Ceramic Disc Brakes



1. The brakes must be strong enough to stop the vehicle within the minimum possible distance in an emergency. But this should also be consistent with safety. The driver must have a proper control over the vehicle during emergency braking and the vehicle must not skid.

2. The brakes must have good antifade characteristics and their effectiveness should not decrease with constant prolonged application.

Disc Brakes

As shown in fig a disc brake consists of a cast iron disc bolted to the wheel hub and a stationary housing called caliper. The caliper is connected to some stationary part of the vehicle, like the axle casing or the stub axle and is cast in two parts, each part containing a piston. In between each piston and disc there is a friction pad held in position by retaining pins, spring plates etc., passages are drilled in the caliper for the fluid to enter or leave each housing. These passages are also connected to another one for bleeding.

Coating Of Ceramics On Conventional Brake Disc

In use, the ceramic face requires a special carbon metallic friction pad, which deposits a layer of material on the brake disc. This coupling provides the required conditions of exceptional wear resistance, high and stable coefficient of friction.

The coated matrix composite discs were first used on high performance motor cycles, where the reduced gyroscopic effect had the additional advantage of making the cycles easier to turn.Another company named Lanxide used aluminium as the disc material. To provide necessary abrasion resistance, aluminium discs have to be reinforced with a ceramic material, hence metal composite. They used silicon carbide also to increase the strength.

Manufacturing Of Ceramic Brake Discs

The composites for producing fiber reinforced ceramic brake discs are short carbon fibers, carbon powder, and resin mix. The process involves first compressing the carbon fibers, carbon powder and the resin mix together and then sintering at1000 degree Celsius. In the furnace a stable carbon frame work created. This consists of carbon fibers in a carbon matrix. Once cooled this material can be ground like wood and the break disk obtains its final shape.

Together with silicon the ground break disk blank is then inserted into the furnace a second time. The pores in the carbon framework absorb the silicon melt like a sponge; the fibers themselves remain unaffected by this process.

The ceramic material is created when the matrix carbon combines with liquid silicon. This fiber reinforced ceramic material cools over night and the gleaming dark grey break disk is ready.

Advantages Of Ceramic Brake Discs

1.     Initial field studies have shown that ceramic brake discs can still reliably bring an automobile to standstill even after 300,000 kilometers. Brake disc changes will in future be unnecessary.

2.     They are not subject to wear, are maintenance free and are heat and rust resistant.


Ceramic brake discs due to its advantages over the conventional brake discs are going to be the brake discs for cars in future. The special combination in the ceramic brake discs had turned the conventional brake disc into a material most suited for making brake discs. With the success of this in Porsche turbo car, many other racing cars and commercial vehicles are going to implement the ceramic disc in their cars.