Industrial Disk Brakes Parts and Best Features to Consider

Disc brakes are a reliable method of reducing speed or stopping a vehicle. Over time, disc brakes have evolved, and different designs have been made and with systems that have different applications. Because of arising problems and shortcomings of disc brakes, a lot of research is being done to eliminate, reduce, and solve these issues. A vehicle requires a braking system to decelerate or stop when moving in traffic. Braking systems use the principle of converting kinetic energy to other forms of energy e.g. friction breaking converted to heat. When braking not all the kinetic energy is converted to other forms like in friction breaking some energy is lost in the form of vibrations.

A variety of materials are used to make braking systems. The materials used to make industrial disc brakes for sale should have the following characteristics:

  • Have good castability and machinability. e.g. grey cast iron
  • High thermal conductivity and heat capacity
  • High resistance to brake fade
  • Has a low cost
  • Light in weight that does not contribute to the overall vehicle weight. Lightweight reduces fuel consumption and ensures driving comfort. E.g. aluminium-based metal matrix.
  • Low density and lower thermal expansion coefficient e.g. Ceramic matrix composites.

A company that manufactures industrial brakes for sale ensures that they are reliable and durable. The brakes should also be suited for harsh weather or corrosive environments. The components that are prone to wear should be easily accessible when there is a need for adjustments and have a lower maintenance cost. Brakes can also be customized to meet the client’s specifications. To purchase a quality and effective braking system for a vehicle one needs to understand the working mechanism and the components that make up the brake system.

The two types of friction brakes are disc brakes and drum brakes. Disc brakes have self-cleaning capability from the centrifugal force, have a higher exposure to air law, and cool faster compared to drum brakes. Due to the added advantages, disc brakes are used as the front brakes in vehicles and trucks. A disc brake system consists of pads pressed on a rotating dick and produces friction which is then converted to heat which is then transferred to the vehicle and environment. The disk brake then cools down. The major components of a disc brake are brake disc, pad, underlayer, black plate, shim, and calipers.


Brake disc

It is also called the brake rotor. The brake disc rotates at the same speed as the wheels of a moving vehicle and its stopping power is determined by the rate at which kinetic energy is converted to heat due to friction. An effective braking system ensures that heat is released as fast as possible to avoid affecting the brake disc performance. Ventilations are also included to increase the rate of cooling. Brake discs can be solid brake discs or ventilated brake discs.

Ventilated discs enhance the cooling process lowering the temperatures. Low temperatures reduce the chances of wear. A mounting bell can be included in the design or not. The purpose of a mounting bell is to improve the cooling process by increasing the distance between the axle surface and disc surface area. A brake disc without the mounting bell is referred to as a hybrid disk and the disc is often called the friction ring in this design. The friction ring is joined to the mounting bell using two methods. First by using a connecting element such as a special threaded bolt which can slide into the friction ring. This bold is made of steel material and therefore undergoes corrosion and conducts heat quickly to the mounting bell. The second option is using ceramic material. The ceramic material is not prone to corrosion and reduces the transfer of heat to the mounting bell. In another design, the mounting bell is cast in the teeth of the friction ring, and the material used to make the bell is an alloy.

The hybrid brake disc design allows the friction ring to expand hence reduces the chance of thermal distortion. Ventilated brake discs have various configurations that have unique airflow patterns. In this design, air enters and leaves the disc periphery but has a disadvantage when in a demanding situation since stress is developed near the inner periphery where air enters through. Examples of the configurations for the ventilated brake disc design are straight radial vanes, curved vanes, arcuate veins, and diamond and teardrop arrangement.

Brake Pad

This is a friction material attached to a stiff backplate. Its corporates face slots and chamfers which reduce the squealing noise. When the temperature on the pad surface is higher than the temperature in the interior of the pad it experiences convex bending. The slots’ purpose is to allow the pad to bend without cracking and allows for easy cleaning of dust accumulated on the pad.


It is an additional layer material placed between the friction material and the back place to damp vibrations from the pad interface.


The purpose of the backplate is to give support to the friction material and transmit actuation force. The friction material is attached to the backplate by adhesive bonding or mechanical retention. Mechanical retention involves welding protruding studs to the backplate to the friction material or using godge hooks on the back surface of the plate.


They are laminates of the metal material or viscoelastic materials placed between the backplate and piston to dampen vibrations from the disc can be made from steel or viscoelastic material and are attached using an adhesive or mechanical method.

Brake Calipers

This part houses the pads and pistons and provides a pathway for the brake fluid which actuates the pistons. They can be fixed by floating. The fixed caliper does not move with the discs but houses the pistons on both sides. The piston when under pressure moves and pushes the brake pads. The floating caliper houses the piston on one side of the disc and on pressure application it moves and pushes the inner brake pad. The pad contacts the disc surface after being pushed by the caliper which in turn mores in the opposite direction so that the outer pad can also contact the disk surface. They are referred to as the inboard pad and outboard pad. The main difference comes from the fact that they have different contact pressure distributions and wear behaviours.

The key features to check for in a brake disc system include

  • Quality material used in construction for reliability and durability
  • Easy access to the components when doing replacements and maintenance
  • An effective design that allows heat dissipation
  • The ventilated disc brake design configurations
  • Air applied calipers with precise control ability.


Disc Brake systems are complex and require an understanding of the designs and operation with the help of an expert. They have not been fully understood and intensive research is still being done on them to develop better models. Choosing the best braking system involves evaluating the components and features of a brake system to ensure they are favourable and will be effective even under demanding situations.

Kalvin Abbas
the authorKalvin Abbas