What is Brake Pads (Friction Pads)? - Functions & Depreciation
The task of the vehicle brake is to slow down the vehicle safely and comfortably and bring it to a stop when necessary. This is achieved by converting the kinetic energy provided by the friction between the brake pad and the brake discs or drum into thermal energy (heat energy). In this way, the speed of the vehicle is reduced to the level desired by the driver. Brake pads (also known as friction pads) play an essential role here. Today, complex materials made of many different components (composite material) must be used for friction linings to achieve optimum braking under varying operating conditions. This item should not fail under any circumstances. Brake pads with a high safety level should have high mechanical strength and heat resistance and combine this with a constant friction value (friction coefficient). New brake pads need a specific "break-in period" before they can gain full braking power. At this stage, the surface of the pads adapts to the disc/drum surface. Only then is the optimum connection established between the friction pairs (brake pad/disc, brake pad/drum) to ensure the maximum possible deceleration during braking.
Brakes are one of the most critical safety systems of the vehicle. They are used hundreds/thousands of times a day without the driver noticing. The driver usually brakes deliberately only if braking does not follow the usual procedure. Therefore, it is essential that the brake pads meet the requirements for daily use and always perform what is expected – even with changes in climate, topography, or application conditions. Besides offering optimum performance in everyday life, brake pads must produce the best possible response, especially in extreme situations (e.g., during emergency braking). Therefore, brake pads must provide the driver with the assurance of optimum performance at all times to achieve the best possible braking result.
Brake pads are constantly improved to make them as environmentally friendly as possible. Asbestos, which poses a health hazard, was replaced in the late 1980s. Because of their toxicity, other hazardous materials, including lead and its compounds, are no longer used in new products. In addition, the use of antimony pentasulfide, antimony sulfide, cadmium, antimony as friction material components in the production of composites is avoided because these substances are categorized as dangerous.
Brakes are vital for safe travel with motor vehicles. For this reason, they should be checked regularly that they work perfectly and that their parts are not worn. A driver's feeling of safety while driving is the first condition for well-maintained brakes in perfect working condition.