It’s no secret that braking efficiency is key to road safety (and understanding the proper types of brake pads is essential to this safety). Brakes are not as straightforward as they sound. This vehicular component is a complex system that relies on multiple moving parts.
The padding system serves an important purpose for the automobile’s operator. In this article, we will break down the different sorts of brake pads to make clear their value and utility.
TYPES OF BRAKE PADS
In effect, there are four different types of the pad. These include semi-metallic, organic (non-asbestos), low metallic, and ceramic. The sort that you use arises from the type of vehicle which you drive. To make sure you find the right pad to meet your particular needs, learning about each of them is important to success.
CERAMIC- Ideal to Prevent Oxidation
Ceramic is a popular automobile component whose use has skyrocketed into popularity over the preceding decade. It has some readily apparent values. For one, it lessens sound during the braking process. Since this noisiness is one of the ways we can tell that our pads need replacing, having an option that avoids this unpleasantry is ideal. It is formed of fibrous ceramic material, turned into a chemical composite through bonding gels and adhesives.
A major draw is that these do not contain iron. This material can be problematic since it oxidizes. It is no mystery that rust deteriorates vehicle parts. Ceramic brake pads prevent this rusting and corrosion on a chemical level. Of course, quality materials come with an according to the price tag. This sort of pad is the priciest on the market; though, all things considered, we expect it to last the longest out of the four pad types.
ASBESTOS-FREE ORGANIC COMPOSITE- Great for Short Term Demands
The next pad type on our list is the asbestos-free organic composite. Material sciences make this what it is (a fairly efficient braking option). The chemical amalgamation forms tightly into a strong compound capable of withstanding the friction force of a vehicle braking. The resin component acts as an adhering chemical that cakes the pad together. Filling agents are all organic in the sense that they are natural as opposed to synthetic.
In previous years, these would have been made of asbestos. After the plague of mesothelioma, this construction tool has been all but taken off the market. Without this component, manufacturers aim towards a synthetic of the same caliber. It is a relatively soft option. The value of this softness is in noise reduction- no one likes squeaky brakes. The drawback is the fact that these do wear down faster than other brake pad types. Since it is so soft, it will fall apart at a quick rate, meaning you need to replace them more frequently. While the option is very cost-effective, timewise it is more of a patch than a long-term solution.
SEMI-METALLIC- Excellent for long shelf-life
This brings us to the next brake pad sort: semi-metallic. These are easily the most prevalent in the market. Nonetheless, it is important to understanding to assess the values and shortcomings. One key point of merit is that these are common in most automobile makes and models.
The item itself is made mainly out of metals. Usually, the key constituent is steel. Of course, not all steel is made alike. When you are choosing a brake pad, make sure to check the actual type of steel used in its manufacturing. Cobalt differs from iron significantly, and a huge portion of textile science focusses on developing new, stronger types of steel. The pieces of this metallic part are in strings or wires which are surrounded by other components. These include carbon-based composites like graphite or more elementally pure items like copper.
Semi-metallic brake pads are great for quite a few reasons, not the least of which is shelf-life. They tend toward durability and utility over time. This property is thanks to the thermodynamic traits of the components. When we brake the car, a massive these pads absorb enormous amounts of force. Most of this show as heat. Since these are strong pads, they absorb that heat well. This results in reduced wear and tear on the item itself.
Vulnerabilities of the semi-metallic sort are clear as well. For one, they are not great at temperate extremes. In the frigid cold of winter, the chemicals in the pad can grow brittle and weak. This leads to compromised braking quality, followed by quick deterioration of the pad itself. Another shortfall is the noise which these items cause. Though braking is a process, many modern drivers (now that they have the liberty) choose a quieter process. That said, when you visit a mechanic’s shop to swap out your brake pads, more often than not, they will be semi-metallic.
LOW-METALLIC- A great modern option
This brings us to the final type of our brake pad roundup. The non-metallic option is fairly new to the market. Still, it has the strong traits of the semi-metallic design without the vulnerability of brittleness in cold. The ability to withstand temperature extremes comes from its inclusion of organic materials. This makeup as much as 90% of the pad (or as little as 70%). This allows the metal to fortify the structure, as opposed to being one of the primary ingredients.
The low-metallic option is great because of its high-quality performance. Since the material consists of a number of materials, it is able to move heat efficiently. This means that when braking occurs, and that thermodynamic energy transfers to the pad, dilation of the material itself reduces. By reducing the small-scale size changes of the pads, wear and tear reduce. These are great as a long-lasting option. That said, since they are relatively new to the market, they can be trickier to the source (as well as come with a higher price tag).
Overall, each different brake pad option has its own set of values and shortcomings. Key considerations of this product include projected longevity. How long do you want the pads to work? Are you willing to deal with a higher up-front investment for lower associated cost down the line? Once you answer these questions, you will have a better idea of what you need in a brake pad.
Noise is another key factor. Older vehicles tend to make more noise, so investing in a sound-resisting brake pad makes less sense. Newer cars make less sound, so finding a brake pad that reduces noise is a sensible choice for a pleasant drive.
Lastly, compatibility is a key matter for us to consider. Brake pads are an essential part of vehicular safety and operation. In order to drive safely, we need this part to be up to the task.
FINAL WORD ON BRAKE PADS
Brake pads are essential to both comfort and safety. When you notice that these parts need replacing, act quickly to prevent damage to other brake components like rotors and axles. Generally speaking, they are easy to source and straightforward to replace so you can get back on the road quickly.