Types of disc brakes – Everything you need to know!

brake glow

Brakes are a very vital component of an automobile. Just like the 0-100 times of a vehicle, the time it takes to get from 100 to zero is probably more important. Since the invention of the automobile there have been huge advancements in braking technology of cars, and hence today we will talk about one of those advancements which is disc brakes and its types. Disc brakes are better than drum brakes in the majority of cases. The basic working of a disc brake which is to provide stopping force for a vehicle by pushing one or more pads against a solid metal disc in order to create friction.

Solid Disc Brakes

Solid Disc brakes are probably the cheapest most accessible brakes in the market. As the name implies, they are a solid rounded metal piece made up of iron. They are very common in small family cars and provide ample braking power to most cars under 100hp. The only main downside to them is that they are not particularly designed to withstand high amounts of heat so they cannot really be used on a car with more than average power output and weight. Many modern locally available cars with 4-wheel disc brakes employ these solid disks for the rear braking application.disc-brake-2


Vented Disc Brakes

Vented or ventilated disc brakes are the most common types of brakes you can find on modern cars. The car likes Honda Civic, and Toyota Corolla come equipped with vented disc brakes in the front. You can expect to see the same type of brakes on almost all kinds of modern passenger cars. These brakes have been designed to let the air flow to avoid overheating which is possible due to two face design of the disc having a gap in between which while spinning can make the air flow freely.global-premium-brake-rotor_1


Drilled Disc Brakes

Unlike the disc brake of the past, the new and modern ones don’t release gas or other material upon heavy braking but the primary purpose of drilling holes into a disc brake it to allow the gases and other materials to escape without forming a heavy layer on the pads which may compromise the car’s braking power over time. So the whole pad acts as a heat sink. Now since this problem isn’t a big problem any more thanks to recent advancements in the manufacturing process and, material choices so on most modern days performance cars the drilled disc brakes are used for just the visual purposes, especially behind those large alloy wheels. Do keep in mind drilled disc brakes can easily become a victim of stress points and eventually start to crack.


Grooved Disc Brakes

Also known as slotted disc brakes, essentially serve the same purpose as a drilled brake but in a different manner. On the surface of the disks, there are slots/grooves which can allow gases to disperse into the environment along with some other benefits too. While these brakes look even cooler, but they also have something called the ‘scraping’ action introduced due to the help of which slots can clean the pad, and the edges of the grooves increase friction. But just like all cool things, there is one downside and that is the increased wear and tear of the brake pads. So be ready to spend more on maintenance than the drilled brakes.


Dimpled Disc Brakes

In simple words, dimpled brakes are a mixture of grooved and drilled brakes. And how you may ask? Although dimpled brakes are drilled and grooved but only partially to keep the structural integrity of the disks but still giving a way out to those harmful gases you don’t want. So combining the attributes of both drilled and grooved brakes, the dimpled brakes should theoretically perform much effectively and efficiently. But most people don’t really see much difference so if they are more of a “looks great” kind of disc brakes.


Waved Disc Brakes

Waved disc brakes are not particularly new, and they have been mostly seen in sports bikes especially from Ducati. They are very lightweight due to less use of material while providing excellent heat dissipation. The weight reduction measure on these brakes also makes the bikes faster. These brakes really do have the wow factor in terms of both practicalities and looks. That’s why Audi also started to use these brakes in their latest performance flagships, a prime example being, the Audi RS 6 Avant.


Carbon Ceramic Disc Brakes

Surely the greatest most expensive brakes ever designed for automobiles. Carbon Ceramic is the best solution for extreme heat management since this material is highly resistant to heat while strong enough that it won’t quickly erode under heavy use. Not only that, it is also extremely lightweight when compared to other types of materials. This means carbon ceramic equipped car is slightly agiler. Since these are such an amazing kind of brakes, they are undoubtedly more expensive than the other disks on the list. On most modern supercars they are a paid option and that too for around $5500-$9000 depending on the size and material used. The pads used alongside these brakes are also very expensive so if you even want to replace the whole brakes, then you should get ready to spent a bags loads of money.


Buy all your brake essentials and accessories here

Awais Yousaf

I'm a crazy car guy. I want an aeroplane hangar full of cars. Is that too much to ask for?