Lapinus: Importance of Consistent Materials Quality For Brake Manufacturers


Source: Lapinus

The second in a series of blogs produced by Lapinus highlighting the most important trends facing car, brake system and brake pad manufacturers. The previous and first post can be found HERE.

The automotive market is changing at a pace we possibly haven’t seen before. A McKinsey partner describes this change having almost the same magnitude as we saw when we went from horses to cars. Reason for that it that there are a couple of trends coming together.  Some of these impact brakes and more particular the brake pads on cars. Recently my colleague Mark Segeren shared his insights on trends in automotive braking. There are three trends that will affect passenger car brake pads (PCDP), both mounted on new cars (OE) as well as the replacement market (AM).

Automation & Electrification

It comes to no surprise that these trends take the top position. Car manufacturers are implementing electrified propulsion in their new cars. At the same time IHS forecasts that in only ten years, over 70% of new sold cars have at least level 1 autonomy supporting the driver going from A to B. Both automation and electrification extend the average life span of a brake pad. Sensors and smart systems like dynamic cruise control can anticipate traffic and decelerate without using the traditional brakes. Electrified braking systems recollect energy to the car battery. 

Less braking using the brake pads and rotor means less wear. This will influence the current after market. Various car manufacturers assume that brake pads will last the life time of the car. When driving a car, a driver always needs to be able to trust its brakes. Even when these brakes are over a decade old and face influences of weather and corrosion. A driver will always require a consistent braking performance for decelerating his car in traffic safely.

Standardization for brake pads

In the world, two types of brake pads are being used. In Europe, they typical formulation style is called low steel. In the rest of the world, a Non Asbestos Organic (NAO) is a formulation style used in the rest of the world. Where low steel generally have a higher friction coefficient, NAO scores high on comfort when braking. 

This split has an expensive effect on a car production line. Based on the country of use, the brake pad and some other parts are adjusted. A cost reduction and efficiency gain can be achieved when there will be a global standard in braking. This global standard will bring consistency on a global scale

Reducing environmental effects

With the exhaust emissions declining, the focus shifts to wear and emissions coming from car brakes. It won’t take long before the first rules regarding emissions and most likely particle size emissions will be announced. 

When we look at these trends we see a growing importance for consistency.  A pad will last longer while at the same time requirements go up. Consistency is important in terms of life span of a single brake pad as well as the consistency between different production runs. ​

In order to create a consistent brake pad, using consistent raw material is critical. Fluctuation in raw material has an impact on the performance of brake pads. 

Lapinus uses an on- and off-line quality check programme to validate product quality and performance. Typically, fibre length, diameter, chemical composition and shot content are checked and matched with the product specifications.

The full article by Lapinus can be found HERE.

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The Brake Report

The BRAKE Report is an online media platform dedicated to the automotive and commercial vehicle brake segments. Our mission is to provide the global brake community with the latest news & headlines from around the industry.