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Secure critical joints in your chassis and powertrain designs

Boost performance, reliability and design freedom in one package.
3M™ Friction Shims make it possible.

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Up to 5× friction enhancement with 3M™ Friction Shims

Achieve strong, reliable connections in automotive critical joints. Guard against high shear forces in the chassis. Boost torque transfer and optimize power density in ICE, hybrid and electric vehicles.

  • By spec’ing 3M™ Friction Shims into your chassis and powertrain designs, you can enhance the coefficient of static friction by up to 5× for improved performance and reliability at peak loads – all while expanding design flexibility.

    3M combines world-class expertise in technical ceramics with a century of experience in the automotive industry. 3M™ Friction Shims are ultra-thin, compact, reproducible, extensively tested in house and highly customizable to your precise design requirements.

  • 250 million 3M™ Friction Shims in use in vehicles worldwide.


Strengthen and streamline your automotive design

Chassis & Axles

Friction enhancement for chassis and axle designs

A vehicle is only as strong as its foundation. Control movement in bolted connections and manage high force loads by incorporating 3M™ Friction Shims into your chassis and axle designs. Various grades work on multiple dissimilar mating surfaces to help strengthen joints and bear the weight of large and sophisticated components.

Experience the benefit of 3M™ Friction Shims for Automotive

  • Man working on the inside of a racecar chassis
    Friction enhancement in racecar chassis

    3M™ Friction Shims are used in racecar chassis applications such as the engine mount, suspension and subframe joints. They help strengthen critical joints to withstand some of the toughest driving conditions.

  • Lightweighting car on a scale
    NVH and Lightweighting

    By stabilizing joints, 3M™ Friction Shims help mitigate micromovements that cause noise, vibration and harshness. They also facilitate lightweighting by enabling the use of smaller and lighter bolts and fasteners.

EV Chassis

Friction enhancement for EV chassis-mounting applications

As EV batteries grow larger and more sophisticated, automotive engineers need chassis-mounting solutions that can handle stress without adding weight. 3M™ Friction Shims enable bolted connections to withstand up to 5× more shear force, helping bear the weight of heavy battery packs. They work with dissimilar mating surfaces such as aluminum, e-coated steel, painted and composite-material surfaces. They even help downsize components by allowing the use of smaller and lighter bolts and fasteners.

  • Vehicle skateboard chassis

    By helping strengthen and secure chassis joints, 3M™ Friction Shims allow for new configurations such as skateboard chassis.

  • Bolt on battery mounting system

    They reinforce bolt-on battery mounting systems with no redesign required.

3M™ Friction Shims: Shear force in chassis applications

Silver sedan driving on a highway video thumbnail

eMotor

Friction enhancement for eMotor applications

Maximize torque transfer in ePowertrain applications. Harness the full power of your eMotor. 3M™ Friction Shims can enhance friction coefficients in torsional joints by up to 5×, helping ePowertrains handle the high torque of powerful electrified engines.

  • eMotor friction shim application

    By reducing the number and size of certain components, 3M™ Friction Shims can help smaller engines maintain or increase power density, making the best use of small packaging spaces.

  • eMotor friction shim application

    They can be spec’d into your ePowertrain designs or dropped in as a quick-fix solution.

Internal Combustion Engine

Friction enhancement for classical and advanced ICE powertrains

Boost power in ICE and hybrid vehicles. 3M™ Friction Shims offer up to a 5× increase in torque transfer, enabling more powerful and efficient ICE engine designs. By reducing the number and size of certain components, they can help smaller engines maintain or even increase power density.

  • Friction shim application for pancake motor and ICE.

    3M™ Friction Shims expand design freedom to enable new and unique designs such as pancake motors.
     

    1. Gearbox
    2. Pancake electric motor
    3. 3M™ Friction Shims
    4. Internal combustion engine
  • Friction shim application for an ICE (internal combustion engine)

    By increasing torque transfer, they help increase power output with no costly redesign required.
     

    1. Dampener
    2. Sprocket
    3. 3M™ Friction Shims

3M™ Friction Shims: Torque increase

Friction shim torque increase video thumbnail

Benefits at a glance. By spec’ing in 3M™ Friction Shims, you can:

View 3M™ Friction Shims product details
  • Secure critical joints icon

    Secure critical joints

    • Maximize the coefficient of static friction in bolted connections. Preserve and strengthen joints in e-coated steel chassis, battery mounts, suspensions and other areas. Manage shear forces from large and heavy EV batteries. Boost torque transfer to help powertrains handle the high torque of powerful electrified engines.

  • Optimize design logo

    Optimize design

    • Handle higher force loads without changing parts or component sizes. Strengthen connections with dissimilar mating surfaces such as aluminum, e-coated (cathodic-dip-coated) steel, painted and composite-material surfaces. Standardize designs across different model types. Unlock new designs such as skateboard platforms (in EV chassis) and pancake motors (in eMotor applications).
  • Manage weight logo

    Manage weight

    • Downsize components by using smaller bolts and fasteners to achieve the same or better results. Increase power density in small engines and make optimal use of small packaging spaces. Reduce weight and extend battery range in electric and hybrid vehicles.
  • NVH logo

    Manage NVH

    • Secure and stabilize the chassis by dampening micromovements in bolted joints. Enhance passenger comfort and experience.

Boost grip capacity and downsize bolts with 3M™ Friction Shims

The following study illustrates the modeled force (kN) at slippage exhibited by various bolts in an automotive chassis. The slippage point is defined as a displacement of 0.02 mm or greater.

  • Smaller bolts with no design change

    Comparing the smaller M10 bolt to the larger M12 bolt, using the larger bolt produced a minor 1.4× increase in force at slippage. In contrast, adding a 3M™ Friction Shim to the smaller bolt produced a 4.9× increase over the same bolt with no shim. It enabled the bolt to withstand a substantially greater force load with no design changes required.

  • Design with smaller connections

    3M™ Friction Shims can help small bolts withstand equal or greater force loads as larger bolts. The M8 bolt with shim exhibited a force at slippage of 19.8 kN, greater than the 12.0 kN exhibited by the far larger M14 bolt with no shim.

  • Comparison graph of 3M friction shim advantage
  • Comparison graph of 3M friction shim advantage

Learn more about 3M™ Friction Shims for Automotive

  • 3M™ Friction Shims consist of a nickel-coated steel substrate partially embedded with diamond particles. When placed between two mating surfaces in a bolted connection and applied with pressure, the diamonds “bite” into each surface to create a microform fit. This allows for a coefficient of static friction up to 5× greater than in a conventional bolted connection.

    • Graphic to show how the friction shim works
    • Graphic to show how the friction shim works
    • The coefficient of static friction is a system property. It is influenced by many parameters within the complete tribological system including mating materials, surface treatments, roughness, flatness, environmental conditions and more. Based on our testing, the coefficient of static friction can be increased by up to a factor of 5 by adding a 3M™ Friction Shim to a joint.

      The following graph displays test results of different materials with and without 3M™ Friction Shims.

    • Graph displaying coefficient of static friction with 3M friction shims
  • 3M™ Friction Shims work with all commonly used metals: aluminum, carbon steel, stainless steel, cast iron, titanium, magnesium and more. They also work with many pairings of these metals. We have also developed special grades of shims ideal for e-coated steel.


    They work with a variety of non-metal mating materials including glass fibers and carbon-fiber-reinforced plastics.

  • 3M™ Friction Shims help designs withstand higher loads and shear forces without the need to change parts or component sizes. In automotive applications, for example, this enables standardized designs across different model types. Additionally, you can increase power density in small engines by reducing the number, size and weight of components and making optimal use of small packaging spaces.
    • Pre-attachment solutions for 3M™ Friction Shims

      Pre-attachment solutions for 3M™ Friction Shims

      2D shims with tabs
      Tabs on the inner or outer diameter of the shim fit into grooves on the mating parts. If your components have the required grooves, this is the lowest-cost attachment option.

      3D clip shims
      Clips on the inner or outer diameter of the shim enable attachment where tabs are not an option. 3D clip shims are ideal for chassis applications.

    • Drop-in friction enhancement for quick fixes

      Drop-in friction enhancement for quick fixes

      We’ve all been there: testing produces unanticipated failure rates and your prized design hangs in the balance. With 3M™ Friction Shims, you can strengthen and stabilize critical joints with no costly redesigns required. Ultra-thin 3M shims fit within most existing engineering tolerances for quick, seamless friction enhancement. We’ll help you expect the unexpected.


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Experience the 3M™ Friction Shims in real life

Request a sample and test 3M™ Friction Shims in various sizes and grades. Our expert engineers will help find the perfect fit for your application.


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