Sunday, 28 June 2015

Ceramic Brakes - Rotors- Callipers

Zinc Aero Rotors are available either drilled or slotted, an optional anti-corrosion gold zinc coating benefits those who live in cold climates, where snow and road salt are commonly encountered. Zinc coating also benefits Concours d’élégance detailers who prefer no visible surface rust on the vanes and outer circumference of rotors Quick Stop Pro

Disc Brake Bedding In

All cast iron brake discs need to be bedded-in to ensure heat stabilisation and improve resistance to cracking. Cracks or even disc failure can occur during the first few heavy stops if careful bedding is not carried out. 

AP Racing recommends the following procedure:-
Bedding the disc from new or stress relieving the cast iron disc after it has been clamped to the mounting bell is of paramount importance if premature warping is to be avoided after the brakes are used to their full potential.

For road car installations the process needs to be as follows:-

For the first 10 miles, light braking from 50/60 mph down to 30 mph if possible in blocks of 5. Do not attempt any high-speed stops down to zero at this point, as only the faces will heat up with the mass remaining cool along with the mounting area. For the next 100 miles increase the braking pressures similar to stopping in traffic, again avoiding if possible full stops from above 70 mph. By now the area around the mounting bolts should be a light blue temper colour.

This is a good indication that the correct heat soak has been achieved. For the next 100 miles gradually increase the braking effort after this full power stops can be used. The disc should now be an even dark to light blue temper colour, depending on the pad type and the braking effort being used during the process. 

Ceramic Brakes

Silicon-infiltrated carbon-carbon composite is used for high performance ceramic brake discs, as it is able to withstand extreme temperatures. The silicon reacts with the graphite in the carbon-carbon composite to become carbon-fibre-reinforced silicon carbide (C/SiC). 

These discs are used on some road-going sports cars, supercars, as well as other performance cars including the Porsche, the Bugatti Veyron, the Chevrolet Corvette ZR1, Bentleys, Ferraris, Lamborghinis, some specific high performance Audis, and the McLaren P1. Silicon carbide is also used in a sintered form for diesel particulate filters. SiC is also used as an oil additive to reduce friction, emissions, and harmonics.

Cleaning - do not use any products that contain silicone (which means any spray type products) If the silicone "impregnates" they will require replacement (a not inexpensive mistake). Use a non-abrasive car wash concentrate and water along with a medium-soft brush.)

Ceramic Disc Pads

Asbestos pads caused health issues and organic compounds can’t always meet a wide range of braking requirements. Unfortunately the steel strands used in semi-metallic pads to provide strength and conduct heat away from rotors also generate noise and are abrasive enough to increase rotor wear. Wear also cause ferrous oxide dust that looks unsightly and is also corrosive. 

First used as original equipment manufacturer (OEM) in ’85, friction materials that contain ceramic formulations

Ensure that the ceramic brake pads and rotors match (a ceramic system) otherwise you will have problems with stopping when the pads / rotors are cold or wet, which could warp the rotors and cause bearings to fail due to overheating.

Although a ceramic brake disc absorbs heat faster than a steel brake disc, it is also able to disperse it quickly. A consistently high braking performance is therefore guaranteed.

One of the characteristics that make ceramic materials attractive is the absence of noticeable dust. All brake pads produce dust (including ceramics) as they wear. The ingredients in ceramic compounds produce a light coloured dust that is much less noticeable and less likely to stick to the wheels. Consequently, wheels and tires maintain a cleaner appearance longer.

To avoid brake-generated noise and dust brake friction materials have evolved significantly over the years, going from asbestos to organic to semi-metallic formulations. Each of these materials has proven to have advantages and disadvantages regarding environmental friendliness, wear, and noise and stopping capability.

Using ceramic compounds and copper fibres in place of the semi-metallic pad’s steel fibres, allows the ceramic pads to handle high brake temperatures with less heat fade, provide faster recovery after a stop, and generate less dust and wear on both the pads and rotors.

From a comfort standpoint, ceramic compounds provide much quieter braking because the ceramic compound helps dampen noise by generating a frequency beyond the human hearing range. Another characteristic that makes ceramic materials attractive is the absence of noticeable dust. All brake pads produce dust as they wear. The ingredients in ceramic compounds produce a light coloured dust that is much less noticeable; consequently, wheels and tires maintain a cleaner appearance longer.

Ceramic pads meet or exceed all OEM standards for durability, stopping distance and noise. According to durability tests, ceramic compounds extend brake life compared to most other semi-metallic and organic materials and outlast other premium pad materials by a significant margin; with no sacrifice in noise control, pad life or braking performance. What is important though is that car's rotors are designed for ceramic pads; otherwise the rotors will typically wear faster. (Check with the vehicle manufacturer)

Avoid using any products that contain silicone as it can permeate the carbon-ceramic material and negatively affect the friction and thereby the braking efficiency.

Stopping Distances
At the speeds that stopping distance is generally measured from (60 to 70 MPH), the test is primarily testing the tyres grip on the pavement. As delivered from the manufacturer, nearly all vehicles are able to engage the ABS or lock the wheels at these speeds.

Therefore, an increase in braking power will do nothing to stop the vehicle in a shorter distance. For this reason, we do not record stopping distances at this time. The Brembo brake systems will show their greatest advantages when braking from higher speeds, or when tasked with repeated heavy braking.


Any diluted car wash concentrate, d-limonene (citrus) based cleaner (P21S® High Performance Total Auto Wash) or pH neutral cleaner (P21S Wheel Cleaner) should be fine to use on ceramic brakes as they produce very little brake dust (being non-metallic) they just attract the normal amount of road dust, dirt and grime

Safe Degreaser

If you want to safely degrease your braking components, Optimum Power Clean is an excellent choice. It is an environmentally safe product that can also clean your paint, wheels, tires, engine bay, wheel wells, trim and etc. The strong cleaning agents break down bug smear, road grime, brake dust, dirt, etc. Optimum Power Clean is also a great value because you can dilute it 3:1 with distilled water or use it full strength. 


Brake callipers are cast ductile iron on most production cars, on ultra-high performance cars they are usually aluminium.  A way to spice up the look and at the same time protects the callipers from corrosion. The Calliper Paint System features aircraft quality paint, available in six different high gloss colours, Red, Yellow, Blue, Silver, Black, & Purple. 

The paint is heat resistant up to 925oF; this paint won't start running into your brake pads, it also seals and protects against corrosion.
Brake dust and dirt will not adhere to the calliper surface since adding the paint. The kit includes everything you'll need to get the job done, besides paint you'll also get reactor (special bonding agent), high tech calliper cleaner, mixing sticks, and a brush. Do not attempt to paint the rotor contact surface.

Application- a multi-layer gives the best results; the first coat thin, second coat medium thickness, allowing cure/dry time between coats and the final coat will act as filler, providing a gloss finish. G2-Performance Engineering Inc

Cleaning- use caution when cleaning as the finish on some callipers use a powder coating (Brembo, etc.) that can be stained by some wheel cleaners. Always ensure that the brake callipers are cool to the touch; never use a cleaner on hot callipers, wheels or brakes. 

Use a pH balanced cleaner just for an extra level of safety. Spray the cool calliper with d-limonene (citrus) based solvent P21S® Wheel Cleaner Gel or P21S® Polishing Soap, which contains micro-abrasives, agitate with a soft brush (Swissvax Detail Brush) and then rinse off with clean water. Wipe surfaces with a soft wash mitt, sponge or micro fibre towel.

Protection - apply a protection to the face of the calliper using a polymer sealant (the melting point of most waxes is too low for the heat attained by wheel / calliper surfaces) similar to that used on your paint (Modesta B-06, Wheel Wax, Zanio, Duragloss, Opti-Seal, etc.)

Always be willing to learn; because the more you learn, the more you’ll realize what you don’t know.
It is said that knowledge is power, with the caveat that it includes access to a reliable information sources. I would like to think that these articles become an asset to anyone who is new to detailing and to professional’s alike, as well as industry experts who seek to advance their knowledge.
I hope the article are informative. By having some understanding of the ‘What’ and ‘Why’ as well as the ‘How’ along with a little science to help you understand how the chemicals we use react, you can achieve the results you desire.
I would appreciate it if you would share these articles as it helps other detailers further their knowledge.
As always if you have questions, I’ll do my best to answer; bear in mind the only stupid questions is the one that was unasked. Questions and/ or constructive comments are always appreciated
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