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University of Puerto Rico

Mayaguez Campus
Department of Mechanical Engineering

Design of a Brake Disc

Tania M. Ortiz Menndez

Liza M. Cardona Gonzalez
Ramn Torres

Design of the rotor component for a disc brake system using load
analysis, stress analysis and fracture analysis system approach.

A caliper disc brake is the most common type of disc brakes used in
modern cars. It is compound of a piston, a caliper, the brake pads, the rotor
and the hub. The single compound that we will be designing on is the rotor.
The rotor is the compound that receives the force applied by the brake pads
when the brake pedal is pressed and the piston is activated producing the
caliper to close.

Design Details
We must first understand what are its function and the parameters that
are important in its use. We need to know all of these things in order to make
a good design. What do braking systems really do? The brakes of your car
convert the energy of motion into heat. In other words the brakes in your car
are responsible for converting kinetic energy into thermal energy. One
important thing to take into consideration for our design is that small
changes in the speed have a huge impact on the brake temperatures. This is
an index that will have to watch very carefully when we take into
consideration our design. There are many forces that can stop our car. An
example of this can be wind or gravity. We need brakes to assist us in the
process of stopping the car. The Brake system is composed of many parts.
The most important are the Brake Pedal, The Master Cylinder, Calipers, The
Pads and the Rotor. We will briefly analyze the role of each of these parts and
their role in the process of stopping our car.
We will first start off with an analysis of the brake pedal. The purpose is
to harness and multiply the force exerted by the driver's foot. For the
analysis of the Pedal we assumed an input driver force of 90lb a pedal ratio
of 4:1. We then multiplied the force by the ratio. The resulting force gave us
a value 360 lbf. The brake pedal itself cannot take the car to a complete stop.
The rest of the components are very important. The only modification that

we can make to the brake pedal is to change the pedal ratio. For our project
we assumed a pedal ratio of 4:1.
Another important component in the design of our brake disk is the
master cylinder. The master cylinder is responsible for converting the
amplified force from the brake pedal into hydraulic pressure. It consists of a
cylinder, a piston, break pedal output rod on one side and brake fluid on the
other side of the cylinder. As the pedal assembly output rod pushes on the
piston, the piston moves within the cylinder and pushes against the fluid,
creating hydraulic pressure. We calculate the pressure generated by the
master cylinder by dividing the force created by the pedal divided by its
area. For the master cylinder we used dimension of 0.7 inches of diameter.
The area of the pedal was (0.350) . And the force of the pedal as

mentioned before was 360 lbf. The calculation gave us a value of 935.44psi.
This component is also very important. But this alone does not stop the car.
There are some things that we can change in our master cylinder in order to
obtain the performance that we want. If we increase its diameter it will
decrease the amount of pressure generated. Even the smallest change in
diameter makes a big difference in the performance of the cylinder.
Our third component is the calipers of the car. The caliper is very
similar to a piston with pressurized fluid on one side. The caliper uses
hydraulic force on the input to create mechanical work. The caliper does a
squeezing or clamping force of the brake disk. We calculated this clamping

force by multiplying the pressure of the cylinder by the area of the cylinder.
This calculation gives us 5877.6 lb. The clamping force of the caliper is very
sensitive to changes in the diameter of the caliper.
The fourth component that we will analyze is the brake pad. It is a big
misconception that changing brake pad material will magically decrease your
stopping distances. There is actually no relationship between each other. The
brake pads squeeze the rotor with the force that is generated by the calipers.
To analyze the brake pads we needed a friction coefficient. We took the value
of 0.45 .

And last but not least the Rotor. The rotor also assists in the process of
stopping the car, but it does not stop it. The rotor plays 2 important roles. It
acts like a frictional interface for the brake pads. It reacts to the output by
absorbing the torque created. For the analysis we assumed a value of 2644.9

ft-lb. The rotor must also serve the purpose of absorbing the heat that is
generated by the rubbing of the brake pads against the rotors face.

For our analysis we used the values of Do 16.4in and an internal

diameter of Di 8.4in we then used an equation to calculate the torque that
is generated in the rotor. The calculation of Tr / j gave us about 32,796 ft4

in. the calculation of J (polar inertial moment) gave us 6613.4 in . In SI units

the calculation of Tr / j gave us a value of 30.75 psi.
For our design material we have two choices a ceramic material and
gray cast iron. We choose gray cast iron as the appropriate material for it
wear resistance and hardness. Also it absorbs and dissipates heat well to
cool the brakes. (Refer to Appendix B).

After the material is selected a fracture analysis can be done. For the
design the fracture analysis was performed for the static and dynamic
aspects. For the static aspect we assumed a value of 2.5 for the stress
concentration factor. The calculated value for the safety factor using the
Internal Friction Theory for a brittle material and the ultimate tensile and
compressive strength for the material properties (Refer to Appendix C) is
30.81. Also a value of 2.2 was assumed for the stress concentration factor on
the dynamic aspect. We used the alternating forces exerted in the disc. The
forces fluctuate from 0 to 437289.8 lb. The (amplitude) of 437289.8 lb and
the (mean) of 218644.9 lb were corrected with the dynamic stress
concentration factor. With the corrected values the principal stresses were
calculated. The values for 1(amplitude) and 1(mean) were used to
calculate the safety factor with the Modified-Goodman equation. The
calculated value for the dynamic safety factor is 5.896 .

With this project we achieved a safe, durable and viable design for a
rotor component in a disc brake system taking in consideration the forces
exerted for all the components in the brake system. In our fracture analysis
for the static and the dynamic approach we found that our safety factor
numbers are elevated. With this we demonstrate that disc brakes do not

fracture. That is because the force exerted in the disc is a compressive force.
Thats why the materials used for the manufacturing of brake disc are brittle.
Also for that reason we calculate a big endurance limit.

Appendix A
Input driver force=100lb
Ratio 6:1
F 100lb 6 600lbf

Master Cylinder
dp 0.7in

Pc Fp / Ap 600 / (0.350) 2 1559.1psi

4 pistons
d c 4in

C f Pc Ac 1559.1 ( (2) 2 ) 4 78367.3lb


Fr10 = f ( ) 78367.3 0.45 35265.3lb

d 0 16.4in
d i 8.4in
Re Ri R0 /( 2)
Re (8.2 / 12 4.2 / 12) /(2) 6.2in

T (35265.3) * (8.2 / 12 4.2 / 12) /(2) ( 2) 437289.8in lb


J ( d 0 d i ) /(32) ((16.4) 4 (8.4) 4 /(32) 6613.1in 4

Tr / J
( 437289.8)(6.2) /(6613.1) 409.97 psi

Material: Gray Cast Iron


K t 2.5

corrected 409.97 psi 2.5 1024.9 psi

Internal Friction Theory (IFT)

I1 x y z 0
I 2 x y y z x z xy
xz2 yz
(1024.9) 2 1050420
I 3 x y z 2 xy xz yz x yz
y xz2 z xy
2 409.97 2049.8

3 I 1 2 I 2 I 3 0
3 1050420 2049.8
1 1024.9 psi
2 0.00195
3 1024.9
1 1 3

where S ut 40000 psi S uc 150000 psi

n S ut S uc
1 1024.9 1024.9

n 40000 150000
n 30.81

Fracture Analysis Dynamic

S ut 40 ksi

S ut 200ksi

Then : S .4 S ut 0.4 40000 16000 psi 16ksi




S e ( K surf K size K load K temp K rel ) S e'

1.016 0.7296 0.59 1 0.814 16000 5.696ksi
K surf aS utb 39.9 40 0.995 1.016
where for forged a 39.9 b 0.995
K size 0.869d equivalent

where for non rotating A95 0.010462d 2 0.01062 16.4 2 2.81in 2

then d equivalent


K load ( torsion ) 0.59

K temp @ room temp 1
K rel @ 99.9 0.814

q 0 .8

k f 1 q k t 1
1 0.8 2.5 1 2.2

I1 x y z 0
I 2 x y y z x z xy
(901.934) 2 813484.9
I 3 x y z 2 xy xz yz x yz
y xz
z xy
2 901.934 1803.9

3 I1 2 I 2 I 3 0
3 813484.9 1803.9
1 901.94 psi
2 0.002217 psi
3 901.93 psi
Tamplitude 437289.8lb
Tr 437289.8 6.2

409.97 psi
acorrected 409.97 2.2 901.934 psi

Tr 218644.9 6.2

204.99 psi
mcorrected 204.99 2.2 450.98 psi

I1 x y z 0
I 2 x y y z x z xy
xz2 yz
(450.98) 2 203382.96
I 3 x y z 2 xy xz yz x yz
y xz2 z xy
2 450.98 901.96

3 I 1 2 I 2 I 3 0
3 203382.96 901.96
1m 450.98 psi
2 m 0.00443 psi
3 m 450.98 psi

where S ut 40000 psi S e 5696 psi

1a 1m

S ut

901.94 450.98

n 5.896

Endurance Limit

a 10

0.9 S ut a 10 3

6 b

S aN b

5696 a 10

3600 a 10 3

6 b

901.94 aN b

log(36000) log a b(10 3 )

4.56 log a 3b

log(5696) log a b log(10 ) ( 1)(3.76) (log a 6b)( 1)


0.8 3b

b 0.267
a 227668.3
901.94 227668.3 N 0.267
N 99.2 10 7 cycles

Appendix B

Graph for the material Selection

Graph Representing the Alternating Forces

Appendix C

Subcategory: Ferrous Metal; Gray Cast Iron; Metal

Key Words: Grey Cast Iron, ASTM A 48 Class 40, cast irons

Wt. %


Wt. %


Wt. %

3.25 - 3.5


0.5 - 0.9

Max 0.12


0.05 - 0.45


0.05 - 0.1

Max 0.15


0.15 - 0.4


0.05 - 0.2


1.8 - 2.3

Material Notes:
Carbon listed in the composition above is the total carbon. Can be oil quench hardened from 860C to
attain a Rockwell C 50 minimum surface hardness. Data provided by the manufacturer, Siltin Industries,
Physical Properties




7.15 g/cc

0.258 lb/in

Typical for Gray Cast Iron

Hardness, Brinell

183 - 234

183 - 234

Hardness, Knoop



Converted from Brinell hardness.

Hardness, Rockwell B



Converted from Brinell hardness.

Hardness, Rockwell C



Converted from Brinell hardness.



Converted from Brinell hardness.

Min 276 MPa

Min 40000 psi

Mechanical Properties

Hardness, Vickers
Tensile Strength, Ultimate

Ultimate Compressive Strength Min 1034 MPa Min 150000 psi




Very good machinability. No numerical

rating available.