Pedal boxes, special alloys, revolutionary attachments and ventilation. Here's how Brembo brakes help to win the WRC

3/27/2018

If you think the brakes used for the WRC have always remained the same, take a look at what we've introduced in recent months.

​​​​​​​​​You watched them in action at the Monte Carlo Rally and the Sweden Rally, but there is a lot more that's new on the WRC 2018 cars that isn't visible.

Leaving aside the fields that do not fall within our competence, here are the main innovations concerning braking systems. Some of the innovations were introduced back in 2017 and have been refined over the last few months.

Each solution was developed together with the individual teams so that they would adapt as much as possible to the dynamic characteristics of the WRC.

Cooperation like this led to excellent results last year: Brembo brakes equipped the cars that placed in the top three in the World Rally Championship and the winner of the World Rally Championship-2.

The lowest common denominators among all the new components developed by Brembo over the last year and a half are obviously maximizing performance and minimizing weight, without compromising anything in terms of durability. ​ ​

 

 

1) Pedal boxes


Enthusiasts know that Brembo produces calipers, discs, master cylinders and even pads for rally cars.
However, very few are aware that we also manufacture pedal boxes. Even though this is a fairly new activity, we have already reached excellent levels, saving 30% in weight compared to traditional pedal boxes.

This is made possible by a very unburdened frame, in other words free of material at any points that are not indispensable for operation.

The reduced weight was obtained by modifying the geometry of the plates and decreasing the number of hinge points.

To get the right stiffness, the pedal box features a Y reinforcement that connects the main frame to the brake balance and a through pin for the brake-clutch assembly. Another advantage of our pedal box is that drivers of different heights can use it since it moves back and forth on guides.

The M-Sport Ford and Toyota Yaris WRC teams were the first to use it and a few others also appear to be interested in having it. ​

 

 
 

2) Attachment between the bell and braking band


In the world of rallies, the bushing drag system, with conventional sprocket, is still widely used today.
Yet, Brembo has successfully introduced the “spline” dragging system between the housing and the hub, a sort of aluminum sprocket gear that has already been used in endurance races with great results.
However, during races on tracks, the cars run on smooth surfaces that are devoid of any objects that might be dangerous for the braking system, like rocks, gravel, sand and snow.
Since all of these potentially disruptive elements are found in rallies, until now the spline dragging system has always been discouraged.
By reducing the measurements of the hub to a minimum and using materials that are lighter than steel, plus the spline, the weight of the corner has gone down significantly and now transmits braking torque better than traditional systems.
The gear goes through an electrochemical process of anodic oxidation that ensures greater abrasion resistance, increased hardness of the surface and unprecedented dirt resistance.​


 
 

 

3) Special alloys


Brembo has gone beyond what was deemed possible with regards to making calipers, too. For years, WRC cars have used aluminum calipers, which were considered the ideal balance between stiffness, durability and lightness.

It seemed impossible to do any better in this particular circumstance where the drivers are constantly correcting the car's trajectory using the brake, unlike track driving, and the temperatures often reach critical levels.

Borrowing from experience garnered in other fields, we managed to employ special alloys that offer greater resistance to stress thus enabling us to develop a more radical design, eliminating material at the non-essential points of the caliper.

The caliper then went through a new superficial finishing, an improvement over oxidation because nickel plating adheres better to the new materials.​

 

 
 

4) Ventilation


Only stupid people never change their minds. Five years ago we introduced a new rally caliper at the Professional Motorsport World Expo 2013.

This liquid-cooling caliper ensured a 45% improvement on caliper temperature compared to air cooled systems. And it truly was the best solution on the market, but of course the rules were different then.

As of the 2017 World Championship, the cars can have rear air intakes, which were previously banned, and larger front air intakes. This led to retiring liquid cooling, since it was no longer necessary.

​​The new solution has two channels for each wheel. Two pipes shoot out of each air vent, the first directs air to the center of the disc and the second points air directly at the caliper.

That's it for now, but our passion for rallies will most likely have us developing new innovations in upcoming years.​


 

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

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