Phoenix Friction

Clutch Friction Materials Explained

Many times, car enthusiasts are simply overwhelmed with choices. As the weather gets colder here in Michigan and across many areas of the United States, a lot of my gear head friends are turning wrenches in their garage. This is the time they focus on getting their “baby” ready for spring.

One such modification comes in the way of a replacement clutch.

And it’s not always an easy decision.

Today there are different clutch friction materials, each with their own advantages, from organic, ceramic, and Kevlar to carbotic, feramic, and feramalloy. Depending on the vehicle and its overall usage, material requirements vary.

Lou Rivieccio is co-founder of Phoenix Friction Products, a New Jersey based clutch and brake pad manufacturer. To help educate consumers, they put together a handy infographic, outlining the world of clutch friction materials.

“Since most consumers don’t know what to look for, they’re being cheated. The cost, durability, and performance of a clutch disc are largely determined by the friction material. A lot of clutch manufacturers trick their customers. They will take a cheap, organic clutch disc, paint it a bright color, and then call it a ‘performance clutch.’ Consumers need to understand what they’re buying to get a good deal,” Rivieccio said.

For almost 30 years, Phoenix Friction Products has manufactured hundreds of thousands of different clutches. Over the years clutch friction materials have changed, making it more difficult for consumers to know the best option.

“When we first got started, most clutch discs were made from asbestos. It was easier to choose a clutch back then,” Rivieccio said.

The infographic below details the 6 types of clutch friction materials, along with their optimum uses. Phoenix Friction Products has provided heavy-duty clutches to companies like UPS, FedEx, WonderBread, and Interstate Brands. In addition, the clutch kit for the Shelby Series 1 was developed by Phoenix Friction Products, following an extensive case study.

*Carl Anthony is Managing Editor of and resides in Detroit, Michigan. 

Clutch-Friction-Material-Infographic (1)

  1. Overwhelmed with choices – that is exactly where I am at. I didn’t know this at the time I bought it, but apparently the Ford Fiesta is popular in the car-modding community. There is quite a lot of options available for it!

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