Friction Compounds

Friction materials have evolved significantly over the years. Brake pads were originally made with organic ingredients such as asbestos and carbon, held together by a strong resin. Most brake pads sold today are considered semi-metallic, semi-metallic brake pads use brass, copper, and steel wool shavings held together by a resin. Unfortunately, the main drawback about the use of steel strands, iron, graphite, and small amounts of filer and friction modifiers (used to provide strength and conduct heat away from the rotors) is that the metal shavings and iron must rub against steel rotors every time the brakes are applied. This generates more noise and is a lot more abrasive on the rotors. It also creates corrosive dust that can damage your braking system as well as the paint on your wheels and car.

At Carbotech, we felt these kinds of friction materials were not the best solution, and we decided to develop something that was better in performance and better for the entire braking system – a Ceramic Kevlar-based compound.

Friction materials that contain Ceramic Kevlar formulations have become recognized for their desirable blend of traits. This allows the Ceramic Kevlar pads to handle higher brake temperatures with less heat fade, and provide faster recovery after heavy braking. It also reduces brake dust and makes wheel maintenance easier!

Ceramic Kevlar compounds extend brake life compared to most other semi-metallic and organic materials, and at the same time they outlast other premium pad materials by a significant margin, without compromising in noise control, pad life, and all around braking performance.

There is no one answer for every person and/or every car. We can help you narrow it down to one or two compounds based on what you tell us; then we can give you the different characteristics of the two and let you decide (we will give our opinion on which compound we think will suit your needs the best). At Carbotech all of our customer service specialists are also racers and track day enthusiasts that have the technical knowledge and on-track experience to assist you in every way.

View our Choosing the Correct Compound Table.

High performance street/track brake pads are a special breed of brake pad. Each brake pad has to be engineered to withstand the rigors of frequent and extremely hard braking. High performance brake pads have to be able to withstand the extreme heat that can build up during repeated heavy braking.

There isn’t anything Carbotech can’t make when it comes to your brake pads or your brake shoes. If we don’t list your pads or shoes contact us. If we can’t purchase backing plates or shoe frames for your application, just send us your cores and we can clean them up and reline them with any of our brake compounds. It’s that easy.

There is no specific mileage interval at which the brakes need to be relined because brake wear varies depending on how the vehicle is driven, the braking habits of the driver, the weight of the vehicle, the design of the brake system and numerous other variables.

The coefficient of friction (also known as the frictional coefficient) is a dimensionless physics value which describes the ratio of the force of friction between two bodies and the force pressing them together. The coefficient of friction depends on the materials used — for example, ice on metal has a low coefficient of friction (they slide past each other easily), while rubber on pavement has a high coefficient of friction (they do not slide past each other easily). Coefficients of friction of a tire on concrete may have a coefficient of friction of 1.7. Brake pad coefficients are generally between 0.3 and 0.7. Magnetically attractive surfaces can have very large friction coefficients, and glued or welded together surfaces have infinite friction coefficients.

Coefficient of friction can vary depending on the type of material used for the brake rotor. Brake pads are typically concerned with dynamic coefficient of friction, or the coefficient of friction measured while the vehicle is moving. Coefficient of friction may change as the brake system is required to perform through different applications.

Engineering brake systems to handle high temperatures is essential. The four key elements to consider when designing a system to handle high temperatures properly are: surface area, thermal mass, material selection and cooling air.

Surface Area: The more surface area on a brake system the better heat dissipation will be. Cooling internal veins are used in systems for reducing operating temperatures, greatly increaseing performance.

Thermal Mass: A properly engineered brake system must be sized appropriately for each individual vehicle; to have the ability to provide enough power for a vehicle and to have enough material mass to properly handle the temperatures that specific car can create under heavy braking situations. To remove material from a rotor for size and weight reduction purposes, will also remove material that would have helped diffuse heat generated by braking. This is not recommended by Carbotech.

Material Selection: Material selection is important in trying to control where the heat goes once generated. Using insulators can help prevent heat from being conducted to the brake fluid. Also in saying that, heat conductors can also be utilized to draw heat away from critical components.

Cooling Air: Getting air to keep flowing on the brake system can also dramatically help reduce operating temperatures as well as improve performance. Open bridge calipers are becoming more and more popular due the ability to allow air to flow through the caliper and remove heat from the braking surface.