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It is true that nearly 30% of new auto manufacturers ar […]
It is true that nearly 30% of new auto manufacturers are equipping their vehicles with ceramic brake pads now, but this should not warrant a brake pad swap in every situation. There are some benefits to using ceramic brake pads as well as semi-metallic brake pads, but drawbacks exist in every situation.
To understand the differences between the two types of brake pads, you must first understand how they are constructed. Ceramic brake pads are generally composed of dense ceramic material and embedded copper fibers. Semi-metallic brake pads, on the other hand, are made from synthetic resins and embedded metal fibers (generally steel).
The comparative new kid on the block is the ceramic brake pad. Ceramic pads are composed of a dense ceramic material (like pottery fired in a kiln) with embedded copper fibers. In use since the 1980s, ceramic pads were developed as an alternative replacement for organic and semi-metallic brake pads because at the time these types produced too much noise and dust. Ceramic pads are also generally easier on rotors than semi-metallic pads.
Dramatically increased braking performance over organic pads
Have a much higher thermal threshold due to metallic content
Still provide good cold bite
Have a much wider operating range (temperature)
Low compressibility – will provide a firmer brake pedal feel
Much more resistant to brake fade than organic pads
Numerous compounds available – suitable for anything from daily street driving to extreme track use
Quieter than semi-metallic pads – emit noises that are above the range of human hearing
Produce finer, lighter-colored brake dust which does not stick to wheels
Longer lifespan than organic or semi-metallic
Stable under a wide range of temperatures for consistent performance