A Study of Mass Drivers in the Brake System
It is obvious at this point even to the most casual observer of the automotive industry that efforts to reduce mass throughout the vehicle are at a fervor. The industry is facing its most significant increase in fuel economy standards in its history, and light-weighting the vehicle is a major enabler. Despite the performance and quality of the brake system being intensely related to its mass, it too has not been spared scrutiny. However, like many modern automotive subsystems, it is very complex and mass reduction opportunities that do not sacrifice performance or quality are not always obvious. There are some interesting and sometimes even profound relationships between mass and other vehicle attributes built into brake system design, and making these more visible can enable a better balancing of brake system with the rest of the vehicle design objectives. Examples include - what is the cost, in terms of brake system mass, of added engine power? Of tire and wheel size?