Carbon Brake Disc
At present (2004), the price for this type of system is still around 8000 Euros. With that kind of price-tag, it is, understandably, reserved for only the most expensive vehicles. Not only is the system exorbitant for the
average consumer, but can also be the cause of dire problems, indeed, with a possible peak load of over 2000°C, together with a very special tyre technology, it allows braking distances of under 35 m. This means
that the distance when braking from just 100 km/h behind one of these super-sports cars is reduced by up to 10 m. At high speeds, even moreso. This, by the way, is also valid for wide-tyred sports cars with 'normal
brakes'. Best of all is, one has this type of vehicle behind one on the motorway, which is of course, hardly likely.
Apart from a substantially extented service life, and a shorter response time, the additional
advantage of a very much lower weght than steel or cast discs must be mentioned. This can mean as much as a few kilograms per wheel.
Carbon fibre, carbon powder and resin, are baked in a kiln at approx. 1000°C and afterwards treated with hard silicon. After this, and other complicated treatments, the resulting discs are mounted on an aluminium
inner core. In combination with a six- or eight piston fixed caliper brake-sysytem a small amount of axial play exists. These brakes are found in racing vehicles, because here it depends more on a consistent friction
co-efficient with little fading, than on longevity. Indeed, also in the wet, the water absorbtion and the water film between the disc and the pads is lower. In addition, the very significant weight reduction of approx 30%
also comes into the equation.
Up to now (2005), the few standard cars also profit from the low amount of fading, even after more than ten full-brakings from e.g., 200km/h. However, here we're talking about
ceramic discs which have been strengthened by carbon fibres. These discs will probably outlast the normal lifetime of a car, the pads however, won't, indeed the changing intervals are extended.