All About Clutches


Many people choose to buy a clutch that offers a bit too much bang for their buck. It can be complicated to determine what clutch is right for a specific application because there are so many different designs and personal preference is involved. Some people are okay with having to push the pedal harder or don’t mind noise, while others might be okay paying more of having a shorter clutch life.

Clutch Materials

There are numerous materials that a clutch can be made from, but the most common are the following six materials:

  • Carbon – Very high-temperature material with abrupt engagement.
  • Ceramic – Also very high-temperature with abrupt engagement.
  • Feramic – Offers great torque capacity and friction coefficient.
  • Kevlar – Durable and resistant to hard use.
  • Organic – Smooth engagement, broad operating temperature.
  • Sintered Iron – Extremely high-temperature material with harsh engagement.

Understanding Dual Friction Clutches

When we refer to a dual friction clutch, it means that two different friction material facings are attached to each side of the clutch disk. The pressure plate side has Kevlar added while the other side is organic for performance and service life. For strip and street use, it’s often made of metal and Kevlar. To know more, click here.

Choosing Clutch Material

Deciding on the right clutch material depends on both your own configuration and the specifications of the manufacturer. Most manufacturers have their own chosen clutch material type that varies from that of another brand’s offerings. When you switch to a more aggressive material, it can lead to gains from 10% to 60% in terms of torque.

Sprung vs. Unsprang

In most cases, this doesn’t matter to a large degree. Sprung clutches act similarly to springs on a car. When we generalize broadly, unsprung clutches are best for racing situations while sprung clutches are better for road use.

Transmission Friendly Clutches

If you are concerned about which clutch is best for your transmission, it will be the OEM organic. The reason for this is because there are lighter clamp loads of the organic clutch material and pressure plate. Organic materials, however, will loose some friction when hot. That’s because they use a resin that melts and becomes similar to a lubricant.

If you are in the market for dual friction clutches, make sure to take a look at the products at Raybestos Powertrain, LLC.