Sundaram-Abex Limited, an Indian firm, has begun producing clutch facings free of asbestos. The company, which has been producing asbestos-free brake linings for years, recently imported technology for clutch facings with the same feature from a Spanish company, Saluda, at a cost of Rs 6 crore. The clutch facings will also be heat-resistant and more durable.
The new clutch facings are made of a composite material of glass fibre and copper wire impregnated in a resin. Although they cost 40 per cent more than asbestos-based clutch facings, the manufacturers say that because asbestos is banned in France and Germany, they are likely to find a sizeable market in the West.
In India, the use of asbestos-free components is recommended but is not mandatory.
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