Aerodynamic Testing of a Vented Disc Brake 2003-01-0932
Many attempts have been made to improve automotive brake cooling by increasing the pumping action of vented brake rotors, both experimentally and using computational fluid dynamics. Testing of these improvements has occurred by measuring the airflow at the outlet of a rotating brake rotor in still air, however this is a vastly different environment to the actual working condition of the rotor. Airflow around the rotor, as a result of the forward movement of the vehicle, will have a considerable effect on its pumping ability. In this paper a comparison is made between the measured airflow through a straight-vane vented disc: (1) isolated disc still air; (2) disc in still air with the wheel on; (3) disc in moving air with the wheel on; and (4) on road simulation using a ¼ car. Both time-averaged and real-time measurements are presented. In the still air tests results showed a linear relationship between rotational velocity and airflow through the disc. Spectral analysis indicated the possibility of vortex shedding occurring behind the vanes. For tests (3) and (4) vent airflow was a function of both rotational speed of the rotor and angular position around the rotor, with the volume flowrate of air significantly lower than that measured in still air tests.