Most passenger vehicles manufactured today are made with cast iron brake discs. Cast iron is the most common brake disc material because it’s cheap, robust, stable at high temperatures, and provides good friction. There is, however, one major downside to using cast iron - the weight. Cast iron is heavy. There are four brake discs on every vehicle, providing a huge potential for weight savings. Brake discs are also part of the unsprung and rotational mass of a vehicle. Saving weight in these areas provides additional benefits beyond simply making the vehicle lighter.
Heavy rotating components steal power from your vehicle as a greater amount of energy is required to get them rotating. Lighter rotating components are easier to accelerate, meaning more power put to the ground, leading to improved acceleration, deceleration and overall fuel/energy efficiency.
Unsprung mass includes all wheel end components that are not supported by the suspension. As these components move, they transmit forces into the vehicle. Heavier unsprung components induce more severe forces. Reducing the unsprung mass can provide a cascade effect of weight reduction through other chassis components, while reducing Noise Vibration and Harshness (NVH) and providing a higher quality ride.
Alumatrix Brakes offer consistent braking feel and reliable friction every time.
Another drawback to cast iron is the fact that they rust. Not only is it unsightly, but it can also have detrimental effects on braking friction. Vehicles with cast iron brake discs that sit for an extended period of time will develop a layer of rust on the braking surface that may cause squealing and decreased braking power until it can be worn away. This is a problem particularly on electric vehicles (EVs). EVs predominantly utilize regenerative braking, which slows the vehicle by using the vehicle’s electric motor as a generator. Most EVs only use the mechanical braking system during severe braking events or when coming to a complete stop. The rust layer that builds up during periods of inactivity creates poor friction just when the mechanical brakes are needed the most.
No more rusty brake discs behind your nice aluminum rims. Even coated cast iron brakes eventually start to rust after the coating has been worn away. Alumatrix Brakes look great behind an aluminum wheel and will continue to look great for years to come.
Durability and Longevity
The braking surface of the Alumatrix Brake contains roughly 40 vol% silicon carbide (double that of stir cast) at the friction surface. This provides a braking surface with an extreme resistance to wear. Our brake discs have gone through over 1,000 severe stops from 100 mph to 0, and the original machining finish marks can still be seen on the braking surface. These brake discs are able to last the lifetime of the vehicle, showing minimal evidence of wear and resistance to corrosion.
Cleaner automotive braking for the future of propulsion technology.
Today’s EVs have the ability to recapture 60-70% of the energy lost as heat during a normal braking event by using regenerative braking. Upon braking, the vehicles electric motor acts a generator inducing a current, generating an opposing torque that slows the vehicle. The current can be harvested and stored in the vehicles battery. The energy recaptured by the battery, is energy that would otherwise be transmitted to the mechanical brake system in the form of heat. Having less energy transferred to the mechanical braking system greatly reduces the maximum operating temperature of the brakes, making Al-MMC a viable option for lightweight brakes.
Equivalent bite, Minimal Dust
Utilizing a special brake pad formulation, the Alumatrix Brake produces a friction coefficient that is in the same standard range as OEM brakes. The Al-MMC uses an adherent friction mechanism, whereas cast iron primarily uses an abrasive friction mechanism. This in turn leads to a reduction in particle emissions.
Metal Matrix has conducted and continues to conduct significant on-vehicle and dynamometer testing to ensure the performance, durability and longevity of our products. Our rotors are tried, true, and proven.