Wheel Dust Measurement and Root Cause Assessment
North American drivers particularly dislike wheel dust (brake dust on their wheels). For some vehicle lines, customer surveys indicate that wheel dust is a significant concern. For this reason, Ford and its suppliers are investigating the root causes of brake dust and developing test procedures to detect wheel dust issues up-front. Intuitively, it would appear that more brake wear would lead to more wheel dust. To test this hypothesis, a gage was needed to quantitatively measure the wheel dust. Gages such as colorimeters were evaluated to measure the brightness (L*) of the wheel, which ranged from roughly 70-80% (clean) to 10-20% (very dirty). Gage R&R's and subjective ratings by a panel of 30 people were used to validate the wheel dust gages. A city traffic vehicle test and an urban dynamometer procedure were run to compare the level of wheel dust for 10 different lining types on the same vehicle.