You are on page 1of 9

See discussions, stats, and author profiles for this publication at: https://www.researchgate.


Friction material development using artificial inteligence

Article · January 2005

0 130

2 authors:

Dragan Aleksendrić Cedomir V. Duboka

University of Belgrade University of Belgrade


Some of the authors of this publication are also working on these related projects:

Vehicle Maintainability Engineering View project

Automotive Technology View project

All content following this page was uploaded by Cedomir V. Duboka on 05 April 2016.

The user has requested enhancement of the downloaded file.

Innovative Automotive Technology – IAT '05, Bled, 21st-22nd April 2005



Dragan Aleksendrić, Čedomir Duboka

Keywords: braking system design, system engineering, virtual reality, artificial intelligence

Traditional product development was to design the whole system, built it and test it. This process is costly
and time-consuming, because it requires system components to be fabricated, assembled and tested.
Unless the designers have been quite lucky, something will probably go wrong. If there is a failure during
testing, the system needs to be redesigned and the process is often repeated because the cause of the
failure is not obvious. Systems engineering approach is now available and it enables the best way “for
confrontation” of all mutually opposed requirements in order to find the “optimized” solution to the
problem. Virtual (Artificial) Reality integrated with Artificial Intelligence is a new technology and an
advanced tool of Systems Engineering. It enables design engineers “to see” practical results of their work
when applying different engineering methods in the design, calculation, simulation, tests and/or
verification. Design, calculation and testing integration in virtual environment reinforced by artificial
intelligence have been proposed in this paper as a new systems engineering tool for the design of braking

1 Introduction
As the automotive industry requires products of ever increasing quality in a shorter time to
market, engineers turn to advanced technologies for help. In order to enable technical systems to
provide customer satisfaction and to become successful on the market place, updated
technologies, technical skills and methods should be applied in all phases of the development,
like concept analyses, design, simulation, prototype testing, manufacturing, verification and
certification, marketing and service of such systems. Tuning of mutually opposed, and often
confronted requirements is necessary, and that is why Systems Approach is needed in solving
the problems, even in the earliest phases of development. Systems Engineering should create a
set of alternatives that may satisfy imposed requirements because quality should be “in built”
into each system, and not only “added” to it.
Systems engineering in the design of braking systems based on artificial technologies demands
the knowledge and experience related to: (i) test results obtained with many brake types
following different test procedures for evaluation of tribological behaviour, and/or certification,
and verification purposes (ii) life prediction method [1], (iii) modelling method for frictional
behaviour of brakes [2], (iv) identification of tribo-mutations in brakes [3], (v) investigation in
the field of friction stochastic character, contact phenomena, friction mechanisms reliability
performance, conformity of production, and quality of friction brakes, and other [4,5,6], (vi)
brakes digital mock up modelling, (vii) virtual brakes testing [8-13], (viii) prediction on friction
material characteristics by means of artificial neural networks [14 ].
The Center for Systems Engineering of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, University of
Belgrade integrates multidisciplinary knowledge on braking system design, calculation and
testing with tribo-phenomena of friction mechanisms acquainted at this Center for many years
of own experience with appropriate hardware, and software available at present. Considerable
attention has been given for years to new computing technologies providing “mechanical
systems simulation” that entails modelling of a mechanical system, simulating and visualizing
its 3D motion behaviour under real-world operating conditions, and refining/optimizing the
design through iterative design studies. Additionally, “Virtual Prototyping Approach” is now
improved by artificial intelligence to establish relationship with phenomena that are specific for
operating conditions of real model. Following this, a method for visualization of load and
motion behaviour of braking system components under real-world operating conditions is under

1.1 Systems engineering

Systems engineering provides a conceptual framework for Integrated Engineering (IE) - a new
concept integrating the ideas, methodologies and tools towards Total Quality Management. Any
system depends on a hierarchy: subsystem, sub subsystem, assemblies, subassemblies, and
components. Effects of interactions among the many parts of the overall system must be taken
into account during the engineering process [7]. Building physical prototypes to see how an
assembly will operate and run tests to see how, if, and where the parts fail cannot be accepted
today. This build-and-break method can take an extremely long time, and cost millions.
Moreover, if a part fails, the designer often has to start back with redesigning the individual
part. This trail and error process needs to be removed in environment without physical
prototypes that allow using low cost digital mock ups for performing predefined systems-
engineering procedures.
That is why clearly defining of the most desired result before any attempt is made to design or
redesign system is necessary [7]. The analysis of system descriptors as purpose, function,
process, boundaries, environments, dynamics, stability, adaptation, information, control,
interactions, interfaces, input-outputs, life cycle are needed. Systems approach starts with the
problem formulation, system requirements, specifications, and practice to state the problem in
terms of the top-level function that the system must perform. Systems engineering has been
employed in this paper, as it is shown in Fig. 1, for braking system design or redesign from the
point of view of imposed requirements to its subsystem and parts.
Braking systems of road vehicles depends on a hierarchy, as shown in Fig. 1: subsystems (two
independent service braking systems, emergency braking system, parking braking system, for
example), assemblies (control, transmission, wheel brakes, for example), subassemblies
(calliper including brake piston), and components (brake rotor which may be drum or disc
depending on the brake kind and type, friction material which may be brake pad or brake lining,
and brake control device, which may be wheel cylinder, etc.). The figure also shows that
analyzing only system-level requirements will not be sufficient to enable identification of the
mission imposed to the sub-system, assembly or individual components. Namely, each of them
“deserves” own-level requirements that also must depend on a hierarchy. This is illustrated in
Fig. 1 in the case of an analyse of braking system performance relative to satisfaction of
requirements imposed to the friction pair.
This “top-down” approach to the complexity of developement of a braking system and trade off
procedure to the final braking system performance in this case will be demonstrated from the
point of view of variation of friction material characteristics. It will be shown that changing of
friction material type substantially affects braking system function. That is why setting down of
friction material characteristics, their achievement and “virtual” verification with respect to
predefined braking system performance is a very complex task. This is even more complex
issue in the case where the same braking system is going to be used on vehicles with different
weights, different maximum speeds, suspension systems etc.
Fig. 1: System requirements evaluation - An example

2 Integrated engineering in virtual environment

It is obvious that final performance of a braking system interrelates with performance of its
subsystems and parts. Therefore, these performance have to be based on achieving of previously
allocated requirements to its subsystem and parts. This is especially related to the brakes
function and particularly to the requirements allocated to friction material and brake rotor.
Implementation of Systems engineering procedure to the braking system in virtual environment
demands fulfilment of the following steps: (i) defining top-level braking system mission, (ii)
setting and calculation of braking system transmission responses for possible driver inputs, (iii)
digital mock up of brakes developing, (iv) providing preconditions for digital brake mock up
testing, (v) virtual brakes testing according to calculated transmission outputs, (vi) using virtual
test results for analysis of thermomechanical phenomena in brakes, (vii) modelling of friction
material characteristics versus formulation and/or manufacturing and/or operating condition
Integrated Engineering in virtual environment implicates integration of methods which enable
(a) Modelling of contact between disc and disc pads, (b) Defining of size, shape and position of
contact region during braking process, (c) Defining of size and distribution of the surface
pressure, (d) Enabling computation of value of thermal expansion in friction pair contact to
achieve sharply rendered initial working conditions i.e. analysis of the hot-spot effect, (e)
Research of impact of pressure distribution in friction pair contact in order to define the method
of transfer of contact from one group of contact regions to another during braking process, (f)
Procurement of possibility for computation of values of critical sliding speed for specific
working conditions of the disk brake, (g) Computation of induced thermo-mechanical stresses
and displacements under conditions of development of thermo-elastic instability as it is shown
on figure 5.
Figure 2: Thermal loads and expansion calculation according to virtual testing results
Top-level braking system mission is determined by ECE Reg. 13 for a given vehicle category.
Braking system performance and stability behaviour need to be checked, because these are
influenced by braking system characteristics i.e. control, transmission and brake features.
Concerning brakes, brake factor “C” depends on friction material characteristics and that is why
final braking performances mostly depend on friction material behaviour. In order to
demonstrate all this, adhesion utilization curves for different brake factor values of a disc brake
mounted on front axle of a passenger car are shown in Fig. 3, from where it can be seen that
different types of friction materials significantly influence final braking system performance.


Laden conditions Unladen conditions

0.8 0.8

0.7 0.7

0.6 0.6

0.5 0.5

0.4 0.4

0.3 0.3

0.2 0.2

0.1 0.1

0 0
0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8 0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8
Braking rate Braking rate

Figure 3: Adhesion utilization curves versus variation of brake factor “C”

Therefore, prediction on braking performances over different friction material types that might
be mounted in brakes for a given vehicle is particularly important. Furthermore, prediction of
brake performance has to be done for different operating conditions, why friction material
behaviour should be known in advance for different initial speeds, applications line pressure and
temperature variations.
In order to enable accurate analyses of friction pair contact phenomenon, there is a need to
“digitalize” braking cycle with regard to strong influence of the load history [8-13] over changes
of initial speed, application line pressure, kinetic energy, temperature, friction material type,
size of contact area in every discrete moment of braking cycle, etc. Moreover, digitalization
method associated with finite element analysis help us to determine the value of thus affected
temperatures in the contact of a friction pair, and to analyse thermo-mechanical phenomena in
brakes. A need to analyse phenomena in the contact area of the friction pair in virtual
environment obviously requires development of disk brake digital mock-up (Fig. 4). The main
task of developing digital mock-ups is to provide preconditions for virtual brake testing in line
with many different if-then scenarios. Virtual brake testing is used here to demonstrate how
friction material characteristics matching requirements allocated to the brake can be evaluated.

Figure 4: Digital Mock-up of the Disc Brake

The basic pre-requirement for defining usefulness of a digital mock-up and its quality is to
enable simulation of braking cycle as it would be performed on an inertia dynamometer, and
that is why this model represents a “digital test bench”. This was achieved by developing the
digital mock-up, which would enable “testing of a disc brake” under the conditions which
would be the same like those applied to the same brake while tested on the real brake inertia
dynamometer or in the real vehicle.
In the real test bench situation, a flywheel is used to duplicate that part of the vehicle total mass
which represents vertical load of the wheel to which the tested brake is associated. In the virtual
test situation, instead of selecting “flywheel mass”, it is possible to increase density of the disc
to achieve necessary initial inertia. That is how “virtual” disc differs from the real one, because
in the digital form disc does not only represent the brake rotor, but also the inertial mass by
which required initial kinetic energy for brake testing would be provided. Therefore, when the
disc is accelerated to the prescribed initial brake speed, it also “brings” required kinetic energy
for given test conditions. One can also create other initial test conditions regarding brake initial
speed, and brake application pressure, as well as the initial brake interface temperature.
After the disc has been accelerated to reach the prescribed brake initial speed, brake should be
activated with the brake application pressure whose rate is defined in advance (see Fig. 4).
Virtual testing enables measurement of not only variations in kinetic energy, brake speed, and
braking torque but also in the size of contact area. In order to calculate total size of the contact
area in such rigorously controlled environment, it is also necessary to built-in in the digital
mock-up such characteristics which would enable this calculation (see Fig. 4).
As it is shown in Fig. 4, a sphere of exceptionally large diameter is used to approximate the
engaged disk pad area entering into contact with the disc, bacuse in this case the cimmin surface
of a disc and a sphere having very karge diameter would be relatively flat one. At the same
moment in time in which the surface pressure starts to develop between the disc and the pads,
the spheres shown in Fig. 4 will be engaged to provide flat surface contact, depending on
instantaneous value of the same surface pressure, which would then be measured. The
advantage of such digital approach reflects the fact that in the case one knows the siye of the
total contact area it would be then possible to investigate complex termo-mechanical
phenomena by means of unlimited number of plans of distribution of thermal and/or mechanical
loads on the predefined contact regions that correspond to real ones [15], as shown in Fig. 5.

Figure 5: Thermo-mechanical load modelling on the disc pad digital mock up

The distribution of thermal and/or mechanical loads at every contact region has different
functional dependency over time and depends on working conditions and characteristics of
materials in contact. This scenario can both be applied on the disc pad and/or brake rotor.
The critical point of virtual brake testing relates to friction variation simulation during braking
for specific working conditions. It is clear that during virtual testing friction changes have to be
known in advance in order to start testing according to pressure, speed and temperature
variation. That is why virtual environment for brake testing needs embedding intelligence
capabilities. It means artificial intelligence technology can be employed for friction material
characteristics prediction, as a part of disc pad assembly, for wide operating conditions range.
The friction material for advanced automotive brakes is often very complex composite material
that may contain more than 20 ingredients. The “management” of output characteristics
represents one of the most significant problems in friction material development. Obviously,
systems approach to friction material, brakes and braking system development requires
knowledge on effects caused by friction material formulation and/or manufacturing parameters
and/or testing conditions variations on its characteristics. In this way, it is possible to check a
matching of imposed requirements to the friction material (see Fig. 1) and its prospective
characteristics influenced by friction material formulation, manufacturing and testing.
Artificial intelligence consists of various technologies. One of them are artificial neural
networks as a method for functional approximation between input and output parameters (see
Fig. 6). Mechanism of parallel processing of input signals towards outputs as a way for learning
input/output relationship can also be used for prediction of friction characteristics. It might be
possible to investigate complex functional relationship between input/output changes. Friction
formulation, manufacturing and testing influences may be correlated with coefficient of friction
using backpropagation artificial neural network as it is shown in Fig. 6. In this way and by
menas of the systems approach, final braking system performance can be correlated to the
friction material outputs and further to its formulation and manufacturing conditions in line with
relevant test method.
Figure 6: Prediction on coefficient of the friction using artificial neural network

3 Conclusion
In the recent years, great attention has been given to new computer technologies in attempts to
provide simulation for operation of mechanical systems under real working condition, and then
to optimize them through a series of iterative procedures. Based on such approach, methods for
simulation of operation, visualization of loads and prediction of braking systems performance in
real working conditions have been developed in the Accredited FRIMEKS Laboratory for
Friction Mechanisms and Braking Systems of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering,
University of Belgrade. Application of artificial technologies, as ellaborated here, should enable
integration of our own theoretical and experimental knowledge not only to ensure “virtuality” in
the process of braking system development, but also to attain a sufficiently high level of
“reality” to justify the reason for applying integrated technologies under system approach.
Taking into account that while developing virtual environment attention has also been paid to
the “implementation” of all influential factors, and a high level of their real representation has
been attained, leading to a high level of confidence into results of predicting functional
characteristics of brakes.
New systems engineering tools presented in the paper based on integration of artificial
environment and intelligence has been applied to allow to:
(a) create and assemble the parts into a digital mock up of brake, and later on into the
braking system of a motor vehicle,
(b) “instrument” such Braking System Virtual Prototype by asking for certain outputs -
putting together 3D design models and FEA models in such a way to enable not only
virtual testing, but also introduction of friction and wear behaviour using artificial
(c) run a standard set of parametric design simulations or design-of-experiment tests, in
addition to the drive through simulation tests that should correspond to expected
braking cycle behaviour under inertia dynamometer conditions, and
(d) make a design decision in coordination with requirements done by systems engineering.
4 References
[1] Todorović J., Duboka Č., Arsenić Ž.: Operational life expectancy of rubbing elements in automotive
brakes. Tribology International, Vol. 28, No. 7, 1995, pp. 423-432.
[2] Todorović J., Duboka Č., Arsenic Ž.: Modeling of the tribological properties of friction materials
used in motor vehicle brakes. IMechE C226/87, London, 1987, p.p. 911-916.
[3] Duboka Č., von Glasner E.C., Todorović J., Arsenic Ž.: Identification of tribo-mutation effects in
road vehicle brakes. 1st World Tribology Congress, Book of Abstracts, p. 203, London.
[4] Todorović J., Duboka Č., Arsenic Ž.: The real meaning of braking test results. Conference Paper
C444/053/93, IMechE, London, 1993, pp. 61-68.
[5] Duboka Č.: Application of an Inertia Dynamometer to Check Braking Performance against
Theoretical Predictions. 6th Intl. Heavy Vehicle Seminar, Christchurch, NZ, July 1996.
[6] Arsenić Ž., Duboka Č., Todorović J.: Prediction of Brake Pad Life Further Development of LWH.
SAE Papers, 860631, Detroit, Michigan, 1986, USA.
[7] Blanchard B. S., Fabrycky W. J.: Systems Engineering and Analysis. Prentice-Hall Inc., 1981.
[8] Aleksendrić D., Duboka Č.: Virtual Reality - New Technology for System Engineering, FISITA
World Automotive Congress, Paper F98T667, Paris, 1998.
[9] Aleksendrić D.: Application of the System Engineering Methods in the Development of Brakes.
M.Sc. Thesis (In Serbian), Belgrade, 1999.
[10] Aleksendrić D., Duboka Č.: Virtual Testing of Brakes. Seoul 2000 FISITA World Automotive
Congress, Paper F2000/G333, Seoul, 2000.
[11] Džipković G., Aleksendrić D., Arsenić Ž.: Modeling of specific pressure on the disk friction surface.
Proc. 18th Int. Conf. “Science and Motor Vehicles ’01”YU-01062, Belgrade, 2001, Yugoslavia.
[12] Džipković G., Aleksendrić D., Duboka Č.: Prediction of Pressure Distribution in Disc Brake. 19th
Int. Conf. “Science and Motor Vehicles, YU-03015, Belgrade, Serbia and Montenegro, 2003.
[13] Aleksendrić D., Duboka Č., Džipković G.: Advanced Methodology for Analysis of
Thermomechanical Phenomena in Disk Brakes. 9th EAEC International Congress- European
Automotive Industry Driving Global Changes, C212, 16-18. June, Paris, France, 2003.
[14] Aleksendrić D., Duboka Č.: Control of friction material charachteristics of motor vehicle brakes (In
Serbian). Motor vehicles and engines 2004, MVM04-A47, Kragujevac, 4.-6. Oktober, Serbia &
Montenegro, 2004.
[15] Eriksson M.: Friction and contact phenomena od disc brakes related to squeal. Doc. Dissertations,
Faculty of Scinece and Technology, University Uppsala 2000.

5 Author information
Assist. Dragan Aleksendrić, M.Sc.
Prof. Čedomir Duboka, Ph.D.
Faculty of Mechanical Engineering University of Belgrade
Kraljice Marije 16
p.o. box 34
11120 Beograd 35
Serbia and Montenegro

View publication stats