Today’s ‘disc brake’ systems, largely centered on what we refer to as brake rotors, originally emerged in 1898 during the design-build for Elmer Ambrose Sperry’s electric car. By 1908, however, Frederick William Lanchester refined Sperry’s original work significantly, and ultimately formalized and patented a first system for that era’s ‘consumer automotive market’.
Between then and now, while materials and technologies have evolved accordingly, central components and general operating processes still apply today. As a consequence, DIY buyers can choose from hosts of brand providers.
What is a Brake Rotor?
This central braking component, colloquially referred to as a ‘rotor’ or ‘disc’, is represented by a circular plane that rotates in conjunction with a vehicle’s axle. Stopping power is applied to the rotor by means of calipers fitted with brake pads; that pinch or clamp down on the plane, thereby creating enough friction to stop the vehicle on-demand.
Most consumer or commercial brake rotors are fabricated of metal, or metal-alloy; although in specialized situations, rotors are sometimes crafted of more exotic materials including carbon fiber. How do brake rotor components improve your vehicle?
- Better design – The design of disc systems afford customers significantly more stopping power when compared with less sophisticated systems such as drum types. This is principally due to the increased braking surface offered by the discs themselves, and frictional dynamics associated with increased efficiency provided by the caliper system.
- Reduced heat – Heat is bad for braking systems since heat-warping can occur that limits a system’s ability to produce necessary frictional force. Disc systems tend to marginalize warping by producing more effective cooling across the system’s entire rotor plane. This in turn means better, more effective braking throughout its operating cycle.
- Easier to maintain – Disc systems are simpler to deal with due to a reduced number of primary and subordinate components, along with the advantage of better physical access to all components.
What Types are Available?
Depending on a customer’s needs, varying levels of performance can be expected of each type of brake rotor. These major categories include:
Smooth – This design offers excellent performance for daily driving needs. Advantages include; a large rotor surface excellent for heat dissipation, resistant to cracking over time, rigid and dependable, and in specialized cases can be utilized for competitive purposes in conjunction with enhanced brake pads and fluids.
Slotted – This design provides enhanced performance over daily driver needs. Advantages include; grooved surface aids better brake pad contact, enhanced heat dissipation, reduces overall friction during heavy braking.
Cross-drilled – This design further extends performance-oriented driving. Advantages include; further enhances pad/rotor contact, offers impressive aesthetic value, design tends to reduce liquid adherence to rotor face, thereby allowing for better braking in wet conditions.
Drilled and Slotted – This design offers excellent overall behavior, particularly in the case of heavy-duty use. Advantages include; extended heat dissipation, durable and dependability for high-weight towing or similar purposes, specifically valuable when mated with high-viscosity fluids such as DOT 3 or 4.
What major brake rotor brands are offered on BuyBrakes.com?