Force Control Industries (FCI) is celebrating 50 years of manufacturing long-lasting oil shear clutches, brakes and clutch brakes.

“We specialize in difficult applications where traditional brakes and clutches have failed,” said FCI President Joe Besl. “Our products usually last five to 10 times longer than whatever we’re replacing, with no adjustment or maintenance required. That’s a significant savings for our customers over the life of the product.”

Unlike dry brakes and clutches, oil shear technology provides a film of transmission fluid between the brake disc and the drive plate. As the fluid is compressed, the fluid molecules in shear transmit torque to the other side. This torque transmission causes the two components to reach the same relative speed. Since most of the work is done by the fluid particles in shear, wear is virtually eliminated.

In addition to transmitting torque, a patented fluid recirculation system helps to dissipate the heat from the friction surface to the housing where it is cooled. The fluid serves to continually lubricate all components of the oil shear units, significantly increasing their service life.