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Technical Paper

Disc Brake Squeal: Diagnosis and Prevention

In the last thirty years the automotive industry has seen the transition from drum brakes to disc brakes. This transition was made with the intent of improving performance and reducing mass. Concurrent with this transition has been an all out effort to improve both quality and perceived quality of automobiles. A key component of quality/perceived quality of disc brake systems is disc brake squeal. In the past five years a tremendous amount has been learned about disc brake squeal, through analytical techniques, dynamometer testing, and on vehicle testing. This work has culminated in the identification of at least three families of brake squeal, each having its own set of countermeasures. This paper attempts to capture most of the recent findings, including the identification of the three families of disc brake squeal, a system to diagnose them, and a discussion of the appropriate countermeasures. A discussion on how to go about designing a ‘squeal free’ system is also included.