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Influence of disc temperature on particle emissions of passenger car disc brakes with organic and inorganic pad binder materials

Although 21% of traffic-related PM10 emissions come from car disc brakes, the phenomena causing particle emissions of disc brake is still partially understood, due to the complexity of the tribological processes involved

Check this article, which goes deep on that and studies the influence of disc temperature on particle emissions using different friction material matrixes.

BASEL, Switzerland – Abstract: Passenger car disc brakes are a source of ultrafine, fine, and coarse particles. It is estimated that 21 percent of total traffic-related PM10 emissions in urban environments originate from airborne brake wear particles. Particle number emission factors are in the magnitude of 1010 km-1 wheel brake during real-world driving conditions.

Due to the complexity of the tribological processes and the limited observability of the friction zone between brake disc and pad, the phenomena causing particle emission of disc brakes are only partially understood.

To generate a basis for understanding the emission process and, based on this, to clarify which influencing variables have how much potential for reduction measures, one approach consists in the identification and quantification of influencing variables in the form of emission maps.

The subject of this publication is the influence of disc brake temperature on ultrafine, fine, and coarse particle emissions, which was investigated with a systematic variation of temperature during single brake events on an enclosed brake dynamometer.


The systematic variation of temperature was achieved by increasing or decreasing the disc temperature stepwise which leads to a triangular temperature variation.

Two types of brake pads were used with the main distinction in its chemical composition being organic and inorganic binder materials.

The critical disc brake temperature for the generation of ultrafine particles based on nucleation is at approximately 180 °C for pads with an organic binder and at approximately 240 °C for pads with inorganic binder materials.

Number concentration during those nucleation events decreased for successive events, probably due to aging effects. PM10 emissions increased by factor 2 due to an increase in temperature from 80 °C to 160 °C. The influence of temperature could be only repeatable measured for disc brake temperatures below 180 °C.

Above this temperature, the emission behavior was dependent on the temperature history, which indicates also a critical temperature for PM10 relevant emissions but not in an increasing rather than a decreasing manner.

The entire paper, along with multiple figures and graphics, can be viewed by clicking HERE.

Source: The Breake Report