02 Jan 2013
January 2, 2013

Disc Brakes

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EBC Disc Brakes imageDisc Brakes

Buying new disc brakes or just want to know how they work, its all right here.


Disc brakes have been around for about 60 years in different forms and came about with the progressing speeds of vehicles and the need for shorter stopping distances and better road safety. The differences between disc brakes and their earlier counterparts which we drum brakes are numerous.


First disc brakes are generally lighter in overall vehicle weight which is extremely important for car and truck builders. On heavy trucks the weight savings vehicle can be half a ton by replacing the very heavy cast iron brake drums with much lighter brake discs. This increases available payload by quite a chunk.


Disc brakes also run much cooler than drum brakes because of the simple fact they are open to air cooling and not enclosed. This in itself greatly helps vehicle stopping power.


The pressures at which hydraulic disc brakes operate is far higher than for drums which are often mechanically operated and are full of moving parts that create friction and cause loss of efficiency. The gives disc brakes another edge in that higher brake effects can be obtained.


Disc brakes are easier to overhaul than drums are the components are in view with removal of the wheel. Disc brakes are also easier to service as wear parts are seen easily without dismantling the brakes.


It has to be said that the technology for drum brakes was left in the dark ages after disc brakes arrived and there was little or no development happening on the linings or brake material coil that is used to line drum brakes or brake shoes after the arrival of disc brakes.


Modern cars now feature disc brakes at both front brake and rear brake locations for the above reasons and the spares parts business for these disc brakes is huge. In the USA a mere 1% of the brake market is now deemed to be worth over $115 million dollars making the market for disc brake parts a large one and a varied one.


Quality of parts that you can buy to service your disc brakes varies enormously and consumers are advised to always look for quality approvals such as the ECE R 90 approvals markings which is one of the world’s best tests for brake pad quality used in disc brakes. This brake pad selector chart will also be useful helping you to choose the right types of components for your disc brakes the next time you need a brake repair or service.