MANN+HUMMEL is a filtration company that saw an opportunity to make brakes cleaner by developing a filter that fits on the brake.
The BRAKE Report spoke with Lukas Bock, a lead product engineer and expert for the MANN+HUMMEL brake dust particle filter.
TBR: MANN+HUMMEL is not a brake company. How did brakes get on your radar and how long have you been working on this project?
As a filtration company for 77 years, we always are in search of new filtration applications. We found out the brake is actually emitting more dust than the exhaust. And that’s why we started working on a solution for this brake dust problem.
We started on this project in 2005. We had some different solutions that we investigated. This current design we came up with around 2010, and since then we’ve been working on this and developing it further.
We presented it for the first time at IAA Motor Show 2017. Since then we’ve been working more deeply on this project.
TBR: How does the brake filter fit with MANN+HUMMEL’s other products? Does it use a lot of the same technology you’ve developed for other applications?
We applied the same development process and of course our filtration know-how, we used our test facilities and our simulation tools.
But the product itself is a completely new development, so we cannot use any existing parts. But our process and our know-how, we used for sure.
TBR: How far along are you?
We are still in development, but we are pretty far. We already have some vehicles equipped. We’ve made a lot of tests. We drove around 42,000 km, which is more than once around the world.
We also have a development partner, Chassis Brakes International, a brake manufacturer here in Europe. With CBI, we are doing a serial approval of the brake dust particle filter in the next few months.
TBR: Is this an aftermarket or factory-installed product?
We think both ways are possible. It depends on the customer and also a little bit on the regulation.
For example, if there is a regulation on brake dust in the near future, adding this filter will be a good and easy to implement solution, even for existing vehicles.
We think it’s possible that there will be regulation in a few years because we know that the Particle Measurement Programme (PMP) is working on a brake emission test cycle and a measuring system for brake dust.
We are not sure if and when it will be, but we are prepared for the case that there is a regulation. Also, some of our customers don’t want to wait for regulation. Some of them are thinking about bringing this solution to market without the law, to build a real zero emission vehicle.
TBR: So you think this product could be used very widely.
It’s a good product. We know there are different solutions for the brake dust problem. For example, there’s an active suction system, or there’s a possibility for coating the brake disk or using different brake pad materials, but we think our solution is quite easy to implement and very robust. From a price side, it will definitely be in the same range and not more expensive than the competitors’ solutions
TBR: How much does it weigh?
Our target for this product is less than 500 grams per wheel. We are constantly improving our weight and at the moment we have a concept design where we reach this target. We have to see what the first application is. And it also depends on the lifetime of the filter.
TBR: What would the maintenance schedule look like?
We have a design that can capture as much brake dust as is generated during one lifetime of a brake pad. So you change your brake pad, you change your filter.
TBR: What was your biggest challenge in developing the brake dust filter?
The new environment. Our automobile filtration products are more or less all under the hood. The area of the brake was really new to us. Also the specifications — all the parts in this area have quite critical specifications, for example for vibration or temperature.
TBR: Does it fit on every vehicle?
It would fit on every vehicle. In every vehicle there’s space between the rotor and the rim where you can put the filter. The requirement is, you have to develop the mounting system for the filter for each vehicle.
TBR: So you picture a situation where there’s one filter unit but many mounting systems?
We expect different filter housings for different brake sizes, for example, and then we have to see what we can do with the bracket. We expect that every vehicle or vehicle platform will needs its own individual bracket.
TBR: Where do you see this technology in five years?
I think in five years a number of cars will certainly be equipped with this filter.
The amount depends on the regulation. If there is regulation, the filter will be more quickly established on the market.
TBR: Is there anything else you wish I had asked you about or that you want to note?
The solution is possible for every vehicle — it’s not specific to internal combustion or electric. You can use it on every kind of vehicle. And we are also talking to truck customers and it can also possibly be used in train brake systems.
We know that brake dust is a risk to the health of everyone and we can contribute to improve the current situation.
Earlier in The BRAKE Report: Chassis Brakes and MANN+HUMMEL work to cut emissions