Brakes Are Light But Prices Are Heavy
by Glady Reign
Inflation - that is the thing auto enthusiasts abhor the most. Car owners' growing dilemma is all about the intensifying prices. This is true not just for vehicles in general but for auto parts in particular. As a fact, as brakes get lighter, the prices become heavier that they even drill a hole in the pocket of whoever needs this auto part.
When a potential customer check boxes on the option list, he could easily detect the rising prices. The add-ons worth $16,808 integrated to the league of the ceramic brakes on a Ferrari F430 cost about the same as that of a Honda Civic.
Sophisticated auto ceramic brakes are an option on the $172,505 F430 but standard on some other Ferraris. These brakes are upgraded versions of iron discs. The latter are already deemed impressive in the field because of their outstanding stopping power. Drivers who spend weekends on the racetrack could easily determine the difference in the braking functions.
The very first automaker to use ceramic brakes is Porsche. It happened in 2001 when it introduced discs made of a novel ceramic composite material to lessen the weight of a special sport model. Ceramic brakes are now offered as an option to some Porsche vehicles. For Cayman sports car, ceramic brakes are priced at $8,150.
Rotors, which are also called brake discs, made of ceramic material are optional on the Audi S8. However, it is not offered yet in the United States. The Bentley Continental GT Diamond Series will also be given ceramic discs priced at $189,900.
Ceramic composite boasts exceptional hardness as well as the ability to retain shape and strength despite varying temperatures. As a fact, it could stand heat that melts conventional iron brake material. Simple single-ingredient ceramics may be brittle like dinnerware at times. Nevertheless, some types work well in turbochargers or jet engine bearings.
To make ceramics durable enough for a brake disc, it is produced as a composite. The composite version is highly resistant to stretching. The process responsible for the production of the composite was developed by the Mitsubishi Chemical Company. In said process, the disc-shaped carbon fibers are saturated with a liquid polymer containing silicon and carbon. Then, it is heated to make the ceramic hard.
Ceramic brakes are famed for their durability and performance. As a fact, they last four times longer than their iron counterparts. They also weigh half as much as iron discs. Hence, this means improved auto acceleration and handling.
There are other good reasons to choose ceramic brakes. It can be recalled that CAFE mandated corporate average fuel economy standards for the automakers to comply. These standards put a tough pressure to minimize the weight of the vehicles. This is due to the fact that as a vehicle accelerates, it needs more energy to support its motion. This is because they gain energy from accelerating and rotating.
Ceramic brakes come with especially designed brake pads. One could not just use Volvo brake pads to complement the brakes' demands. Brake pads for ceramic composite discs may contain ceramic powder with metal. It may come in the form of particles or wire. The ceramic material gives the brakes toughness to resist wear. The metal form, on the hand, creates a 'transfer coating' during the break-in.
About the Author
Glady Reign is a 32 year old is a consultant for an automotive firm based in Detroit, Mi. she is a native of the Motor City and grew up around cars hence her expertise in the automotive field.