What You Need to Know About Brake Rotors

Brake Rotors impossible to overestimate in the safety of your life.  This issue must be monitored constantly to make sure that your child will not be an orphan tomorrow. The main characteristic of a brake system is the disc-pad friction coefficient. 

This coefficient depends primarily on the materials from which the pads and discs are made, as well as their shapes and features. Thus, as we have already understood, braking depends on the brake pads and discs.  First, let’s look at the types of brake pads.

Drum Brakes vs Disc Brakes

Drum brakes are the pads that, during braking, are pressed against the drum, not the disc.  They are usually used in freight transport.  They are quite rare in passenger cars.

drum brakes car

Disc Brakes are located on the outside of the flat cast iron disc.  Now in all passenger cars, they are used as front ones.  They are well cooled, and not afraid of moisture and dirt.  Depending on the material from which they are made, disc pads are:

disc drum brakes

– low metal.  They contain 10-30% copper or steel.  The rest is organic materials.  This type of pads constantly “annoys” its owner with noise during braking and emission of black dust

– semi-metallic.  They are 30-65% composed of copper, steel, and graphite.  The composition is supplemented with other inorganic and binders.  They are also noisy, but more durable than low metal ones.

– ceramic.  These are modern pads made of ceramic fibers and non-ferrous metals.  They are more expensive than the previous ones, but they are more durable, they work much quieter and more reliable.

– asbestos-free (organic).  For their production they use: kevlar fibers, resins, rubber, carbon and even glass.  They provide soft, smooth braking, little noise.  However, there are many disadvantages.  This is rapid wear and dustiness, which stains the entire brake system.

What are Brake Rotors Made of?

Now is the time to consider the brake rotors, on which, as well as on the pads, the quality of your braking depends.

One-piece brake discs.  The simplest kind of disc that exists.  This part is made from a single piece of cast iron.  Solid discs are cheap to manufacture and therefore inexpensive to purchase.  They warm up quickly and remove heat slowly.  Thus, they can only be suitable for old, low-powered, and not fast cars.  If this is not about your car, then you should pay more attention to the following brake disks on our list.

Ventilated brake disc.  Probably the most popular disks type used on modern cars.  Its design consists of two parts with cooling channels spaced between them.  A clever design, hidden from view, allows heat to dissipate, keeping the disc from overheating, cracking, twisting, and extending pad life.

Drilled discs.  If you like to “give the gas”, then during braking, the pads are used under a serious load.  Due to heating, solid particles are flying out of them – the dust, which adheres to the discs rotor.  This reduces the adhesion of the pad to the disc during operation, and the brakes become worse.  Holes are drilled on the discs so that the dust does not stick, but there is an exit.  An additional plus is a reduced weight compared to a disc without holes. 

However, this type of brake disks also has a negative side – the strength of the disc deteriorates and it cools worse.

Slotted disc.  The idea is the same as for drilled discs.  Slots are needed so that the dust from the pads does not stick to the disc, but has a way out.  However, this design has its advantages. 

The scraping edges of the grooves on the surface of the brake pads are able to clean the braking surface of dirt, also increasing the engagement when in contact with the edges of the grooves.

  The pluses include the appearance.  However, the downside is the active wearing of the pads.

Dimpled (grooved).  Another option for dealing with the hated brake pad dust.  In this case, it is surface drilling of a piece of material from the disc, which leaves the structural integrity of the discs intact.  As a result, these disks have a faster wear time than previous disks.

Wavy brake disc.  Wave-shaped discs have long taken root in the motorcycle world.  However, after acquiring Ducati, Audi started using them in some of its fastest cars.  Lightweight (less material is used) and better heat dissipation are the main advantages of the technology. The appearance of these discs is very, very stylish.

different types of brake rotors

Carbon and ceramic discs.  Ceramic brake and carbon brake discs are significantly more heat-resistant.  Moreover, even with intensive use, they do not deform.  And, accordingly, they will live longer.  They are also much lighter than their iron counterparts. 

The handling with these brakes is also top-notch.  However, for these discs, ordinary pads are not suitable, you need to use special, expensive ones.  The disks themselves are also not cheap, and not all car owners can afford them.

With all that said, you have to understand one crucial thing:


You may not understand the structure of the car at all, but you need to know the key information about its braking system.  After all, this concerns not so much the car as your life.  Specifically yours.

To ensure your absolute safety while driving, we’ve made a list of the best brake pads and abs disc brakes available on the market today.

By the way, the best professionals from our site are ready to help you in choosing the ideal brake components for your car.  Just write to our support team.  We are waiting for your requests!

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