Aesthetics, weight and geometries: This is how the Brembo brake discs are evolving


 Following are the main developments related to cast iron brake discs as reported in Brembo's 2016 Annual Report.

In 2016, research and development activity related to cast iron brake discs mainly involved a new simulation methodology and the study of innovative geometries to reduce mass while improving the cooling capacity and ventilation of the disc. Improvements to the aesthetics of the discs were also studied, whereas the development and testing of unconventional solutions led to filing numerous patent applications.


With reference to cast-iron discs, the Division’s R&D departments continued the joint development of a new simulation methodology that also includes process parameters that may influence the disc’s vibratory capacities (own frequencies). The year 2016 saw the successful completion of the verification phase on an extensive number of simulations. These allow Brembo to define those parameters that could improve the brake system’s comfort characteristics with far greater accuracy, early in the design stage.


Work on cast-iron discs for heavy commercial vehicles — an application segment of particular interest for Brembo — has continued with a view to improving their performance, and contacts with potential new customers have been intensified.

The study of new geometries has resulted, among other things, in a significant reduction in mass and an improvement in the disc’s cooling and ventilation capacity, with consequent reduction in the braking system’s operating temperatures.

The new technical solutions have been patented and will be fitted to vehicles that are due to start in production in the first half of 2017.


Product and process improvement work progressed for cast-iron discs for car applications.

These improvements will be subsequently introduced in normal application developments for the world’s leading car manufacturers. In addition, further analysis is being carried out of methods for disc fluid-dynamic calculation, considering the air flows inside the entire wheel side unit.

Particular attention is paid to reducing disc weight, which translates into a reduction in fuel consumption and the resultant environmental impact of the car (lower CO2 emission), a factor that drives the automotive market and all of Brembo’s development activities.

The new disc concept has to be seen in this light. Its production is now extending to the entire range of the Mercedes MRA platform, which combines two different materials: cast iron for the braking ring and thin steel laminate for the disc hat, resulting in a guaranteed weight reduction of up to 15%.



​ Disc aesthetics was also studied and improved, with a proof of concept that involved the co-cast disc in particular, and could be extended to the entire product range in the future. The results of this activity have been presented in the most important industry fairs and achieved resounding success.



Research, development and testing of non-conventional solutions are ongoing — a process that has also led to a number of patent applications being filed — for application to the cast-iron discs or the new generation of “light” discs.

These activities include the study of forms, materials, technologies and surface treatments able to meet the needs of the new-generation vehicles, with a particular focus on environmental impact aspects (CO2 and particulates emission, minimising disc wear). The development of innovative friction materials, complying with future legislative limits and designed for these types of disc, is also highly important. In this field Brembo can be considered to be the only manufacturer with the in-house expertise needed to develop new solutions.