The superiority of carbon
Carbon discs began to be used in Formula 1 in the 1980s, and then spread into other motorsport competitions too. Indeed, no other element provides that combination of light weight, high thermal conductivity and absence of expansion, even at the 1,000 °C (1,832 °F) temperature that distinguishes Brembo F1 discs.
The density of carbon is 1.8 grams (0.06 oz) per cubic centimeter, compared with 7.8 grams (0.28 oz) for steel and 7.2 grams (0.25 oz) for gray cast iron. Its thermal expansion coefficient is one twentieth of that of steel and one fifteenth that of cast iron. The melting point of carbon is higher than 3,000 °C (5,430 °F) compared with the 1,200 °C (2,190 °F) of cast iron and 1,800 °C (3,270 °F) of steel.