SBIR Phase I: Tools for Improved Friction Material Processing

Period of Performance: 01/01/2009 - 12/31/2009

$150K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Industrial Measurement Systems, Inc.
2760 Beverly Dr. #4
Aurora, IL 60502
Principal Investigator

Abstract

This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project aims to enhance the automotive friction material manufacturing industry's productivity and efficiency by providing a superior measurement method for quality, consistency and the quantification of noise influencing material properties. Friction material manufacturing is subject to inter-material as well as inter-batch inconsistency that is not adequately quantifiable by existing methods. These inconsistencies adversely affect customer satisfaction, contribute to lost business and consume engineering and testing resources. An ultrasonic-based measurement method capable of measuring material property and consistency data has been employed in destructive laboratory testing with success. Modification of this method for use with intact, as-manufactured friction materials can provide manufacturers with the quality and consistency analysis tools that are currently severely lacking. In this program studies will be conducted to relate ultrasonic data to friction material processing variables and to forge a relationship between ultrasonic test data and noise performance. Ultrasonic measurement can be implemented as both, part of a control scheme to improve the manufacture of friction materials and as a quality assurance method to ensure that noise-prone components do not enter the marketplace. Both lead to increased customer satisfaction and significant gains in manufacturing efficiency. The broader impact/commercial