Besides the traditional function of enabling proper gear shifting, clutches have evolved to superior versions in the automotive industry. Ceramic vs. organic clutch discs is often compared by vehicle enthusiasts who seek to rate one over the other.
Several factors must be considered when analyzing ceramic and organic clutches. In as much as they are similar components, their application, durability, and general performance differ.
The same is true for copper clutch vs. normal clutch. However, this review unveils the pros and cons of both ceramic and organic clutches.
Ceramic clutches are uniquely designed for high-performance racing cars with top-notch horsepower and torque ratings. In addition, these clutch discs are best for racing situations that require constant engaging and disengaging of the clutch, which has a high tendency for increased temperatures.
The ceramic clutch material is a combination of iron, silicon dioxide, copper, tin bronze, and/or graphite. This combo engenders high durability and efficiency. That’s why they are highly recommended for heavy-duty trucks that tow heavy loads regularly.
Pros of Ceramic Clutches
Ceramic clutches are excellent, mainly due to their sophisticated material makeup. However, they also have a few drawbacks. Meanwhile, some of the pros of ceramic clutches include the following:
- High durability compared to organic clutches.
- Ability to grab better under high temperatures.
- Capacity to handle high horsepower and torque.
- Made of hard-nut sophisticated materials.
- Ability to withstand harsh driving conditions without slipping.
Although ceramic clutches are unique for several reasons, they also have some shortcomings, which include:
- Subjects pressure plate and flywheel to quick wear and tear.
- May experience some chatter or shudder when engaging.
- Not suitable for regular commuting vehicles.
As the name implies, organic clutches are made from organic materials interwoven with metal fiber. They are designed for regular commuting vehicles that do not require constant engagement and disengaging of the clutches.
The organic facings of the clutch discs are made of metal oxides/metallic powder friction modifiers, phenolic resins, and compounded rubber. The organic clutch seems to be the most popular OEM clutch, among others.
Pros of Organic Clutches
Like ceramic clutches, organic clutches come with various pros and cons that every intending user must consider before making a final buying decision. Some of the pros are as follows:
- Offers durability, performance, and cost-effectiveness in one.
- Delivers smooth engagement for regular commuting vehicles.
- Engagement is easy on the flywheel.
- No chatter or shudder when engaging.
- Relatively lighter and cheaper than ceramic clutches.
As said above, organic clutches have various benefits; they also come with the following limitations.
- Not suitable for racing vehicles.
- Lesser durability than ceramic clutch discs counterparts.
- Wear out easily under slippage.
Ceramic Vs. Organic clutch differences
Several factors are direct pointers to the fact that ceramic clutches are different from organic clutches. These pointers help car owners discern the best among the two components for the purpose of making an informed buying decision for a new replacement. Some of the differences between ceramic and organic clutch are highlighted below.
|Ceramic Clutch||Organic Clutch|
|Friction materials||Iron, silicon dioxide, copper, tin bronze, and/or graphite.||Metal oxides/metallic powder friction modifiers, phenolic resins, and compounded rubber.|
|High-temperature endurance||Possesses the ability to withstand high temperatures.||Relatively less enduring under high temperatures.|
|Durability||Highly durable.||Relatively less durable.|
|Application||Racing cars.||Regular commuting vehicles.|
|Bonding||Blazed or sintered on the clutch backing plate and fastened to the plate with rivets.||Molded onto the clutch backing plate.|
|Heat resistance||Resists heat in excess of 1000 Fahrenheit.||OEM-style organic clutch – up to 500 Fahrenheit.
Heavy duty organic clutch – up to 700 Fahrenheit.
Q: Is organic or ceramic clutch better?
If you’re contemplating organic vs. ceramic clutch disc, ceramic clutches are better than organic clutches, especially in performance and durability. Ceramic clutches are designed with the capacity to absorb more heat, hence their suitability for high-performance vehicles.
On the contrary, organic clutches are efficient for cruising on regular commuting vehicles. Meanwhile, ceramic clutches are also recommended (over organic clutches) for heavy-duty trucks because of their ability to grab better than their organic counterparts when they get hotter.
Ceramic clutches also have the capacity to handle tough driving conditions without slipping, as well as the horsepower and torque output of heavy-duty vehicles. However, the components are relatively expensive.
Q: What is the best clutch material?
If you’re comparing organic or ceramic clutch vs. kevlar clutch, kevlar ranks as the best clutch material due to its ability to engage the flywheel efficiently, as well as its high durability. Clutch discs made from Kevlar last two to three times more than organic-made clutch discs.
Kevlar clutches have a relatively longer break-in period, up to 1,000 miles. They are highly recommended for rock crawling and off-road driving vehicles.
Therefore, if you desire smooth engagement, efficiency, and durability, Kevlar is the go-to clutch disc. However, don’t forget to consider kevlar clutch disadvantages before making a final decision.
Q: Is a ceramic clutch good for towing?
Yes, towing is great with ceramic clutches; hence they are highly recommended for heavy-duty trucks. The durability of the clutch discs is a critical factor that makes them more suitable for both high horsepower/torque and heavy-duty vehicles.
However, double-disc clutches are best for towing very heavy loads. These clutch discs are suitable for trucks with over 450 RWHP, towing up to 15,000 lbs.
Q: What’s the difference between a racing clutch and a regular clutch?
A racing clutch is crafted with an ultra-grabby material that minimizes slipping without overheating the vehicle’s clutch discs. On the other hand, a regular clutch is designed with a spring and minimal friction material, which helps to absorb hard launches and slippage.
Usually, some folks may want to swap their regular clutch for a heavy-duty racing clutch due to extra horsepower without awareness of the implications of ceramic clutch vs. normal clutch. Swapping out the normal clutch to a ceramic racing clutch may no longer deliver efficiency, except when you engage the car in racing.
Q: Does a performance clutch increase horsepower?
Of course, a performance clutch will trigger more horsepower and torque output. Although stock clutches deliver perfectly for some hard launches, installing a new aftermarket clutch will eventually result in a boost in speed.
So, you may want to install a new performance clutch kit if you desire more torque or horsepower for your car’s engine. With these clutches, you are good to go because they weigh less and require a minimal energy level to overcome inertia.
Buying a new clutch replacement kit is not enough. Your ability to discern the best between ceramic vs. organic clutch discs will help you make a better-informed buying decision.
Generally, both clutches are amazing. However, ceramic clutches are suitable for racing cars because of their durability and performance in handling tough driving conditions.
On the flip side, organic clutches are suitable for you if you drive a regular commuting vehicle that does not require constant engagement and disengaging of the clutch. The pros and cons of the two types of clutches are obvious factors to consider before opting for any option.