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Journal Article

Characterization of Caliper Piston Material Stiffness and Damping

2013-09-30
2013-01-2050
The brake caliper piston plays a key role in caliper function, taking significant responsibility for qualities such as fluid consumption, insulation of the brake fluid from heat, seal rollback function, and brake torque variation sensitivity to disc thickness variation. It operates in a strenuous environment, being routinely subjected to high stresses and elevated temperatures. Given all of the demands on this safety-critical component (strength, stiffness, wear resistance, stable friction against rubber, thermal stability, machinability, manageable thermal conductivity, and more), there are actually relatively few engineering materials suitable for use as a caliper piston, and designs tend to be limited to steel, aluminum, and engineered plastics (phenolic composites). The lattermost - phenolic composites - has been of especial interest recently due to mass savings and possible reduction in brake corner judder sensitivity to disc thickness variation.
Technical Paper

Benefits and Application Bandwidth of Phenolic Piston Material in Opposed Piston Calipers

2019-09-15
2019-01-2123
The use of reinforced phenolic composite material in application to hydraulic pistons for brake calipers has been well established in the industry - for sliding calipers (and certain fixed calipers with high piston length to diameter ratios). For decades, customers have enjoyed lower brake fluid temperatures, mass savings, improved corrosion resistance, and smoother brake operation (less judder). However, some persistent concerns remain about the use of phenolic materials for opposed piston calipers. The present work explores two key questions about phenolic piston application in opposed piston calipers. Firstly, do opposed piston calipers see similar benefits? Do high performance aluminum bodied calipers, where the piston may no longer be a dominant heat flow path into the fluid (due to a large amount of conduction and cooling enabled by the housing), still enjoy fluid temperature reductions?
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