industry. Here they are used either to reduce the weight of the vehicle or to improve power transmission in existing designs. In both cases, a resolution can be found in the increase in the friction coefficient. The 3M™ Friction Shims can be tailor-made for any application or incorporated into existing solutions– for instance, when problems develop with power transmission or slipping of the components. Alternatively, developers are now approaching the 3M™ Technical Ceramics at an earlier stage and work on novel solution strategies for construction. A number of automotive manufacturers already rely on friction shims for crankshafts and camshaft connections, flywheels and compensation shaft modules. Moreover, the product is successfully used in motor sports in various applications.

Also, in wind generation industry, the trend is always towards producing more efficient design, with better space-saving qualities and easier assembly. The 3M™ Friction Shim solutions are suitable for use in screw or shaft-hub connections with a wide variety of materials and surface pressures, for example, in the drivetrain of a wind turbine, where the components, the main shaft, the gear box and the generator, are connected via flanges. By placing 3M™ Friction Shims between each component, not only fewer screws are needed but they can also be smaller and lighter in size!

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