Your brake pads are normally the first feature you think of when considering the elements that make up the brakes of your car. However, when it comes to ceramic or semi-metallic brake pads, you may wonder what the difference is. When considering the best options for your driving experience, it is important to dig into the smaller parts of your vehicle that have the capability of making large impacts. These are some key points to help clarify things for you.
Before delving into the details of specific brake pads, it’s important to get a general scope of what they are and how they operate. The entirety of your braking system has multiple components. The brake pads are responsible for turning your tires’ kinetic energy into thermal energy. The best example of this is with bicycles. When you squeeze the brakes, you notice that the lever forces its own set of brake pads against the tires and slows them down to a halt. Though much more complex, your car operates on a very similar principle when braking.
If you thought of pottery classes when you hear the word “ceramic,” you would not be too far from being correct regarding this type of brake pad. However, the ceramic used in these brake pads is much sturdier than your typical pottery clay. It is usually mixed with fine conductive metal traces to create more friction when braking. This type of brake pad tends to be pricier due to its comparatively high production costs and performs less efficiently in extreme weather conditions. Despite this, ceramic brake pads are very quiet and sustain little wear over time.
Semi-metallic brake pads are made with a filler material. The percentage of metal in these pads varies; however, the performance they put out is among the best you can buy without going full metal. Full metal brake pads are normally used for extreme circumstances that require a lot of work from the brake pads and discs in the system. Though they are not as quiet as ceramics, these pads are more resilient in harsh weather and strain the rotor discs more.
Though the tradeoffs and benefits are different when deciding between ceramic or semi-metallic brake pads, understanding the difference will allow you to make the best decision for both you and your car. Ensuring you have the best quality in your brake system is crucial in providing a worry-free driving experience and gives you an idea of what to expect from your brakes.