Brake pads are a critical part of an automobile, aircraft, motorcycle or train, encompassing technology that is not easily seen. The primary manufacturing method is the compaction process, as brake pads are made from a powder of composite materials, compacted under pressure and temperature with the help of a special glue. An investigation into the production methods highlighted a possible improvement into the processing times with the use of high power ultrasonic energy. A new compaction process was developed able to improve production times and quality characteristics of brake pads. The method was tested using a purposely constructed ultrasonic press by Wittmann. In order to optimise the method, different types of friction material types were developed together with a variety of new glue compositions, including hydro-glues, powder-glues and solvent-free glues. The work was focused on the analysis of the technology and on the optimisation of the process parameters aided by computer simulations. The advantages of the ultrasonic process are a lighter press construction and shorter production time. In particular the pressing and the curing cycle can be shortened. One other major advantage is the increased fading coefficient. The process, the materials and the glues were evaluated and optimised for industrial application and a series of brake pads were produced and tested, giving brakes new lining and new life.
Process of manufacturing brake linings - 'but not limited to'- by the use of ultrasonic energy input
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