We at Affinia Global Brake & Chassis have discovered that many “lightweight” rotor companies have decided to reduce their plate thickness by expanding the air gap and reducing the weight of their rotors.
In deciding to reduce plate thickness, these companies are failing to match Original Equipment specifications which drastically increase the likelihood of “heat-checking” (tiny cracks on the surface of the rotor). The reduction in the ability of the rotor to dissipate heat may cause the strength of the material to weaken and potentially cause the collar to crack. This loss of rotor mass may cause poor braking efficiency which can affect overall performance and safety.
In addition to increasing the air gap to reduce weight, other changes have been discovered including different vane configurations, the amount of material used and the type of material used. These changes can reduce costs, but do not conform to OE specifications. While it is common for technicians to attribute brake noise and squealing problems to brake pads, the use of “lightweight” rotors are more likely than the pads to contribute to brake system noise.
“Brake rotors are safety-related components and you never want to compromise the ability of your vehicle to perform possible accident avoidance maneuvers,” says Bruce Reau, vice president of product development at Affinia Global Brake & Chassis. “Thinner plate rotors have less mass and may compromise the strength of the rotor. Less mass also decreases the thermal resistance of the rotor and the braking system will run hotter.”
“Raybestos brake rotors are designed to meet or exceed OE fit, form and function design standards,” says Terry Heffelfinger, director or product engineering, R&D and Quality for Affinia Global Brake & Chassis. “Through our global Quality Assurance commitment, we continually reaffirm our global specifications and standards for quality, reliability and safety. Our TS-16949 certification and values have served as the foundation for our family of brands for nearly a century and they continue to guide us as we design, manufacture and market on and off-highway replacement products and services around the world.”
For more information about Raybestos brand brakes, visit www.raybestos.com.