Performance Friction Brakes are a special class of brake pads and rotors designed to be abused relative to the normal service of other brake pads and shoes. For this discussion we are limiting ourselves to "disc brakes" only for the convenience of terminology. Other forms of brakes exist and the same basic principles to be discussed here exist in those other types of friction braking systems. Friction brakes work by applying pressure from a non-rotating part to a rotating part specifically to stop the rotating part from rotating. The faster the moving or rotating part is rotating, the more difficult it is to stop the rotation. In performance friction braking systems, it is always assumed that the moving part is moving at a high speed and that the need to stop it is urgent.
It is also assumed that as soon as the moving part has been decelerated or totally stopped, the acceleration of the moving part will begin again, and the need to slow or stop it will arise again, and again. When designing a friction braking system, the engineers consider that the pads of the brake are sacrificial, in that they are designed to wear away at a much faster rate than the rotating part (let's call it the rotor). The rotor is a heavier part and is larger and usually made of a hardened metal whole the braking part (the brake pad), is designed of some material which will generate friction when pressed against the rotor. As the friction heats the rotor and the pad, the pad is designed to slough away, "to burn off" taking with it some of the heat generated, just like on the space shuttle. The difficulty in brake design is that there needs to be some balance between the wear of the pad and the wear on the rotor as well as some great effort to stop whatever is moving as quickly as possible. Performance Rotors and Pads take this to a higher level of engineering by determining that the pads and rotors will surely be subjected to "abnormal stresses" as part of their normal service life.
And all the time they are improving on the materials and designs.
Luis Marcos is the founder of PlaceForBrakes.com and a specialist in Performance Friction Brakes. Visit Place For Brakes Today for all your automotive brake part needs.