Tribological Characterization of Lightweight Engineering Materials for Braking Applications

Brake rotors are typically heavy cast-iron components that significantly affect fuel efficiency and thus add to the operational cost of transportation.  The effects of brake rotor weight are compounded because they are rotating members (storing and releasing angular inertia) and unsprung weight (vibrating up and down as the vehicle travels a relatively smooth and level path.)  Though most aspects of vehicle design have evolved to lighter, more energy efficient components, the ubiquitous cast-iron rotor has remained relatively unchanged.  Emerging research and RFP's suggest that this has become an area of focus.  Among the materials that have been identified as likely candidates for improved rotors are Al-Si interpenetrating phase composites (IPCs).Braking systems are, as the name implies, systems of interacting components that must be designed and evaluated with their complex interactions taken into account.  Any change in rotor materials will likely require that suitable companion materials be developed for pads.  The study and development of such systems requires specialized laboratory equipment that is not readily available on the commercial market.To understand the performance characteristics of IPCs and other advanced materials in braking applications we will construct a rotary tribotester similar to one proposed in prior research efforts. That device will allow for the study of friction, wear, and thermal characteristics of an alternative rotor and pad compositions.  To permit the screening of possible material combinations before all technical challenges are overcome, the system must allow for both supported and unsupported (one- and two-sided) rotor tests.  Once the apparatus is complete, validation of the test unit's performance will be conducted through a series of preliminary screening experiments.  Those initial tests will evaluate several candidate brake materials with consideration of the effects of:* Rotor and pad composition* Temperature and heat dissipation* Two- and three-body wear models* Material transfer in unidirectional rotation (typical of automotive braking)* Material transfer in bidirectional rotation (common in automation applications)These results will yield fundamental characterization of tribological properties.  Based on these results, appropriate studies will be proposed for subsequent funding years and opportunities.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $50000.00
  • Contract Numbers:



  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Fireline TCON, Incorporated

    300 Andrews Avenue
    Youngstown, OH  United States  44505

    Youngstown State University Center for Transportation and Materials Engineering

    Youngstown State University
    One University Plaza
    Youngstown, OH  United States  44555
  • Project Managers:

    Hirtzel, Cynthia

  • Performing Organizations:

    Youngstown State University, Ohio

    Center for Transportation & Materials Engineering
    One University Plaza, Moser Hall
    Youngstown, OH  United States  44555
  • Principal Investigators:

    Peters, Mark

    Wallace, Darrell

  • Start Date: 20080515
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 20100531
  • Source Data: RiP Project 17371

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01517419
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Youngstown State University Center for Transportation and Materials Engineering
  • Contract Numbers: DTRT06-G-0041, CTME-5
  • Files: UTC, RIP
  • Created Date: Mar 7 2014 1:01AM