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The demise of the friction brake pad is highly exaggerated!

A question was put my way by a supplier to the friction industry:

“I am curious to hear your thoughts on when electrification of vehicles will have a drastic effect on the Friction market?”


Here’s my take:

Electric vehicle technology aims to bring the vehicle to a full stop using the power of electric motor regeneration. Should that become a reality, the need for brakes as in friction materials would be eliminated. Pretty dooming, isn’t it, for such a worldwide technology, manufacturing, market share, jobs, plant closure and the effect on local communities from China to Turkey to South and North America to Asia and Africa, Europe and Australia! The spiral effect would trickle down to the suppliers of goods and raw materials as well, again repeating the same socioeconomic disaster.

But wait.


Regulations worldwide require that every vehicle currently built to be equipped with a conventional brake system, brake friction material included. There are three supporting arguments for this:

  1. All sudden stops require conventional brakes.

  2. All final stops require conventional brakes.

  3. The weight of a battery-operated vehicle is about 1000 pounds greater than its conventional version hence the need for assurance that the vehicle would reliably stop whatever braking circumstances.

Regardless of the advancement of electric vehicles, there are currently one billion passenger cars on the road worldwide, add another two million for commercial vehicles. The total is estimated to reach two billion passenger cars by 2035. With time those vehicles will be replaced. However, it is unlikely that all these vehicles will be replaced, all around the globe, with electric vehicles fully capable of stopping without friction brakes regardless of braking conditions.


So, for the possible demise of friction brake pads in the future, I can’t help but remember a conversation between a reporter and Mark Twain. The reporter asked Mark Twain about a rumor concerning his death. He replied by saying that the rumor of my death is highly exaggerated!

Mohammad Vakili has been in Friction related technology since 1978. He is the Founder and one of the instructors in Brake Academy. www.brakeacademy.org

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7 komentarzy


Brake Academy
Brake Academy
05 sty 2022

Another colleague wrote:


Very good explanation regarding friction brake needs into the future.

One aspect to pursue is how do you hold/park a vehicle? Electricity will not do it. A parking brake will not do it with out friction. A transmission pin into the flywheel will not do it especially if any movement. Even then you can still get wheels counter rotating and roll off. So???

Polub

Brake Academy
Brake Academy
05 sty 2022

Jeffrey Kinsey of Genuine Parts wrote:


I couldn’t agree more.

It’s likely the failure mode of pad replacement is going to be resulting from corrosion rather than wear. As deceleration will favor the use of regenerative brakes, the foundation brakes will be used far less and will likely rust. We already have a test case for this: parking brake shoes.

Several of the highest selling brake shoe SKUs in North America are parking brakes. Many drivers here never actuate them, leading the friction material to rust out and crumble. I would expect similar results for future EV foundation brake designs, which are likely going to get sized down to reduce unsprung vehicle weight.I couldn’t agree more.

It’s likely the failure…

Polub

Brake Academy
Brake Academy
04 sty 2022

One of the icon from the industry sent this:


"Thanks for sharing this post with me. I could not agree more. There are many factors that will impact the future of brake parts and you cover them well. The idea that the vehicle parc will magically become electrified in the next decade reflects the lack of knowledge and understanding that underscores many of today’s important issues."

"Last week I actually heard an interview with a DOT official who was asked where people without garages would charge their vehicles? His answer was that the majority of citizens had garages so it would not be an issue. I looked it up and only about 60% of housing have garages or carports. There…

Polub

Brake Academy
Brake Academy
04 sty 2022

A friend from the industry wrote this:


"Well said !

But you and I will be dead when electric vehicles take over the world"

Polub

I agree it will take quite some time until the global car stock is electrified. One of the major issues in electrification is the number of charging points as well as the grid which needs to be adequate enough to enable charging the EV's. The other issue is you do not want to produce the electricity needed for EV's in relatively dirty coal operated power plants. So there seems still quite a way to go.

For the design of friction materials there will be some changes. Low steel disc pads are expected to become NAO type of pads giving less corrosion and less emissions and they might be combined with coated rotors.

For EV's, because of less usage, the pads…

Polub
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