From pads and rotors, to filters and polishes, the choices are numerous and intimidating when it comes to selecting the right parts and accessories for your car. Before 1970s, most brake pads, discs and shoes were crafted from asbestos-based material. Drivers and car owners preferred that material because of its heat dissipating capacity and durability. The connection of such brakes and clutch lining with drum produces dust as a byproduct. In order to avoid the problems associated with breathing asbestos dust, automotive manufacturers had to look for some other replacement options that not only are flexible and moldable but also ensures high friction performance.
Why Choosing the Right Brake Pad Material is Crucial?
Brake pads are one of the most important parts of your vehicle and selecting the right set of them can be quite confusing. Broadly, there are three brake pad types available today. While most brake pad manufacturers like to keep their recipe secret, all fall into one of three wide categories – non-asbestos organic, semi-metallic and ceramic brake pads. All of these options come with their own pros and cons.
Non-asbestos linings were the first replacement option selected by manufacturers when they tried to replace asbestos lining. These brake linings are made from organic fibers joined by pressure and fixed by glue. Coconut shells is one of the main organic fibers used in the manufacturing process, but generally organic brake linings will be crafted from the blend of different plant-derived fibers. These linings also incorporate a certain ratio of metal (not more than 10%-20% metal) in them which basically assists with heat distribution while including abrasiveness.
Semi Metallic Linings
As far as semi-metallic lining is concerned, it includes more metal than non-asbestos lining. This type of material was first introduced back in 1970s. These linings were particularly common in front-wheel cars in which the front disc brakes are responsible for most of the braking job. The creation of the lining used less organic material and over 50% of the lining was made from metal particles. They tend to dissipate heat more effectively than other types. Notably, the abrasive nature of the metal also produces its own heat. It’s also important to understand that the metallic material negatively impact the life of the rotor. While the amount of dust was significantly reduced and the braking capability was increased, the durability was somewhat sacrificed. Even if you look around, many cars of that era still features rear drum brakes with non-asbestos linings installed in the back shoes. Many factors such as front-to-rear braking ratios and the disparities in lining materials gave rise to rotor warping caused mainly by heat and due to this reason semi-metallic brakes need more servicing than other alternatives. In addition to that, noise also was a problem particularly when linings were damaged or wet. This left producers looking for another efficient and perfect material. Yes, you got it right. Ceramic-based materials were introduced back in late eighties that were said to be an ultimate solution to all the above-mentioned problems.
Ceramic Based Linings
Ceramic linings are made from a mixture of two basic elements including copper and ceramic fibrous materials. Copper is useful for proper heat dissipation. Also, its malleability curtails metal-to-metal damage. Ceramic fibrous materials, on the other hand, offer rigidity and even heat distribution. In addition to that, it absorbs vibration that is the biggest reason behind noise. Brake noise can also be produced by harmonic vibration when the brakes come in contact with the rotors. The biggest advantage that comes handy with this type of brake material is that it produces very less dust as compared to the other available options. Ceramic brake pads can particularly be beneficial for drivers with magnesium or aluminum wheels as there is less brake dust that makes maintenance effortless and easy.
Today, majority of vehicles make use of ceramic-based brakes. However, those vehicles still come loaded with rear brakes inside their rear rotors that make use of non-asbestos organic materials.
So, What’s the Best Brake Pad Material?
According to FrontechChina – A Brake Pads Wholesale Manufacturer, the selection of brake pads entirely depends on the type of vehicle you own. For instance, ceramic brake pads may work better for daily use as they provide noise-free driving with better heat withstanding power. The only drawback is that they’re pricier than other alternates.
Semi-metallic brake pads, on the other hand, are economical and offer great performance. The only disadvantage is that they’re quite noisy and bite harder. Lastly, Organic brake pads may be less expensive and quiet, but they tend to wear down easily.
So, next time you’re on lookout for new brake pads or shoes, look around and select the ones that best fit your needs. Make sure you do some research on your part and pick the right products that can best cater to your requirements.