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Roadfly Magazine
Issue Eight
Table of Contents

Past Issues Index
Roadfly Magazine
Issue Eight
August 9, 2003
Cruising with Jay Leno
Hot Rod Power Tour
Paint Protection Film
Brake Pad Tech
Porsche Cayenne
Porter Cable Buffer
Coming Next Issue
Fernandez Racing
CPO Nightmares
Hot Lap: Strong Strut
Lotus Elise Preview

Brake Pad Technology
By Steve Litscher

(Thursday, July 31, 2003 1:15 PM EST)

Performance Friction BMW Race Car

Race car brakes

Racing Brakes

Important Links

Performance Friction
An insiders look at brake pad technology compliments of Performance Friction. Performance Friction is well known in the racing and high-performance automotive accessories industry as one of the premiere providers of brake components. Spend more than a few moments watching any telecast of an automotive racing event and you're certain to hear "Performance Friction" more than a few times. Perhaps part of the reason for this is because they have more than 80 years of racing experience and they're involved in just about every form of automotive racing.

This article will be the first in a running-series of articles devoted to sharing "insider" info about brakes, brake components and the importance of braking systems.

We asked the experts at Performance Friction, "How are brake pads developed, tested and marketed, in general?"

Their answer is as follows:

Brake pads are developed, tested and marketed with many different factors in mind. Manufacturers are very protective of their friction formulations, which with a tweak here and a tweak there, one can modify the performance factors of the brake pad dramatically.

For example, if one is trying to develop a low dusting pad, then the tests run will zero in on the using more of the raw material fibers that contribute most to lowering dust. If one is only worried about developing a performance pad, then tests run by the manufacturer will pinpoint raw materials that affect performance most, and increase content of those fibers in their formulation.

As with any product, manufacturers market their brakes based on the features and benefits offered to the consumer. However, just because it says so on the box - buyer beware and be informed is a wise move. It is always better to have an understanding of what is in the pads and technology you are trusting to place on your car.

Even as safety systems such as ABS and traction control have become more demanding, consumers of new vehicles have come to expect transparent operation of their brakes.

Essentially no noise and long life are expected yet, according to JD Power, brake noise is cited at the second most problematic area across the entire vehicle for new vehicles! The popularity of SUVís and high performance autos such as Porsche, BMW, and Jaguar, coupled with the general downsizing of braking systems to increase fuel economy, have put a greater burden on friction manufacturers to supply an appropriate brake pad for every vehicle type.

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