Brembo research on car brake pads and calipers does not stop

9/6/2017

From calipers made of aluminum in thixotropic state to BBW systems, all the way to the new, copper-free pads

​Constantly following the evolution of means of transportation and researching the best braking systems for the new vehicles of the future. This is the guiding principle behind Brembo R&D operations, based on which each individual component of the braking system (caliper, disc, pad, suspension, control unit) is complementary to the others in order to optimize braking, which is constantly perfected in its every aspect: performance, comfort, duration, aesthetics, sustainability.

Brembo’s need to offer customers an ever more integrated and efficient product, as reflected in the Group’s philosophy, is fully expressed with the development of the entire brake system, including discs, calipers and pads.
Brembo Friction, an entity dedicated to the study and production of brake pads, has set itself the goal of producing this fundamental brake system component, alongside the more traditional caliper and disc products so characteristic of Brembo’s historic know-how.

 

 

​ As the result of its constant research work, Brembo Friction can today boast a broad and varied offer, with materials designed and tailored to meet the needs of a vast range of customers, who value and demand Brembo pads more and more in their calipers.
Brembo’s materials catalogue includes more traditional product categories for use on cast-iron discs, with specialist solutions both for the more performance-focused European market and for the American and Asian markets, which are more comfort-oriented.
It also extends to particular applications such as carbon-ceramic discs for racing cars and meets the most diverse needs, maintaining high quality and performance standards in each sector.

Following the most recent legislative directives, Brembo Friction has also already been engaged for several years in research and development into copper-free materials. This work has led to the successful assignment of a number of projects, both for the European market and for the Asian and U.S. markets, where series production will start in 2017.

 

 

The continuous innovation that characterises Brembo Friction, just like the entire Brembo Group, is not limited to internal needs and customer requirements, but extends to partnership projects shared with other company divisions; projects that, more than any other, are able to express the potential of a brake system produced completely in-house.
This branch of research includes: the development of materials for electric parking calipers, which are fitted more and more frequently on modern vehicles; research into materials for discs made of cast iron coated with chromium and tungsten carbides, which promise to achieve a lightness and wear resistance currently not achievable with conventional cast-iron discs; the development of mixtures for co-cast steel discs; research into materials for carbon-ceramic discs coated in silicon and silicon carbide for the German market.

 

​ However, achieving better and better performance is not the only driver of the ongoing research and innovation that characterizes Brembo Friction: an important objective is also to reduce the brake pad component’s polluting agents and greenhouse gas emissions.

These activities receive considerable support from the Friction laboratory, which in recent years has benefited from major investment in terms of equipment and is now able to carry out advanced analyses on different aspects of the pad system and raw materials.

Further investment is planned for the future but the laboratory is already today a valuable instrument for achieving the evermore ambitious objectives that Brembo Friction has set itself.


 
 


Brembo pursues the goal of using the braking system to help reduce vehicle consumption and resultant CO2 emissions and particulates through the development of new solutions.

These include: the use of methodologies to minimise caliper mass without reducing performance, the improvement of caliper functionality by defining new characteristics for the pairing of seal and piston and optimisation of a newconcept pad sliding system. The product and process improvement work is ongoing in the same way as the search for solutions to reduce mass, increase performance and improve styling.

In this area a new caliper designed specifically for high-performance cars is in the course of being developed, with the purpose of significantly reducing the on-track operating temperature and hence raise system performance.


 

The conquest of new market segments is being pursued through the study of new types of brake caliper.
An initial type of caliper with innovative characteristics has been approved as internal concept by Brembo and by a major European customer, whilst the application development is currently underway.

A second type of innovative caliper is being studied and concept approval is envisaged for the end of 2017. In the first half of 2016, small series production started of a caliper produced using thixotropic aluminium alloys (lower casting temperature).

The process used by Brembo, for which a patent has already been filed, is named BSSM (Brembo Semi- Solid Metal casting). This technology produces a weight reduction, with the same performance, ranging from 5% to 10% based on caliper geometry.


 

 

Mechatronic products, namely various configurations of electric parking brakes, already approved in-house both for cars and commercial vehicles, are being promoted with Brembo’s customers.
In this area, Brembo has been chosen by a major U.S. customer to supply a caliper with integrated electric parking for a commercial vehicle. Production is scheduled to start in 2018. On new design electric traction vehicles the brake system will undergo important changes, particularly as regards braking management and the interface with the vehicle.

BBW systems, which Brembo has been studying for some time, have achieved a high performance and functional level.
The industrialisation and planning stage for a production launch has already started and will be able to take shape as soon as the interest of some customers is confirmed by agreement.
The ongoing evolution of simulation methodologies is focused on aspects linked to brake system comfort and caliper functionality.
Brembo’s current objective is to develop the simulation capacity for the latest brake system component not yet simulated: friction material.


 

From this standpoint, the possibility of using the friction project, thus being able to produce in-house advanced friction materials, is one of the strengths of Brembo which can position itself as a supplier of complete brake systems.
On the other hand, the development of a methodology for simulating caliper functionality is aimed at establishing, during the design stage, the caliper characteristics that influence the car’s pedal feel.
Vehicle evolution can be summarised in a few general trends: electrification, advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), autonomous driving, low environmental impact, connectivity.
The high level of integration will bring the brake system into dialogue with other vehicle systems, such as electric traction motors and new suspension/steering concepts. Such integration will allow for increased active safety and the optimisation of functions, such as regenerative braking.


 

Brembo S.p.A. | P.IVA 00222620163

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