This article reports an interview with Rockwell CVC, to consider the little progress that seems to have been made with disc brakes during nearly 40 years of development. In practice, much progress has been made in developing stable disc brakes and heat-resistant materials, and working with advanced friction materials. Many thousands of heavy vehicles with disc brakes are used in Europe and North America. The problems with disc brakes arise from the fact that drivers apply them fully, so that their duty cycles are severe. Rotor damage is caused by two main types of brake use: (1) short, hard brake applications, such as emergency stops; and (2) dragging the metal on the surface of a rotor, for example when descending long steep mountain roads. Rockwell addressed these problems by investigating the temperature distribution within the brake, with the aid of a computer program that it developed. Some interesting, rather surprising behaviour was found that was consistent and repeatable, with some very high thermal stresses and rapid temperature rises on the surface occurring very quickly. Accurate mathematical models were developed. Having found out about existing brake rotors, the next steps were to try different materials and different forms of rotor construction.

  • Availability:
  • Corporate Authors:

    Institute of Road Transport Engineeers

    1 Cromwell Place
    London SW1 25F,   England 
  • Authors:
    • KENNETT, P
  • Publication Date: 1996-7


  • English

Media Info

  • Pagination: p. 33-4
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00729192
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport Research Laboratory
  • Files: ITRD
  • Created Date: Dec 12 1996 12:00AM