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Setralit is a technical natural fiber based on plant fibers whose property profile has been modified selectively in order to meet different industrial requirements. It was first manufactured in 1989 by Jean-Léon Spehner, an Alsatian engineer, and further developed by the German company ECCO Gleittechnik GmbH. The name “Setralit“ is derived from the French company Setral S.à.r.l. which is a subsidiary company of ECCO, where Spehner was employed at that time. Setralit was officially described first in 1990.
In the late eighties and early nineties asbestos in friction pads was banned at first in Germany and subsequently in the European Union (EU). Consequently, the friction lining industry was looking for a substitute that was suitable as a reinforcing as well as a processing fiber. At the same time the EU established and subsidized a mandatory property set-aside to restrict the grain production. Only plants für use in industry could be grown on the set-aside land without affecting subsidies. Both the EU and the Federal Republic of Germany supplied money to boost the development of new materials and new manufacturing processes of such “renewable resources”, first of all for bast fiber plants like flax and – since 1996 – hemp with low THC content.
Against this background ECCO took part in joint project for the utilization of flax fibers in brake and clutch linings, funded by the German Federal Department for Research and Technology (BMFT). During this project several Setralit fiber types were being used for the first time. They had been generated by a chemical, thermal and/or mechanical treatment of flax tow which is a side product of the textile industry. The German popular press praised this approach as a ”sensational invention“.
However, the varying properties of the base material of first generation Setralit turned out to be a serious disadvantage because these variations affected the performance characteristics of the final product in an unforeseeable way. These differences are mainly being caused by growth and harvest conditions and as such are being influenced by the climate as well as by short-term weather fluctuations in the growing area. These effects are particularly critical during dew retting.
|DParameters given are mean values (individual spot samples fall within the range displayed)|
|Density(g/cm³)||1,35||1,25 - 1,45|
|Average length of reinforcing fibersn (mm)||2,5||1,00 - 5,00|
|Specific surface pursuant Blaine-Dyckerhof (*1) (cm²/g)||9500||7000 - 12000|
|Moisture content(%): infrared balance, 2 g, 30 min at 110 °C||4||2,8 - 5,8|
|Bulk volume (ml/100g)||3500||2000 - 5000|
|Stamping volume (ml/100g: 5000 strokes with 100 g load)||1400||800 - 2000|
|Ignition loss||98,7||98,2 - 99,2|
|Ash content (%: 2 g, 2 h bei 800 °C)||1,3||8 - 1,8|
|Percentage of fibrils (*2) (weight-%)||25||10 - 50|
|Natural fiber pulp||Aramid pulp|
|Brand Name||Setralit®||Twaron®, Kevlar® a.o.|
|Standard type||Setralit® NfU/31-2||Twaron® 1095|
|Raw material||plant fiber||crude oil|
|Production||ultrasonic treatment||chemical synthesis|
|Density[g/cm³]||1,25 - 1,45||||1,44||,|
|Thickness of main fiber [µm]||15 - 20||||13|||
|Breaking strength [N/tex]||0,5 a||||1,9|||
|Tensile strength[Gpa]||2 b||||2,76 - 3,15|||
|0,25 - 0,39 a||||2,8|||
|E-modulus [Gpa]||85 b||||60 - 90|||
|12 - 26 a||||80|||
|Elongation at rupture [%]||2,4 b||||3,4|||
|1,3 - 2,8 a||||3,3|||
|Decomposition temperature [°C]||270 c||||500 c|||
|Type dependant properties||Setralit®||Twaron®|
|mean length of mother fiber, weighed [µm]||7500||||900 - 1900|||
|Content of fibrils [%] d||~25||||~25|||
|Specific surface [cm²/g]||10000 (BD)||||5 – 8 m²/g (BET)|||
|Moisture content [%]||7||||4 - 8|||
|Behavior vs. water||hydrophilic||hydrophobic|
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