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Silicon Carbide For Friction Applications

Featured Product from MINTEQ® International Inc, Pyrogenics Group

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Carbon/Carbon Based Silicon Carbide Conversion For Friction Applications
Parker Hannifin Corporation, Aircraft Wheel and Brake Division approached the Pyrogenics Group to collaborate towards creating a new coating material to support the V-22 Osprey revolutionary new tiltrotor aircraft.

The V-22 is a fixed-wing plane with rotors that tilt so the aircraft can take off and land like a helicopter. The military sees it as potentially useful for long-range Marine Corps and commando missions. A tiltrotor combines the speed, range and fuel efficiency normally associated with turboprop aircraft with the vertical take-off/landing and hover capabilities of helicopters. The tiltrotor aircraft represents a major technological breakthrough in aviation that meets long standing military needs.

The tiltrotor brake pad and system must stand some of the harshest design criteria faced for an aircraft including hold and takeoff in support of mission operations and maneuvers on aircraft carriers and assault ships. The brake material must stand up to highly resistant wear, heat and fracture specifications and have a very high static friction coefficient.

The Challenge:
Develop a cost effective material coating that can withstand the severe operational conditions and longevity requirements of the mission planners for the V22 Osprey.

The Results:
Applications of C/C Silicon Carbide Products The Pyrogenics Group worked closely with Parker Hannifin in developing a unique SiC conversion process that satisfied the quality, performance, and schedule requirements set by the mission planners. The SiC thickness is on a carbon-carbon preform and uses a proprietary process employing high temperature furnaces. Unlike superalloys and ceramics, the resultant brake material is light weight, self lubricating, and retains its strength at high temperatures. In addition, it possesses a very low coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE), low residue, and withstands the thermal shock of the mission profile. The extremely wear resistant material makes it ideal for this application and as a friction material for high performance clutches and other brake applications.

Applications of C/C Silicon Carbide Products

  • Couplings
  • Clutches
  • Hoists
  • Winches
  • Brakes
  • Transmissions
  • Mechanical drives
  • Torque transmitters/limiters


Silicon Carbide offers very unique properties which include:

  • High hardness next to diamond.
  • Extremely wear and abrasion resistance.
  • High flexural strength at room or high temperature.
  • Excellent thermal shock resistance due to its low thermal expansion and high thermal conductivity.
  • Excellent corrosion resistance.
  • High temperature resistance


Technical Papers

Minteq Pyrogenics Group
py•ro - (pi'• ro) prefix fr. Gk, Pyros, fire
gen•ic - (jen'• ik) a. source

The Pyrogenics Group is the technological leader in the production of engineered carbon based products for key industries requiring innovative material solutions.

These high-purity products offer unique thermal and physical properties that provide customer benefits in the form of extremely rapid thermal heat transport or heat spreading.

The Pyrogenics Group had its origins in the Space Age Materials Corporation (SAMCO), a research and development organization that focused on high-temperature materials and coatings for use in military and aerospace applications.

The production facility of The Pyrogenics Group is in Easton, Pennsylvania, a 90 minute drive from Philadelphia and New York City. The multi-building complex houses a variety of high temperature equipment including two-story production furnaces capable of producing Pyroid® pyrolytic graphite material from 0.001 to 1 inches thick (0.0025 to 2.5 cm), lengths over 48" long (120 cm), and widths up to 24" wide (60 cm).  Additional medium-sized furnaces and small pilot furnaces are available for lower production volumes or small scale prototype work.

Our furnaces are used on a regular basis for Chemical Vapor Infiltration (CVI) of pyrolytic carbon into carbon-carbon composites and special pyrolytic carbon coatings, and Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD), on graphite or similar substrates.

We are supported by a ISO certified, full-service, analytical lab for product certification and our CNC machine shop is fully equipped to finish every order to the customer's demanding tolerance specifications and quality requirements.