Shopping for brake pads often leads to confusion unless you know exactly what you’re looking for. Brake pads come in a variety of different flavors. Each one features a slightly different braking compound. Your choice of brake pads and braking compounds will dictate various aspects of your car’s braking performance.
Ceramic brake pads are among the most popular options on the market at the moment. The reasons for this are many.
The End of Asbestos
Asbestos used to be a popular material in all types of industries. Its thermal properties made it perfect for lining chimneys, constructing fire-retardant coatings, pipe insulation, and other applications. It quickly became obvious that asbestos was a good choice for brake pads.
Most companies making brake components offered asbestos pads. These utilized asbestos fibers, combining them with other materials to form efficient and affordable braking compounds.
Then we learned how toxic asbestos is and the use of this material became illegal almost overnight. Brake component manufacturers scrambled to find an alternative. The result of that effort were numerous non-asbestos organic compounds.
Non-Asbestos Organic Compounds Explained
With asbestos out of the picture, the entire industry began researching other options. It didn’t take long before it was concluded that organic materials offer a similar performance profile to asbestos. The new compound was named NAO or the more popular Ceramic brake pads.
Over time, upgrades and improvements to Ceramic compounds and technology has allowed the industry to build pads with a much more efficient performance profile than anything asbestos could offer. That being said, not every Ceramic compound is the same.
Brembo Ceramic Brake Pads
Like many of our peers in the industry, we have been exploring the limits of Ceramic technology compounds for many years.
Our goal was to design Ceramic compounds that would offer precisely tailored performance benefits to drivers who value comfort, reduced brake dust production, and extended pad life.
Noise and Vibrations
For a large portion of our readers and valued customers, driving is a pleasure. However, the majority of drivers out there see driving as little more than a means of getting from one place to another. When commuting is the only reason to get behind the wheel, comfort becomes an important factor.
With more aggressive compounds, such as our Low-Met compounds, the performance increases at the cost of comfort. Our Ceramic compounds and our special “Brembo Red” multi-layered shims offer plenty of friction, but also bring a tangible reduction in vibrations that reach the passenger cabin during braking.
The Durability of Modern Ceramic Compounds
Aside from comfort, most drivers are looking for pads that will last them for a long time. Ceramic is a perfect foundation for building such a pad. Our ceramic range takes durability to a new level thanks to the proprietary materials and manufacturing processes we utilize.
The result is a pad that will outlast most other types of brake pads, all while keeping dust production at the very minimum.
Ceramic Compounds and Their Effect on Brake Rotors
How brake pad compounds affect brake rotors is one of the often-overlooked aspects of choosing the right pad. Ceramic compounds, especially ones we’re developing, are geared toward prolonging the service life of the brake rotor.
We’ve achieved this by creating a compound that is compressible to a point where it cleans the rotor without damaging it even under sustained braking.
Limits of Ceramic Technology
For all the good they bring to the table, ceramic braking compounds have their limitations. It’s important to understand that these aren’t high-performance pads. As much as we, and our industry peers, would love to deliver track-worthy performance in a ceramic pad, that’s simply not feasible.
Ceramic pads offer improved comfort, durability, and reduced brake dust production, but they lack aggressive grip. Brake fade resistance is also lower compared to more performance-oriented pads.