Why are carbon-ceramic brakes so costly?


Carbon-ceramic brakes can considerably enhance efficiency, however they’re additionally much more costly than standard brakes. This Engineering Defined video dives into why carbon-ceramic brakes are so costly, and whether or not they’re value the additional price.

Notice that the video is sponsored by Brembo, a serious producer of each carbon-ceramic and standard brakes, and the corporate’s merchandise function props for host Jason Fenske.

One issue within the excessive price of carbon-ceramic brakes is supplies. Standard brake rotors are comprised of iron, which is so much cheaper than carbon. As a result of carbon-ceramic rotors usually last more than standard rotors, additionally they get higher-grade fasteners, Fenske famous.

Carbon-ceramic brakes are additionally much more difficult to fabricate. The method takes three weeks, in comparison with about 90 minutes for a traditional iron rotor, in accordance with Brembo. That is as a result of the manufacturing course of is not totally mechanized, and requires some specialised gear. Carbon ceramics are additionally a distinct segment product for racing and high-end efficiency street automobiles, in order that they’re offered in low volumes and might’t make the most of economies of scale.

Carbon ceramic brakes (from Engineering Explained video)

Carbon ceramic brakes (from Engineering Defined video)

Nonetheless, there are some causes to spend the additional cash on carbon-ceramic brakes. They massively cut back brake fade, for instance, and weigh lower than comparable iron rotors. The iron rotor proven within the video weighs 36.4 kilos whereas the carbon-ceramic rotor weighs simply 16.5 kilos.

That decrease weight can have main implications for efficiency due to the place the brakes are positioned. The rotors spin with the wheel, so reducing their weight reduces rotational inertia, which might enhance acceleration instances. Decreasing the burden of brake elements additionally cuts unsprung mass—the mass not supported by the suspension—which might enhance each grip and experience high quality.

Carbon-ceramic rotors are additionally dimensionally steady, which means they will not deform at excessive temperatures and trigger brake judder. And since carbon-ceramic brakes have an extended lifespan, house owners usually will not want to interchange them through the lifetime of a automobile, Fenske stated. Carbon ceramics’ decrease put on price additionally reduces brake mud, which might harm wheels and is a supply of air air pollution.

These benefits are why many automakers have made carbon-ceramic brakes authentic gear on their efficiency fashions. They don’t seem to be a common resolution, although. Ford did not use carbon-ceramic rotors for the Mustang Shelby GT500, choosing very massive standard rotors as an alternative, and Porsche has indicated that carbon-ceramic brakes aren’t needed for observe use.


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