Choosing the Right Friction Material for Your Rebuild

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January 4, 2019

At Raybestos Powertrain, we design, manufacture, and test our friction products with attention to every detail, from the selection of raw materials to final assembly. Our made-in-the-USA friction technology outperforms the OE. We apply thousands of hours of research and testing to ensure that our products meet our customers’ expectations in every application. The automatic transmission is the most complex element in modern vehicles. Mechanical, electrical, hydraulic, and computerized systems work in perfect synchronization as the transmission shifts. With such great advancements in automatic transmission technology, the evolution of Raybestos Powertrain friction clutch plates must keep stride. All of our OE, OE replacement, enhanced performance, and racing application friction materials are made-in-USA and designed to meet the demands of the diverse conditions found in today’s automatic transmissions.

OE Replacement Friction Clutch Plates

Our tan friction material is an OE-approved material containing cellulose fibers. The tan friction material is recommended for standard or “stock” rebuilds, passenger cars, light trucks, and “static” applications. The graphitic friction material is a paper-based material capable of storing more heat until the engagement is complete. Heat is then released slowly and evenly for reduced warping along with a strong friction-resin matrix to increase strength. The graphitic friction material is recommended for limited-slip differentials, off-highway, bus, and truck applications where greater durability is required and shift quality is of less concern. The high energy friction material that we manufacture meets OE performance and wear specifications. Its blend of Kevlar, ceramics, graphite, and carbon creates smooth engagements that can withstand higher friction-to-steel surface temperatures. The recommended use is for typical late-model domestic and import passenger vehicles often used in both static and dynamic applications.

Our Hybrid Technology (HT) friction clutch plates combine a unique groove pattern and next generation friction material to deliver performance that exceeds OE specifications. This friction material was originally developed for an OE manufacturer and has a greater capacity to absorb higher stress and temperatures resulting in ideal shifts and longer clutch life after the rebuild. HT friction clutch plates are recommended as an OE replacement uniquely designed to improve performance for all passenger vehicle applications except Honda/Acura applications. GPX friction clutch plates provide an OE replacement that improves performance and durability for all Honda/Acura passenger vehicle applications. With a unique “X” groove design and proprietary friction material, GPX can withstand high temperatures, create smooths shifts, and provide greater durability. Tight manufacturing tolerances are used to provide drop-in, trouble-free installation. The GPX friction material is recommended for all Honda/Acura passenger vehicles.

Enhanced Performance Friction Clutch Plates

The high static friction is an OE-approved material with a maximum “breakaway” torque capacity for high-stress holding applications. It is recommended for “static” clutch positions in truck and high-performance applications that need more holding capacity. GPZ technology increases transmission performance in a drop-in replacement clutch plate. GPZ friction material is designed to withstand high stress, high temperatures, and repeated cycling for dramatic improvement in transmission performance and durability. It is specifically designed for heavy duty use such as powerstroke and commercial vehicles to provide the finest, most durable plate on the market. Its strong performance improves as power increases, even outperforming OE materials by as much as 20%. The recommended use for the GPZ friction clutch plate is in heavy-duty vehicles, commercial vehicles, and all high-stress driving applications that require optimum performance.

Racing Friction Clutch Plates

Stage-1 performance friction clutch plates handle demands that stock, tan, and high-energy plates cannot. They have a greater holding capacity and durability, with less wear than other red performance plates, and reduce shift times. Another benefit of the Stage-1 performance friction material is the high coefficients of friction that it has for high output engines. For the most popular applications, a drop-in replacement can also be done. It is recommended for front and rear-wheel drive domestic and import street-strip, “Tuner,” and off-road performance applications. The Gen2 Blue Plate Special has the highest available torque capacity and energy absorption with the least amount of wear of any performance friction plate on the market. An ultra-strong friction-resin matrix is used to increase the mechanical strength of the friction material. The benefits of the Gen2 Blue Plate Special are excellent fatigue strength, quick engagements, and less shock during shifts. It is recommended for serious high performance and racing applications that involve high horsepower, high torque, and high-pressure engagements typically associated with drag racing; Optimum benefit is in dynamic clutch positions.

Why Raybestos Powertrain Manufactures a Variety of Friction Materials

As a vertically integrated manufacturer with our very own paper mill at our Crawfordsville, IN plant, we are able to produce friction materials both as an OE supplier and aftermarket supplier in the automatic transmission industry. R&D engineers at our Technical Center work to develop products that exceed customer expectations through collaboration with OE manufacturers and automatic transmission rebuilders. We specifically design a wide variety of friction materials to handle the various temperatures, pressures and other conditions that can arise within today’s complex automatic transmission environment. Our R&D engineers consider OE manufacturer specifications, differences in transmission fluids and environments, and the various ways vehicles can be used to develop friction materials that succeed in OE replacements, enhanced performance, and racing applications. With an extensive selection, our technical support team can help you determine the friction material that best suits your needs. Please contact our technical support team for additional information on selecting the right friction material for your application at 1-800-729-7763. To find a distributor near you, visit

posted by: Nathan Truncone   comments: 0

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