5 Ways Low Friction Linings Improve Driver Comfort
by Markus Klitz
Low friction linings (LFL) are increasingly used in vehicles, due to the qualities they offer in terms of driver comfort, overall vehicle economics, lower power consumption and reduced space and weight requirements. But what do these materials do and how do they contribute to a smoother driving experience?
What are low friction linings?
LFL are an advanced composite of fluoropolymer required in various components such as electromagnetic solenoids, actuators, sliding roof systems, and printer fuser roll pressure pads. LFL minimizes the force required to move one item against another static surface. They are used in various mechanical systems, including EM solenoids for automatic transmissions, to enhance performance, efficiency, and durability.
- Smoother Gear Shifts: EM solenoids, essentially coiled wire with a ferromagnetic core, are responsible for controlling the engagement and disengagement of various transmission components, such as clutches and valves. By using LFL, the solenoids can operate with reduced friction, leading to smoother and more seamless gear shifts. This results in a smoother acceleration and deceleration experience for the driver, minimizing jerkiness and vibrations during gear changes.
- Reduced Noise and Vibration: Friction in solenoids can generate noise and vibration, which can be transmitted to the driver and passengers. LFL help to minimize these effects by reducing the contact forces between moving parts within the solenoid. As a result, the overall noise and vibration levels are reduced, leading to a quieter and more comfortable driving experience.
- Enhanced Response and Control: LFL in EM solenoids improve the responsiveness and control of the transmission system. With reduced friction, the solenoids can actuate more quickly and precisely, allowing for faster and more accurate gear shifts. This enhances the overall driving experience and provides a higher level of control to the driver.
- Increased Fuel Efficiency: By minimizing friction losses, LFL contribute to improved fuel efficiency in automatic transmissions. Reduced friction means that less energy is wasted during gear shifts, resulting in more efficient power transfer from the engine to the wheels. This can lead to better fuel economy, reducing the driver's expenses and environmental impact.
- Shock absorption: The solenoids contained in vehicle shock absorption dampers directly impact the driver's comfort level and overall vehicle performance. Two continuously variable valves adjust the damping force in each damper: one valve controls the extension phase (the force that ensues when the wheel rebounds) – and the other controls the compression phase. Low friction linings minimize friction, improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the shock absorption process, leading to a smoother and more comfortable ride for passengers.
VERSIV™ LFL contains all the qualities associated with low friction lining performance in vehicles, with very consistent wear and low friction properties over their lifetime and negligible changes in performance even after wear testing up to 10 million cycles. The properties of the material eliminates the risk of frictional “pick-up” or metallic contamination. They have been tested with contaminated “dirty” hydraulic and transmission oils and still performed satisfactorily.
To summarize, LFL in EM solenoids for automatic transmissions contribute to a more enjoyable, quiet, and efficient driving experience. Without LFL, vehicles would likely experience higher energy losses, increased wear and tear, decreased fuel efficiency, and potentially compromised performance and comfort.