Wear Evaluation of Niobium-Added Cast Iron for Brake Disc and Drum Applications 2020-01-1627
Grey cast iron alloys for brake drum and brake disc applications are being developed with niobium additions and a range of equivalent carbon for commercial, passenger vehicle, and performance applications. The benefit of niobium in cast iron is based on the contribution of strength by matrix refinement for a given carbon equivalence that may permit the direct improvement of wear improvement or allow for an increase in carbon equivalence for a given strength. Proper carbon equivalency and pearlite stabilization contribute to an improved pearlite structure with an optimized distribution of graphite. These structures, when refined with niobium, demonstrate increased service life and reduced wear relative to their niobium-free equivalents as measured by lab dynamometer testing and by on-vehicle testing in passenger bus fleets. The increase in performance is attributed to both the presence of wear resistant carbides and refinement of pearlite interlamellar spacing with only minor refinement of graphite flake length.