SicAlight: Brake Disc of the Future

Source: AC Floby

FLOBY, Sweden – The SiCAlight brake disc from AC Floby offers a durable solution that reduces corrosion and particle emissions. As the automotive industry moves inexorably towards electrification, manufacturers are looking to make lightweight gains wherever they can find them.

Much of this effort is focused on aluminum, which is lighter and less corrosive than other materials. In terms of components, aluminum has been used sparingly in the past – mainly in niche applications – but there is increasing interest in developing more aluminum parts for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles as automakers try to keep weight to a minimum.

Brake discs have typically been made of cast iron, but aluminum MMC (Metal Matrix Composite) offers many benefits – not least the reduction of particle emissions and the improved durability of components that have traditionally required regular replacement.

AC Floby has been investing substantial time and resources to develop our aluminum brake discs to be more durable and environmentally sustainable. Uniquely, our aluminum brake discs, SiCAlight, is an optimized combination of silicon carbides and aluminum, creating a safe and lightweight braking system that reduces energy consumption and increases range at the same time.

Corrosion and emissions

In the past, the main challenge for the brake disc industry has been in maintaining performance while reducing wear. But electrification causes different problems. Drivers in electric vehicles use their brakes a lot less frequently, and there is a misconception that this is a positive thing. But while it certainly means brake discs will not wear out as quickly, they are still subject to the elements, and therefore still susceptible to corrosion.

Traditional cast iron brake discs corrode faster when they are not being used, and the journey from cosmetic corrosion to catastrophic loss of primary function is a big headache for manufacturers.

Automakers are now looking at different ways of solving the problem of corrosion in electric vehicles. Durable and maintenance free components are becoming more important – and, despite its higher component cost, aluminum presents an attractive option due to its lighter weight and resistance to wear and corrosion. Without the need for regular replacement, aluminum discs represent the most cost-effective option over the lifetime of the vehicle.

Another big problem with braking is the contribution it makes to the creation of particle emissions.

The automotive industry has successfully managed to reduce exhaust emissions steadily – indeed they have halved since the turn of the century – but non-exhaust emissions remain a huge issue. They have remained stubbornly flat in the last two decades, and, since 2011, have overtaken exhaust emissions in terms of the number of particles they are producing per vehicle.

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