Over the last five years, the automotive industry has experienced a trend towards niche performance vehicles equipped with high-output powertrains. These high performance vehicles also demand higher output braking systems. One method used to provide enhanced pedal feel and fade performance is to equip vehicles with higher apparent friction linings. The challenge then becomes how to design and manufacture these brake systems without high-frequency disc brake squeal and without paying a significant mass penalty. One alternative is to design disc brake rotors with increased damping.
There are several options for increasing rotor damping. The classical approach is to increase the rotor's cast iron carbon content, thus increasing the internal material damping of the rotor. However, this methodology provides only a small increase in rotor damping.
Alternatively, the rotor damping can be increased by introducing friction, sometimes referred to as Coulomb damping. This paper describes two different rotor designs that utilize friction damping. Prototypes of these rotors were manufactured and tested to validate their effectiveness in controlling brake squeal.