Research & Development

Research and Development is the driving force of any successful brake manufacturer and EBC Brakes is proud of its extensive R&D facilities located at its Bristol manufacturing plant which include full chemistry, friction development and testing facilities including 5 dynamometers.


Headed up by Steve Payne, a friction materials research engineer of 20 years experience, we are proud to have him back to join the team in 2009. Steve has over 15 years experience in brake pad manufacture and has been tasked with numerous special projects to develop the EBC Brakes and EFI products to new levels of performance and market acceptance.


Once formulated, every EBC Brakes compound is subject to conformity of production tests (to ensure compliance with R90 regulation) but is also fine tuned within the R90 parameters to constantly ensure that the product performs to exacting standards.

The R&D engineers are responsible for researching, testing and homologation of not just established production formulations but new elements and ingredients and production methods that can make pads more consistently and with higher quality thresholds.


The R&D team is also responsible for factory trouble shooting and perfecting the production process which includes minimisation of rejects and production efficiency.
Every batch of brake pads made at EBC Brakes is subjected to rigorous testing including destructive sheer testing, density testing, sonar and ultrasonic testing, compressibility testing and friction level testing to ensure that every batch that leaves our factory is perfect.


Further Information

The Freeman group is a highly motivated brake manufacturer and its success is a driven by Research and Technical leadership. As one of the largest suppliers of Premium Braking the group retains its progressive and innovative approach to brake formulations that have won our products With a total of 11 technical and Research staff our Company boasts one of the finest brake research centre in the world with 7 dynamometers, full time in house Chemists and scientists that are the envy of lesser manufacturers.

Our two Ultra modern US based Link Dynos represent a million dollar investment whilst established facilities at the Bristol organic brake plant can test up to torque levels used for even Railway Locomotive applications.


In a world where lives depend on safety, Research and Development is the key.

Technical innovation is the key to the success of the EBC (bicycle, motorcycle and passenger car) and EFI (commercial, industrial and railway) brake ranges. Led by Technical Manager Phil Gorton at Bristol Technical Department and Eddie Blackburn at Bristol research and using our aramid fibre world leading technology, brake products are the finest available anywhere. Whilst almost all other brake manufacturers still employ antiquated and cheap “Steel Fibre” based technology filled with dirty and dusty carbon and coke granules, EBC and EFI lead the way in CLEAN and ADVANCED brake formulations. Blending with Aramid fibres gives endless flexibility in formulation that is unheard of with cheap bulky steel fibre competitor products.

In March 2009 the Group was pleased to welcome back Steve Payne, a highly qualified and experienced research scientist with 20 years of experience in brake formulation. We hope Steves added strengths and ideas will bring another exciting chapter in the Company’s future.

In regular independent test EBC and EFI brake products are shown to not just meet but exceed OEM manufacturer parts by a healthy margin in-

  • Pad Lifetime
  • Low disc/rotor abrasion
  • Heat performance
  • Reduction of brake dust
  • Protection of the environment

Group products are now used by the majority of Police forces in the UK, ambulance forces and are original and aftermarket brake suppliers to London Taxi, Optare bus, Arriva bus group, Washington Metro in the USA, Chicago Rapid Transit and numerous Motorcycle OEM builders.

There is a very good reason why the German market is not flooded with cheap and nasty friction materials. Regarded by some as protectionism, there are very good reasons why Germany adopts what they call a TÜV testing and ABE certification, especially on safety products such as brakes.


As far as brake pads are concerned, the new ECE R90 brake safety regulation replaces the need for TÜV testing and ABE certification. However, there are no current regulations in ECE R90 for disc brake rotors and therefore the TÜV testing is still extremely important to guarantee consumer safety.

Although essentially a German network, the TÜV has branches in many countries around the world and the testing work that they do is regarded as a quality endorsement by many other European countries. The TÜV is a private network of independent testing centres throughout Germany who submit their test results to the German KBA organisation to receive a certificate known as an ABE.

EBC Brakes has a close co-operation with TÜV Rheinland Kraftfahrt GmbH for brake testing on motorcycles and cars and has the largest list of ABE numbers for motorcycle and automotive brakes in Europe.

To download the TÜV Rheinland Brochure click here