I prefer ceramic brake pads because when I load the children into my car, I expect it give me excellent braking throughout a broad range of road conditions and temperatures. And when the kid’s are all shouting at once, I don’t need brake noise or dust making me feel even more irritated!
Fortunately for all of us, with the substantial progress of brake pad materials during the last 25 years, we’ve moved on from the dangers of asbestos pads and improved on the braking capacity of organic pads, too. In addition, the introduction of ceramic pads has also overcome the disadvantages of steel strands, which were incorporated in semi-metallic pads for added strength and heat conduction, but created noise and were sufficiently abrasive as to cause rotor wear.
As soon as ceramics were incorporated into friction materials and tested on a handful of equipment applications in 1985, they were hailed as a success and quickly became popular. Pads combine ceramic compounds with copper fibers and this gives us a better alternative to the steel fibers in semi-metallic pads, because ceramic pads can easily cope with high brake temperatures and have less heat fade. Furthermore, they give quicker recovery after a stop and produce less wear and dust on the rotors and pads. And this is important for improved road safety and for overall vehicle maintenance.
As far as driver comfort is concerned, you get a marked decrease in braking noise because the pads damp down noise. Interestingly, they achieve this through the generation of a frequency above the range of human hearing. Another attractive feature of ceramic brake pads is that there is no visible dust, which has long been a common complaint by motorists, about other types of brake pad. Although it is fair to say that all types of pad produce dust through use, ceramic brake pads only make a very small amount of lightly-colored dust which tends not to stick to the wheels very much. This means that tires and wheels stay clean-looking for longer and we all like to see our motor vehicle looking good.
Ceramic brake pads also have the great advantage of meeting and in some cases, going beyond, all original equipment benchmarks for noise, resilience and stopping distance. In fact, when tested for durability, ceramic brake pads have been shown to lengthen brake life, when compared to the majority of organic materials and semi-metallic pads. Ceramic pads were also shown to last longer than alternative premium brake pad materials by a substantial margin and with no reduction in pad life, braking ability or noise control. And this is significant because it is well known by motorists that organic and semi-metallic brake materials usually have to forfeit pad life to lower noise levels or increase noise levels to lengthen the life of the pad. And for the regular motorist, this is a ‘no win’ situation.
Finally, it cannot be repeated enough that as brake pads are a vital part of motor vehicle safety, they must always be installed by a qualified mechanic. This is not a job for amateurs, folks. These days the pads can be bought for only a little more than the purchase price of regular premium pads and they certainly give the motorist good value for money! And that, my friends, is why ceramic brake pads are definitely the best!