Browse Publications Technical Papers 2018-01-1879

Lightweight, Wear Resistant, High Thermal Conductivity Metal Matrix Composite Brake Rotors 2018-01-1879

Aluminum (Al) - silicon carbide (SiC) metal matrix composite (MMC) brake rotors have been investigated for lightweight vehicular applications but have not widely been utilized due to issues with uniformity of distribution of SiC particulates, residual porosity, formation of undesirable phases such as aluminum carbide, and high temperatures incurred during braking that degrade the rotor’s integrity and performance. ATS-MER has overcome these issues with the development of a patented sandwich type structure with wear resistant thin Al-SiC MMC surface layers and a high thermal conductivity aluminum alloy core. Substantial dynamometer and vehicle testing has been performed by a major automobile company with excellent results, including much lower induced temperatures, 96.3 to 99.6% less particulate (dust) generation in comparable testing of cast iron rotors, and almost 10 times the number of maximum cycles possible during testing of cast iron discs. Thus, ATS-MER’s novel Al-SiC MMC brake rotors offer significant environmental benefits of much reduced dust generation and lower CO2 emissions due to lighter weight including unsprung weight, a more comfortable ride, and elimination of the need to replace the rotors over the life of the vehicle. The unique processing technology will be presented along with the current state of development and performance for conventional and electric vehicles.


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