Brake pad

Brake pad

Brake pads are an important part of braking systems for all types of vehicles that are equipped with disc brakes. Brake pads are steel backing plates with friction material bound to the surface facing the brake disk.


Brake pads convert the kinetic energy of the car to thermal energy by friction. When a brake pad is heated up by coming into contact with either a drum or rotor, it starts to transfer small amounts of friction material to the disc or pad (that is the reason a brake disk has a dull grey). The brake rotor and disk (both now with friction material on), will then "stick" to each other to provide stopping power. The friction of the pad against the disk is however responsible for the majority of stopping power.

In disc brake applications, there are usually two brake pads per disc rotor, held in place and actuated by a caliper affixed to a wheel hub or suspension upright.


There are numerous types of brake pads, depending on the intended use of the vehicle, from very soft and aggressive (such as racing applications) and harder, more durable and less aggressive compounds. Most vehicle manufacturers recommend a specific compound of brake pad for their vehicle, but compounds can be changed (by either buying a different make of pad or upgrading to a performance pad in a manufacturer's range) according to personal tastes and driving styles. Care must always be taken when fitting non standard brake pads, as operating temperature ranges may vary, such as performance pads not braking efficiently when cold or standard pads fading under hard driving. In cars that suffer from excessive brake fade, the problem can be minimized, by installing better quality and more aggressive brake pads.


Asbestos was widely used in pads for its heat resistance, but due to health risks, it has now been replaced by a mix of alternative fibers such as mineral fibers, cellulose, aramid, PAN, chopped glass, steel- and copper fibers.


ee also

* Mineral wool (Mineral fibers)
* Cellulose
* Aramid
* Polyacrylonitrile (PAN)
* Glassfiber (chopped)
* Twaron
* composites
* Brake lining
* Brake shoe

External links

* [ The Brake Bible]


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • brake pad — brake ,pad noun count the part of a BRAKE that presses against a DISC inside the wheel of a vehicle in order to stop the vehicle from moving …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • brake pad — noun one of the pads that apply friction to both sides of the brake disk • Hypernyms: ↑restraint, ↑constraint • Part Holonyms: ↑disk brake, ↑disc brake * * * brake pad UK US noun [countable] [ …   Useful english dictionary

  • brake pad — [1] The friction material or lining which is secured to metal plates. They press against the brake disc or rotor to enable the wheel to stop. They are to be distinguished from brake shoes which press against the inside of a drum. [2] On a bicycle …   Dictionary of automotive terms

  • brake pad — UK / US noun [countable] Word forms brake pad : singular brake pad plural brake pads the part of a brake that presses against a disc inside the wheel of a vehicle in order to stop the vehicle from moving …   English dictionary

  • brake pad wear indicator — A device which detects the thickness of the brake pad by using an L shaped strap which will scrape against the disc when the pad thickness is below tolerance. Others use an electrical circuit in which a worn pad closes an electrical circuit that… …   Dictionary of automotive terms

  • brake pad — /ˈbreɪk pæd/ (say brayk pad) noun the part of a disc brake which presses against the disc to slow the wheel to which it is attached …  

  • brake pad — noun A friction element in a disc brake …   Wiktionary

  • brake pad — noun a thin block which presses on to the disc in a disc brake …   English new terms dictionary

  • ceramic brake pad — A brake pad constructed with ceramics to reduce wear and heat …   Dictionary of automotive terms

  • metal brake pad — See sintered metal brake pad …   Dictionary of automotive terms

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