I was wondering if the wet clutch discs on a motorcycle would be made out of the same friction material to the dry clutch discs. I understand this is probably not true, but does anyone know the exact differences in terms of material composition and behavior? Are these two types of material interchangeable (provided that the correct oils, springs etc are used)???

2 Answers 2


The clutches may use similar materials but are not interchangeable.

Wet clutches and Dry clutches provide the same functionality (transmitting torque to the gearsets) and use similar materials, but their design is very different due to their intended function.

A wet clutch must be bathed in oil at all times or it will fail very quickly, due to excessive heat, and friction in the pads. The design of a Wet Clutch Friction Pad, and the materials use require that the heat be removed by the oil, and lubrication is provided when the clutch is disengaged such that the friction plates itself are not damaged.

A dry clutch would not work in oil at all, it would get extremely hot due to slippage and would provide very little friction. Even minor amounts of oil can be detrimental to a Dry Clutch. Dry clutch friction pad are typically much more rigid and solid than a wet clutch friction pad, they are designed this way as they will be constantly brushing against each other with no lubrication when disengaged, they will also be exposed to different forces when the clutch is disengaged.


They are different materials.

They cannot be interchanged.

For example a dry clutch material that gets contaminated with oil slips or gets jerky in operation...

  • Right. Then what about the opposite case? Can a wet clutch be modified to dry clutch (even with extreme wear)
    – kokobill
    Commented Oct 15, 2019 at 8:11
  • @kokobill See my first two sentences... or read here quora.com/…
    – Solar Mike
    Commented Oct 15, 2019 at 8:14
  • After carefully reading your provided link i cannot see anywhere a reason why a wet clutch material could not be used in a dry clutch application.
    – kokobill
    Commented Oct 15, 2019 at 8:54
  • @kokobill go ahead and try it, let us know what happens.... I'm not going into wear rates, coefficient of friction etc - I don't have the time at the moment. Either you use the correct clutch material for the application or you don't.
    – Solar Mike
    Commented Oct 15, 2019 at 9:02
  • Hahahahaha. maybe i will. But then i would have to provide a video for enhanced laughter effect. Though you answered my initial question and thank you for that, i am not sure our comments chain here answers the "a reason why a wet clutch material could not be used in a dry clutch application". Would it wear to soon? Would it explode? Slip? not engage any friction at all? Call Cthulhu?
    – kokobill
    Commented Oct 15, 2019 at 9:09

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