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LF GmbH & Co. KG was founded in March 2016. The goal of the company is to develop, produce and market innovative friction material for industrial clutches and brakes by reducing the thermal energy consumption by up to 85%.
The developmental strategy follows the foundress’s idea to create a liquid phase of the friction material before curing. This may be in detrimental contrast to today’s manufacturing concepts in which powdered raw materials are mixed, casted or molded, while the latter requires significant thermal energy. The foundress had this eureka idea during a dinner discussion on fluid dynamics.
The company can support manufacturing requests for prototypes and pre-series production for its customers with quantities of liquid friction compounds ranging from experimental to bulk.
Today’s classical friction materials, including compounds for clutch facings, are being produced by mixing raw materials of usually powdery consistence. The next steps brings structure to the mixes while applying significant pressure and temperature to adhere the friction material to a given metal support during the industrial manufacturing process. To gain finished products, these semi-finished products need to be hardened and ground what requires highly technically demanding presses and tools which define the factory costs significantly. This traditional manufacturing process additionally requires several heating and cooling cycles that make for a highly energy demanding and therefore costly manufacturing process.
The just mentioned process requirements have a significant influence on the development of products, the manufacturing cost of prototypes, the minimum lot size, the total cost of the goods and the time to market. They may also influence the technical capability of the finished goods. At this specific point our concept takes position and shall be applied in the sectors automotive, industrial, wearables and prototypes. In particular in the field of prototyping, the product shows extremely large disruptive potential due to its mold-free capability. Above and beyond the possibility to manufacture lot size 1, while applying no-mold technology, may lead to significant improvements, especially in costs.
Compound: LIQFRIC 1A
Curing agent: LIQFRIC 1B
Inorganic - High Performance
Compound: LIQFRIC HP 1A
Curing agent: LIQFRIC HP 1B
Compound: LIQFRIC 3D 1A
Curing agent: LIQFRIC 3D 1B
The already developed liquid 2K-LIQFRIC® systems have successfully passed several friction tests and are ready to be put to the test by our customers. The therefore required production capacities have been built up and are able to easily meet initial demands. We introduced a first generation of organic compounds at the Eurobrake 2018 which have been sent out to customers in the meantime.
By accelerating the curing time (pot life approx. 15min, signs of green strength after approx. 120min), we are able to give shape to our products with short cycle times, that could be sped up even further by applying additional heat.
The freedom of shaping, combined with the simplified mold makeup allows for a radical redesign of clutch geometry, as well as thin-layer materials in the range of 150 – 1000 µm.
A water-based compound series LIQFRIC HP is currently undergoing pre-series evaluation and has proven to be temperature-resistant up to 1472°F (800 °C) / 2h. All of our LIQFRIC material concepts allow for a formulation based on customer requirements that can be further developed in close collaboration.
In June 2017, we set up a laboratory to manufacture our compounds and prototypes. In addition we opened up a center for additive manufacturing (3D-printing) and machining in February 2019, to achieve best possible conditions to further develop our materials. To test and verify our material concepts, we hired an external contractor who has provided certified test results.
Rapid prototyping allowing for fast adaptation of friction materials, new parts possible within 24h after mold release, friction levels 0,3 ≥ µ ≤ 0,5.
I.e. 2K-LIQFRIC® compounds for the manufacturing of testing prototypes with near net shape geometry and small series products.
LF GmbH & Co. KG offers the following friction material industry related consulting topics: Strategy, Leadership, Succession planning, R&D, or customer specific requests
In the meantime we filed patent applications to go along with our material concept.
Please consult our application engineering to receive further information.
We have scheduled series manufacturing of our new solvent-free water-based HP compounds for Q 2/3 2019.
Please contact us, we will process your request as soon as possible!
As an innovative company we love to support EARLY ADAPTORS ¹ and would therefore welcome the opportunity to start communication with like-minded companies, that would like to test new concepts of manufacturing and prototyping and love to develop new cutting-edge friction material concepts.
¹ Geoffrey A. Moore – Crossing the Chasm
LF GmbH & Co.KG
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