A Study of Mass Drivers in the Brake System 2014-01-2506
It is obvious at this point even to the most casual observer of the automotive industry that efforts to reduce mass throughout the vehicle are at a fervor. The industry is facing its most significant increase in fuel economy standards in its history, and light-weighting the vehicle is a major enabler. Despite the performance and quality of the brake system being intensely related to its mass, it too has not been spared scrutiny. However, like many modern automotive subsystems, it is very complex and mass reduction opportunities that do not sacrifice performance or quality are not always obvious. There are some interesting and sometimes even profound relationships between mass and other vehicle attributes built into brake system design, and making these more visible can enable a better balancing of brake system with the rest of the vehicle design objectives. Examples include - what is the cost, in terms of brake system mass, of added engine power? Of tire and wheel size? What is the mass cost of brake pad volume and service life? Can the mass compounding between the vehicle and brake system put forth in earlier works be confirmed with a detailed model? To explore these, and other questions, an integrated brake system performance and mass prediction model was constructed. This model (with mass prediction based on benchmarking and regression) was used to explore, in a general sense, some of the interesting mass versus performance relationships in the vehicle, as well as show through system-level optimization how mass can be saved while retaining performance and quality.