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Friction-Induced Noise and Vibration of Disc Brakes

Friction-Induced Noise and Vibration of Disc Brakes

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Wear, 133 (1989) 39 - 4539
FRICTION-INDUCED NOISE AND VIBRATION OF DISC BRAKES*
S. K. THEE, P. H. S. TSANG and Y. S. WANG~~l~~~~-Sj~na~
~~#~o~~ue Technical Center, 900 West Maple Road, MI 48084(U.S.A. j
Summary
Several noise
excitation theories have been proposed in the literature.These theories are found to be unsatisfactory for explaining the noiseexcitation phenomenon.
In this paper, we propose a simple mechanicalimpact (hammering) model for brake noise generation. This model isindependent of friction variation during the period of decreasing slidingspeed.
1. Introduction
-4 brake system must meet certain customer
requirements forperformance, durability and noise. In recent years, disc brake noise hasbecome an issue of growing concern to the automotive industry, especiallyto the manufacturers of disc brake systems and friction materials. Brakenoise is a very complex phenomenon owing to the design of the disc brakesystem and its operating conditions. Although numerous studies of thisphenomenon have been carried out throughout the years, understanding ofits excitation mechanisms remains rather limited. Several mechanisms fornoise excitation have been proposed in the literature. North [l
- 31,
andLang and Smales 141 gave excellent surveys of these mechanisms. In general,the various proposed excitation mechanisms can be roughly grouped intotwo major schools of thought. First, it is commonly believed that the brakesqueal is caused by a rapid increase in the coefficient of friction withdecreasing speed in braking,
i.e.
the p us. speed curve. Fosberry andHolubecki [ 5,6], among others> conducted extensive experimental investiga-tions in this area. Secondly, in the case where there is no apparent change infriction, brake squeal is believed to be caused by a system instability relatedto the interaction of the structural components of the brake system. Earlesand Soar [7], Milner [8] and others contributed significantly to the advance-ment of the instability theory. Most recently Murakami et al, [9] proposed
“Paper presented at the International Conference on Wear of Materials, Denver, CO,U.S.A., April 8
-
14, 1989.004%1648/89/$3.50@ Elsevier Sequoia/Printed in The Netherlands
 
40
that both schools of thought should be considered and reported that theexcitation of brake squeal was influenced by both the P us. speed and thestructural instability factors.The p us. speed, the instability, and the combined P us. speed/instabilitytheories accurately describe the conditions under which brake noise mightoccur, but they do not clearly define the physical phenomenon whichcauses brake noise.In this paper, a simple “hammering model” for noise and vibrationexcitation is presented and discussed.2. Discussion of noise phenomenonA disc brake consists of a caliper, two disc pads (friction material),a rotor and other components for attaching the caliper and the rotor tothe vehicle. Usually, the brake is operated hydraulically. The caliper, whichcontains a cylinder with a piston, holds the two disc pads on either side ofthe rotor. The caliper may slide while the rotor is firmly attached to thewheel. Common friction materials are made of complex resin-based, shortfiber-reinforced composites containing various friction modifiers and fillers.Typical compositions of friction materials are found in a paper by Jacko et
al. [lo].
For stable friction and low wear, a good friction film (or glaze)is desirable on the friction surface of the pads and rotor, as shown by theinvestigations of Liu and coworkers [ll, 121. A disc pad assembly consistsof a friction material attached to a steel backing plate of a certain thickness(about 4 mm) and configuration. Attachment can be achieved by eitherriveting or chemical bonding. A rotor is generally made of grey cast iron.It can be of either a simple solid rotor design or of a configuration withvarious vents for more effective cooling. Production brake systems varygreatly with respect to the configuration of caliper, disc pads and rotor.The use of noise insulators on the backing plate is also recently gainingpopularity owing to the increasing concern over brake noise [ 13, 141.In braking, through the actuation mechanism of the caliper, the twodisc pads are brought into contact with the rotor in motion. The resultantfriction between the rubbing surfaces of the rotor and pads decreases therotor and vehicle speed. In this braking process, the kinetic energy of thevehicle is transformed into frictional heat, part of which is transferred tothe atmosphere by convection and radiation, and the rest of which isdissipated through the rotor and the friction material by conduction. Thetemperature of the rubbing surfaces of the rotor and pads will rise duringbraking. This temperature rise will significantly affect the chemistry andmicrostructure, as well as the physical properties of rubbing surfaces. Incases where this temperature rise is sufficiently high, the desirable frictionfilms on the friction surfaces may be destroyed, and undesirable frictionvariation and high wear rates may result. Furthermore, a brake is usuallyoperated at various conditions of speed, deceleration, temperature and load;
 
41
the mode of applying the brake may also vary from a slow, steady decelera-tion to hard, quick applications; or it may even be a combination of fastand slow deceleration. Thus brake noise may be dependent not only uponthe system design but also upon the way that the brake is applied.2.1.
Types of brake noiseIn
general,
there are several types of noise or vibration associated witha disc brake system. They are classified into two major categories: (a) lowfrequency rigid body vibration (about 100
-
1000 Hz), called brakeroughness, judder, moan or groan; (b) medium and high frequency vibration(about 1000 - 18 000 Hz), called squeal or squeak. Each type of brake noisehas unique characteristics and probably unique excitation mechanisms. Thebrake roughness or judder is a low frequency oscillation of the order of 100
Hz
which can be detected by the driver’s foot or hands. The roughnessor judder could be caused by (a) dimensional variations of brake componentse.g. variation in thickness of the rotor, lack of parallelism in rotor or padsurfaces, distortion of lug bolts or wheel and (b) variation in thickness ofthe rotor as a result of either thermal effects, or massive friction materialtransfer to the rotor surface. The other low frequency phenomenon,moan, occurs at around 150 to 400 Hz and may be caused by rigid bodyoscillation of the caliper and its mount. Groan or creep groan is anotherkind of low frequency (100
-
400 Hz) audible vibration which generallyoccurs at around 12 mile h-’ (20 km h-l). Brake squeals or squeaks generallyoccur at or above 1000 Hz up to the limit of human hearing. They areusually associated with the continuous diametrical vibration of the rotor andmay also be due to the bending and twisting modes of vibration of the pad/shoe assemblies. Usually, brake squeals are observed towards the end of a stop.How are these vibrations at various noise frequencies excited? Asmentioned previously, the most commonly accepted theory is that a rapidincrease in friction with decreasing sliding speed causes brake noise. If thisis so, a brake system being dragged at a slow constant speed would be lesslikely to generate noise than one being stopped, since the latter has thepotential for a rapid increase in friction with decreasing speed. However,in practice, the reverse is found to be true. In other words, a brake beingdragged generates more noise than one being stopped or snubbed (froma high speed to a lower speed without coming to a complete stop). Also,during a stop, noise can occur quite suddently within a brief period of time inthe order of about 50 ms during which the sliding speed remains virtuallyconstant or does not change appreciably. Thus it should be questionedwhether or not this theory is correct. In fact, in comparing noisy stops withquiet stops in our inertial dynamometer study, no correlation is foundbetween friction change and noise excitation, when the friction level at thetime of noise occurrence is examined closely. Therefore a noisy stop doesnot always have a rapid increase in friction with decreasing sliding speedtowards the end of the stop where noise tends to occur; nor does stablefriction throughout a stop guarantee a quiet stop.

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