Brake Components Q&A

Brakes are all the same! Or not? What is it about coated or uncoated brake pads? What are high carbon brake discs? What is the ECE R90 directive about? Are brake noises always bad? When it comes to braking, there are many questions – but fortunately there are also specialist experts who are clearing up myths and false information. We therefore asked Stefan Bachmann, Product Team Manager for Brakes & Drive components at MEYLE, what is particularly important here.

Host: Welcome today to MEYLE TV. Today we talk about brake components. The MEYLE PD brake components. Therefore, we have invited Mr. Stefan Bachmann. He is the head of brake development in our company and we will discuss some topics with him regarding the PD brakes. Stefan, um, maybe you introduce yourself and yeah tell us a little bit what you do here in the company.

Stefan: Yeah, so first of all my name is Stefan Bachmann. I’ve been working for MEYLE now since a little bit more than nine years. So I’m the head of the braking department, braking drivetrain department, and I’m 37 years old and happy to be here today to talk a little bit with you, and also with you, about some brake components.

Host: Yeah. As we see here already, we have different brake components. Brake pads are different for each and every application. And why is it the case? Maybe you can give us a little bit of the insight.

Stefan: First of all we have to start with uh, with uh, brake pad categories itself. So we have a couple of different categories. One is the low metallic brake pads. One is the semi-metallic brake pad. We have ceramic brake pads. We have NAO brake pads and um, all of them, they have a different focus and when it comes to the car, we talked about heavy cars, low weight cars we talk about transporters for example. So Germany we, we have a another special situation which is called the German Autobahn.

Host: Yes.

Stefan: And you may know it that we partially don’t have a high speed limit and the requirements for brake pads when when braking from 200 and more kilometers per hour, or making an emergency brake from this kind of speed, well this is a very special requirement for brake pads so this very tough condition.

Host: Yeah. Stefan’s, there are as we see here some brake pads, for example, they have this kind of coating on them. Why, why is that? Why other brake pads don’t have it?

Stefan: This coating makes sure that the break-in distance after the repairs done, after the maintenance job is done, when the car rolls out of the garage, this this coating makes sure that the braking distance is as short as possible. This is depending on the frictionmaterial we are using. For example, when it comes to to that friction material we are talking about yeah cars with a higher load or mid class up to to high class cars where whether the weight is is definitely much higher than for smaller car for example. And we just make sure that coating that the braking distance is much shorter, whereas this friction material, we are using the braking distance is already short and if we would bring the coating on that one here there will we know positive effect.

Host: Yes.

Stefan: And this also underlines that our pads are definitely individually designed and developed for each car application.

Host: Yes. Yeah, that is good to know because, several people will not already why this is the case was that one pad has the coating and one pad doesn’t have it.

Stefan: Actually, actually, people are already asking just for the pads with the coating. We are wondering a little bit about that because this is not only a feature, actually it’s some kind of safety issue also and we also we always have to yeah more or less refused in saying no we will not bring the coating on all the brake pads because it’s not necessary. We just use it where it is really necessary and where we can see an advantage.

Host: Ok. Stefan, on all MEYLE brake pads and brake discs, we see the ECR90 stamp on it.

Stefan: Yeah.

Host: What does it actually say? Why is it required?

Stefan: So, first of all, the ECR is European, yeah, some European rules and regulations, mainly also for, for, for safety parts. And these regulations shall make sure that safety parts, not only for passenger cars, do perform on a certain or minimum performance level. It’s not that we can put the the brake pads and the disks on the dyno and we just tell someone our friction value is okay. No no, we have to send these brake pads to independent agencies, and these agencies, they do the testings. And the results of the tests they are forwarded to traditional authorities, and they will release the brake pad itself. They will do with the documentation for that, and that’s where the ECR 90 numbers coming from.

Host: Thank you.

Stefan: And when it comes to brake pads and brake discs, we are talking about the regulation number 90, and the regulation number 90 requires from us that our brake pads do have a certain performance which is very similar to the to the original brake pad and talking about MEYLE PD brake pads for example, so we meet and exceed the ECR 90 requirements, but I have to say, that exceeding means not more than 15% because..

Host: Friction value different.

Stefan: Friction value different because it is the upper limit and when focusing on performance we are going on the upper limit. If we would go above we would not get the certification for that and the second point is that we go into an area where we start talking about hot spots and so on but talking about hot spots today would be too much.

Host: Some people say they noticed more and more squeaking with brakes on the road. Why? Why do we hear more squeaking brakes squeaking in the last, let’s say 10 years?

Stefan: The reason, one of the reasons for that is that, we want and partially have to reduce some ingredients of the brake pad friction material. One of the ingred- you may remember asbestos? Many many many years ago. Decades ago. So the asbestos is definitely, it’s definitely gone even if some people are still printed on the box, “asbestos free” now but this is a standard today. Asbestos free. And when it comes to to noise issues for example, we talk about an ingredient like copper, for example. We have to reduce copper more and more. These are requirements from different areas in the world by law. And our decision war was to meet the requirement devil from 2023 and our copper content inside the friction material is below 0.5%, which you can also see on our label there are three black leaves. And this confirm that our copper content is almost zero. And this is just one of the reasons, there is not only the one reason for for squeaking, but we try to manage it or we managed it better that are saying in we change the formulation. We have a different chamfering. We have an individual chamfering for the cars these are we use a triple air shim. These are all, yeah, details individually developed to make sure that our brake pads are still the quietest ones.

Host: If you look into the future, what, what do we do here at MEYLE when, let’s say, maybe you can give us a look out 10 years ahead what do we have to do with brakes and brake pads?

Stefan: 10 years ahead is a little bit difficult, because as you also may have recognized that the market is changing dramatically. For example, electronic mobility. Everybody’s talking about that but the cars on the road we see is not much for the moment. At least, our focus will be on keeping the pads operating quiet, and strict focus on reducing some emissions. Emission means we have a we have a certain level of brake dust development. This is impossible to avoid by hundred percent today, because we have friction between the brake disc and the brake pad, the dust is coming out of that. So we want to reduce the dust more and more. Our PD pads are already on an equal level with ceramic brake pads, so they keep your wheels clean and emission reduction also means that we focus in our plants, on the production side because, for example, when we use the the coating for the brake discs, we have to, yeah, let’s say, burn it, more or less or it has to be dried after coating, and this also needs a lot of energy, and our focus is also using these kind of energies so that our global footprint when it comes to environmental topics is getting smaller and smaller.

Host: Yeah, thank you very much Stefan, for all your insights here into the topic brakes. We will see you again soon at MEYLE TV, and see you soon again.

Both: Thank you very much, bye-bye.