Source: The following is excerpted from an extensive post by Brembo which can be read in its entirety at: https://www.brembo.com/en/company/news/brembo-guide-to-the-right-pad.
CURNO, Italy – Anyone who owns a bike or scooter
knows that their vehicle needs care and attention: brake pads are one of the
components that are placed under the most strain and are stressed the most when
you use your two-wheeler, so in addition to replacing them at the right time,
you need to know how to choose the brake pads that are the most appropriate for
To navigate through the various compounds, colors, abbreviations and types of pads, we are offering this in-depth technical information which we hope will be useful for all riders, not only during the maintenance phase, but also to help you better understand the secrets that lie behind certain performance or abnormal responses that may be encountered in the extreme use of a braking system.
The intention is to provide as thorough a guide as possible to help you choose your future Brembo pads. This is not as trivial a decision as you might think, because navigating through the numerous alternatives available on the market is anything but simple. In fact, as is also the case with discs and calipers, there is no universal solution. In other words, no single solution is better than the rest for every bike and in all conditions.
The compounds that are normally used in braking systems are classified in just two families – ORGANIC and SINTERED. The chemistry of the friction material naturally differs from manufacturer to manufacturer, but in any case, the composition of the two families of compounds can be described in broad terms:
Sintered pads are made up of metallic powders agglomerated through an adhesive-free sintering process: the friction coefficient depends on the metallic powders used. The lubricants added to the initial compound ensure consistent and jerk-free braking while the abrasives keep the discs clean, removing deposits from the braking band.
The organic pads category includes any pad that is not sintered, and this explains why both carbon-ceramic and carbon-tech pads are in this class. The bonding resins are their main element, but organic pads also contain lubricants and abrasives in order to ensure the same benefits the sintered pads offer.
The main reason a pondered decision must be made is that each compound is designed and tested to provide the best, not only in terms of performance, but also in terms of wear, comfort and stability in certain conditions of use.
Each compound has its own specific field of application. This depends on the different situations a brake pad will encounter. Brembo has an answer for every need.