Wheel Dust Measurement and Root Cause Assessment 2003-01-3341
North American drivers particularly dislike wheel dust (brake dust on their wheels). For some vehicle lines, customer surveys indicate that wheel dust is a significant concern. For this reason, Ford and its suppliers are investigating the root causes of brake dust and developing test procedures to detect wheel dust issues up-front. Intuitively, it would appear that more brake wear would lead to more wheel dust. To test this hypothesis, a gage was needed to quantitatively measure the wheel dust. Gages such as colorimeters were evaluated to measure the brightness (L*) of the wheel, which ranged from roughly 70-80% (clean) to 10-20% (very dirty). Gage R&R's and subjective ratings by a panel of 30 people were used to validate the wheel dust gages. A city traffic vehicle test and an urban dynamometer procedure were run to compare the level of wheel dust for 10 different lining types on the same vehicle. Wear (both mass and thickness loss) measurements were made for each test and compared to the level of wheel dust. Correlations between wheel dust level and wear were observed.