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# POLITECNICO DI MILANO

## School of Industrial and Information Engineering

Mechanical Engineering

## MATERIAL CHOICE FOR A BRAKE DISC

Burak Eldem 894987
Benjamin Bijani 895037
Tobias Zuchtriegel 895155

## Academic Year: 2017-2018

INDEX

INTRODUCTION 1
Base scenario 2
PRODUCT REQUIREMENTS 3
Failure modes 3
Thermal crack 3
Cold and hot judder 4
Wear 4
Corrosion 4
Vehicle performance 4
Cost 5
MATERIALS 6
EN-GJL-200 6
Ti-6Al-4V 6
X20Cr13 7
KEY FEATURES CLARIFICATIONS 9
CONCLUSIONS 11
QFD4MAT results 11
BIBLIOGRAPHY 14
Introduction
The Importance of braking discs are increasing with every year. Due to the power of the new vehicles in
the automotive industry and of course the challenge to perfection in the way of safety, comfort and power,
the requirements of braking systems are increasing.
The braking disc is one of the most important parts of the braking system. It is connected to the brake
calliper and generates a braking force to decelerate the velocity of the vehicle. Braking force initiated by
the brake pedal is transported over the tandem master cylinder to the brake calliper and brake piston and
then to the brake disc. As seen in figure 1, the initiated force passes from the brake piston over the brake
pads to the brake disc and delays the rotating brake disc. The force is described here as the clamping force
𝐹𝑐𝑙𝑎𝑚𝑝,𝑏 . The clamping force results from the product of the piston surface 𝐴𝑝 and the hydraulic pressure
𝑝𝑝 .

## Figure 1: Basic functionality of a braking system

By introducing the inner transmission C*, which describes the ratio of the tangential force F𝑡𝑎𝑛,𝑏 and the
clamping force 𝐹𝑐𝑙𝑎𝑚𝑝,𝑏 , we can see the relevance of the friction coefficient µ𝑏 . The friction coefficient is
a function of hydraulic pressure and temperature, which strongly affects the braking effect.

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Figure 2: Importance of the friction coefficient

Base scenario
This group work investigates the brake discs of vehicles in general and particularly different alloys in
terms of the requirements that the automotive sector poses. It distinguishes between racing vehicles,
commercial vehicles and normal passenger vehicles. Depending on the sector the requirements, that
enable competitive ability on the market, vary.
The brake disc is generally exposed to high loads in the mechanical and thermal point of view. Both in
racing and in normal use, the braking system, especially the brake disc, must be functional and sensible
perfectly.
The state of the art includes cast iron for daily use and is therefore investigated within the scope of this
group work. Another is a chromium alloy to be considered for the investigation. Chromium alloys are
particularly rust resistant. Afterwards a titanium alloy is investigated. Titanium alloys are used because of
their low weight in terms of their high strength. In general, about 37% less weight than a conventional cast
iron with the same dimensions. They have also proved to be relatively useful because of the high thermal
resilience.

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Product Requirements
Failure modes
Due to the shown loads and working conditions of the brake disc, several possible failure modes can
appear:
1.Thermal crack:
The frictional heat generated on the interface of the disc and the pads can cause high temperature.
Particularly the temperature may exceed the critical value for a given material which leads to undesirable
effect of thermal crack. These cracks are generated because of the temperature differences between the
surface and interior disc. Therefore, disc brakes are exposed to large thermal stresses during normal
braking and very high thermal stresses during sudden and hard braking. Typical passenger vehicles
generate almost as high as 900 °C temperature in a fraction of a second. The possible outcomes of high-
temperature excursions are: Surface cracks developed due to thermal stresses; and/or large amounts of
plastic deformation in the brake rotor. In the absence of thermal shock, a relatively small number of high
braking cycles are found to generate macroscopic cracks running through the rotor thickness and along the
radius of the disc brake. (1) These thermal cracks may cause serious accident, deterioration of brake disc
performance and increase of maintenance costs due to the necessity for the frequent exchange of brake
discs and pads. In addition, thermal cracking is not common in passenger vehicles, but it is relatively
common in trucks and emergency vehicles because of the extreme working conditions.

## CRACKED BRAKE DISCS

Brake disc with severe heat cracking
Cause: High alternating thermal and

## Figure 3: Example of crack brake disc

Friction is the mechanism used to convert kinetic energy into heat in a brake system. Friction is the
resistance of motion between two objects that are in contact with each other. If friction at the braking
surface is reduced to an unacceptable level, the ability to convert kinetic energy into heat will also be
reduced. When a reduction in the friction at braking surface is caused by a build-up of heat in the surfaces,
and it is called friction fade. Hence, brake friction is affected by the temperature at the friction surface.
When friction fade occurs in a hydraulic brake system, the pedal still feels hard to the driver, but he will
notice a difference in the braking response of the vehicle. For air-braked vehicle, when friction fade
occurs, the driver may report the pedal going to the floor.
High performance brake components provide enhanced stopping power by improving friction while
reducing friction fade. Improved friction is provided by lining materials that have a higher coefficient of
friction than standard brake pads, while brake fade is reduced through the use of more expensive binding
resins with a higher melting point, along with slotted, drilled or dimpled discs that reduce the gaseous
boundary layer, in addition to providing enhanced heat dissipation. Also with titanium heat shields the
brake coolers are designed to slide between the brake pad backing late and the caliper piston. They are

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constructed from a high thermal conductivity, high yield strength metal composite. This conducts the heat
from the interface to the heat sink which is external to the caliper and in the airflow
3.Cold and hot judder:
Judder occurs, when the braking torque is not evenly distributed over the wheel rotation. A speed-
dependent vibration results and affects seriously the Noise-Vibration-Harshness (NVH) performance of
the vehicle during braking maneuvers. Judder can be divided in two groups, cold judder and hot judder.
Cold judder is provoked by static lateral-runout of the brake disc or a disc thickness variation. Hot judder
is caused, alongside these two basic sources, additionally by an uneven temperature distribution over the
friction surface.
The origin of these effects arises from manufacturing errors, wear and temperature induced
microstructural transformations. This functional chain allows the detection of the demanded key factors of
the material to avoid judder. A high hardness and a high phase transformation temperature of the material
is preferable.
4.Wear:
The relative movement between brake disc and the brake pads causes wear. During the usage both main
types, adhesive wear and abrasive wear, appear. Because of an adequate choice of the material couple,
normally the wear of the breaking pad is higher than on the braking disc. The lifespan of the braking disc
is limited be the wear, due to a reduction of the disc thickness. If the disc becomes too thin, other failure
modes, for example fast fracture, can occur. The worn material becomes to brake dust. Since the wear
normally settles the time of usage of a brake disc, it is a very important product requirement to reduce its
effect. This can be realized by increasing the hardness of the metal.
5.Corrosion:
Corrosion, a gradual destruction of the material caused by chemical and electrochemical reactions, occurs
on a braking disc due to the reaction favoring working conditions. The presence of oxygen from the air
enables a reaction of the metal to a chemical more stable oxide. The temperature-input of the friction
energy dissipation makes dry chemical corrosion possible. But also the appearance of water, in winter
often with a certain amount of dissolved salt, works as an electrolyte and permits electrochemical
corrosion. If the corrosion products remain on the braking disc, they change the parameters of the friction
interface and reduce the breaking capacity and they can also enable the emergence of other damage
mechanisms like judder. If the corrosion products are removed from the disc surface, they can pollute
other components of the breaking system and limit their functionality.
Due to the fact, that corrosion can’t be avoided in a normal braking system with the usage of cast iron as
breaking disc, it is useful to shorten the corrosion rate of the materials. Given that the deployed material
has a big influence on the corrosion behavior, but the used geometrical design is not decisive, this damage
mechanism is an important criterion for the material choice.

VEHICLE PERFORMANCE
Besides the failure modes, that have to be avoided to secure the functionality of the system, the influence
of the breaking system on the vehicle performance is another product requirement. Furthermore, we divide
the impact of the braking system on the vehicle performance in a primary effect, the influence on the
braking capacity, and in secondary effects, like the influence on the vehicle dynamics and the energy
consumption during operation.

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The good braking capacity is guaranteed by a good matching of the contact interface between breaking
pads and disc. To ensure a controllable, predictable and constant breaking torque, the friction coefficient
between these two surfaces should preferably remain constant during a maneuver and the systems
lifespan. In order to achieve this, an equal temperature distribution and a slow temperature increase during
the breaking maneuver is required. Therefore, we require similar material properties than for the
avoidance of thermal-issued failure modes, like a high thermal conductivity and specific heat capacity.
Especially the fact, that with increasing mass the total heat capacity of the disc is increasing, not only
optimization criteriums based on strength per density, like the Ashby-criterion, should be considered.
Also, the total amount of absorbed heat is a design criterium.
The secondary effects can be optimized by a reduction of the inertia of the brake system. The brake disc is
a rotating part. Because of that, the influence on the energy consumption and on the vehicles longitudinal
dynamics is including one times the absolute mass, affecting the translational acceleration, and also the
rotational inertia, affecting the angular acceleration of the wheels. Happily, both influences can be taken
into account with the lightweight properties of the material, assuming a constant diameter of the brake
disc.

COSTS
The whole costs of the braking disc are all the costs, that accumulate during the whole product life cycle
of the vehicle, thus the development, manufacturing, operating and disposal costs. In the framework of a
material selection with the Quality-Function-Deployment approach, only the costs of the brake disc that
we can influence with the material selection are considered. Therefore, we analyze the material costs, the
transformation costs, the maintenance costs and the disposal costs.
The material costs are consisting of the material prize and the amount of used material. The transformation
costs can be influenced by the machinability of the material and the molding process (casting or forging).
Proper maintenance of a vehicle’s braking system is crucial as brakes that fail could lead to loss of lives. It
is inevitable that if you keep your car long enough, the various components of your braking system will
eventually need to be replaced, including brake rotors, brake pads, discs, and calipers. Typically, most
mechanics would recommend a major brake repair about every 50,000 miles, but this can go up to
70,000 or be as low as every 25,000 miles, depending on your driving habits.
Due to the fact, that the manufacturer can’t influence the driving habits, the material choice has to
guarantee a low frequency of service. How durable are your brakes depends on the material used to make
the brake discs. Although carbon-ceramic discs are the most durable, they are rare to find and too costly.
Steel brakes or any other high-quality metal brakes are a great option because they are readily available
and inexpensive, yet suitable for various driving environments. The disposal costs are influenced by the
recyclability of the material. Since the disposal of vehicles is nowadays a strictly by the law regulated
issue, this factor has to be considered in the cost analysis.

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Materials
EN-GJL-200
Material Name EN-GJL-200
Grey Iron is a type of cast iron that has a graphite
microstructure. It is named after the grey color of the Number EN-JL1030
fracture it forms, which is due to the presence of graphite.
It is the most common cast iron and the most widely used Classification Gray cast iron
cast material based on weight. It is used for housings Density 7.15 g/cm ³
where the stiffness of the component is more important
than its tensile strength. Grey iron also has very good Standard EN 1561: 1997
damping capacity, hence its use as the base for machine Founding. Grey cast
tool mountings. irons

## Chemical composition can be defined by the

manufacturer, if the material produced meets required Yield Strength 130-195 Mpa
mechanical property. A typical chemical composition to
obtain a graphitic microstructure is 2.5 to 4.0% carbon Elongation 0.3 – 0.8% min.
and 1 to 3% silicon by weight. Graphite may occupy 6 to
10% of the volume of grey iron. Silicon is important to
making grey iron because silicon is a graphite stabilizing Compressive 720 MPa
element in cast iron, which means it helps the alloy Strength
produce graphite instead of iron carbides; at 3% silicon
almost, no carbon is held in chemical combination with Hardness (Brinell) 145 – 215 HB
the iron.
Metallic iron containing more than 2% dissolved carbon within its
matrix (as opposed to steel which contains less than 2%) but less
than 4.5% is referred to as grey cast iron because of its characteristic
color. Considering its cost, relative ease of manufacture and thermal
stability, this cast iron (particularly gray cast iron) is actually as
more specialized material of choice for almost all automotive brake
discs. To work correctly, the parts must be produced at the foundry
with tightly monitored chemistry and cooling cycles to control the
shape, distribution and form of the precipitation of excess carbon.
This is done to minimize distortion in machining, provide good
wear characteristics, dampen vibration and resist cracking in
Figure 4: Microstructure of grey cast iron subsequent use.

Ti-6Al-4V
The usage of titanium alloys for brake discs seems reasonable due to their lightweight potential, based on
a combination of low densities about 4.5 g/cm3 and high strengths. These lightweight prospects can offer
an advance in the discussed vehicle performances from the requirements baseline. The highly adherent
protective oxide film on titanium surfaces offers another plus factor for the corrosion endangered brake

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disc. On the other hand, the high material costs of titanium, and also the complicated fabrication
procedures, are disadvantages in a price dominated market structure of vehicles.
The Ti-6Al-4V alloy contains alpha as well Material Ti-6Al-4V
beta phases. The included aluminum content
stabilizes the alpha hexagonal close packaged Grade solution treated and
(hcp) crystal structure of titanium. The aged – grade 5
vanadium contrariwise stabilizes the beta Density 4.4 g/cm ³
body centered cubic (bcc) crystal structure.
The resulting alpha-beta alloy provides a Ultimate tensile strength 1190 MPa
good combination of machinability and
Yield strength 1110 MPa
mechanical properties. The lower weldability
compared to other near-alpha titanium alloys Modulus of elasticity 110 GPa
carries no importance for the specific product
of a brake disc. Poisson’s ratio 0.32
Rockwell Hardness 33 HRC

## To receive a higher strength with the same composition, a

solution treated, and aged material can be used. The aging
causes strenghtening by a decomposition of the, after heating
and quenching, unstable martensite into a beta and alpha
microstructure. Additionally an strengthening by the
preciptitation of Ti3Al-particles in the alpha phase occurs.

## Figure 5: Microstructure of the alpha-beta

Titanium alloy

X20Cr13
X20Cr13 is a high alloy steel with 0.2% carbon and 13% chromium content. It is also called chromium
alloy. X20Cr13 is a stainless steel. The rust resistance is only guaranteed if the surface is finely ground. It
is tempered steel. Annealing describes the combined heat treatment of metals, consisting of hardening,
quenching and subsequent tempering. Tempering is used in particular to reduce internal stresses in the
material.
The figure 6 shows a normalized steel (N) with the same ductility as a hardened steel (H) and a tempered
steel (V). It can be seen with respect to their different heat treatments they can achieve different
toughness. The lower the ductility of a material, the brittle it is.

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Figure 6: Schematic presentation of ductility, Figure 7: Strain-stress-curve-heat-treatment.
toughness, brittleness

## The goal of quenching and tempering steels is to Material X20Cr13

achieve maximum toughness at a specified strength
level and can be explained by stress-strain heat Classification AISI: 420
treatment diagram schematically shown in Figure 7. EN numeric: 1.4021

As hardened, a steel has high yield strength and low Density 7,70 g/cm ³
ductility, and a small area under the stress-strain curve Tensile Strength 750 – 850 MPa
(curve 2) indicates low toughness. As-hardened and
tempered (curve 3) steel has higher yield strength than Yield Strength 460 MPa
its normalized condition but also much higher ductility
Elongation 12-16 %
than in its hardened condition. Maximum toughness
values are obtained when annealing a structure that Poisson’s ratio 0,28
consists of fine-grained martensite after quenching.
Hardness Brinell (190), Rockwell
The application of this material is often used in (84)
automotive engineering due to its corrosion resistance.
Especially in its use as a brake disc, its advantages are E-Modul (20°C) 215 GPa
very much in demand due to the enormous dynamic

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KEY FEATURES CLARIFICATION
As already indicated in the introduction, the braking power depends on the characteristic value
C* “inner transmission”. From here, the essential key features are defined depending on the
product requirements. You can also see this in the following Excel spreadsheet from the QFD
Diagram. The key features can be defined from two perspectives. On the one hand from the
material itself and on the other
hand from the dimension of
the system. Looking first at
the material-specific, the
description follows essentially
from the friction between the
brake pads and the brake disc
out, from which then the
braking force is initiated.
Factors that affect friction are
temperature, which is also
responsible for fading and hot
Figure 8: Influences to characteristic value C* judder, the velocity, the brake
piston pressure, the contact
surface from which the roughness can be described, the different environmental conditions for
corrosion rate and of course the wear. (Figure 8).
Furthermore, the energy conservation law can be used to describe the relationship between the
velocity of the vehicle, from which the kinetic energy can be defined, and the temperature
regarding the heat transport. With the help of the heat transfer the further key features are defined
on their importance, namely the specific heat capacity 𝑐𝑝 , coefficient of thermal conductivity 𝜆
and the mass 𝓂, which can be described by means of the density 𝜌 and geometrical volume 𝑚3 .

## Figure 9: Energy transformation and heat transport

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The importance of heat and temperature in the system is particularly evident in the performance.
Because of this, the hot-judder phenomenon is initiated. Due to the increased temperature in the
brake system it comes to deformation and disc thickness variation “DTV” in the system. This
results in the uneven application of pressure “brake pressure variation (BPV)” resulting in an
uneven torque distribution “brake torque variation (BTV)”. These phenomena mutually reinforce
each other and lead to an enormous reduction in braking power

Braking from
Deformation
high speed Unbalanced
of the Disc Dynamic
with low temperature BPV/BTV
(thermal DTV
braking distribution
growing)
pressure

## Figure 10: Thermal causes of hot judder

The system dimensioning, on the other hand, is mainly determined by the kinematics. It is
influenced by the geometry of the braking system, the friction itself, the stiffness and damping in
terms of the contact surface between the brake disc and the brake pads, the thermal expansion and
then the mass forces. For the investigation, however we defined the key features in terms of
requirements, see QFD. These are also structured in the context of performance, cost and
receptiveness.

Looking at cost requirements, the cost of materials and manufacturing is defined as important.
Depending on the treatment and the remission, this can also be considered as a function of time.
If you need more time for production, the production costs increase. These can also be defined
under transformation costs, regarding the shape of the product. For example, if you want to
process a titanium product, it will take more time and cost more than cast iron. This is due to the
properties of the material such as the high yield strength and melting temperature in terms of
deformation of the material.

## Another important aspect in terms of economy is material availability and recyclability.

Especially in today's competitiveness of companies, cost saving is an enormously important
factor. Not only the company but also the end consumer can profit from it.

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CONCLUSIONS
QFD4MAT results
The results of the QFD4MAT software can be evaluated with an “market oriented strategy analysis”
(MOSA), and with an “customer based analysis” (CBA), which can be divided in the different market
segments. In our particular case these are the three segments customer car, race car and utility vehicle. The
performance of the materials in each key feature is independent from the different market segments, but
the prioritization of the product requirements changes and therefore the final weighted values.
The MOSA shows us the final weighted values of the three candidate materials. The best performance of
the brake disc for our specified product requirements is given by the Titanium-alloy. On the other hand, it
has by far the lowest cost value and is therefore just economic useful for special applications, as described
in the CBA. The cast iron oppositional has the highest cost value, but the lowest performance.
Materials Performance Value Costs Value Receptiveness Value

## X20Cr13 2.40 2.80 1.92

The final weighted values of the market oriented strategy analysis (MOSA)

## A comparison of the different materials in a Bubble Map

Diagram (Figure 11) shows which material can be used
in which market region. The Titanium-alloy, more in the
left upper corner of the performance-cost confrontation,
is useful for high performance applications with less cost
sensitivity. The cast iron and the stainless steel are useful
P for more cost sensitive market regions.
In the summary of this diagram, it can be seen that there
are three optional materials, that cover different regions
of the market due to performance and costs. For the
three chosen market segments, the materials could have
have to continue with a CBA for specific results for each
C market.

## Figure 11: Bubble Map Diagram of the MOSA

C
confronting the P-value and the C-value.
EN-GJL-200 in green, Ti-6Al-4V in red, X20Cr13 in purple

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In the CBA, the final weighted values of each candidate material underlie just small changes, but the voice
of the customer (VOC) varies a lot over the different market segments.

Figure 12: Bubble Map Diagrams for the CBA. EN-GJL-200 in green, Ti-6Al-4V in red, X20Cr13 in purple.

For the commercial vehicle segment, the biggest accordance of the VOC and the material values is shown
by the stainless steel. This can be explained due to the high requested durability combined with high cost
sensitivity of this market segment. But also, the cast iron has a small cut surface with the VOC in the
diagram.

The VOC of the passenger vehicle segment has no cut surface with the candidate materials in the
diagram. This can be explained be the high requirements of this market segment in both categories,
costs and performance. The three candidate materials have so different attributes, that none of them
can reach high values of the overall normalized values, on account of the better performance of the
other materials in the weaker category. Nevertheless, the grey cast iron shows the best cost values,
which makes it a proper choice.
The race vehicle market segment is, as already discussed, less cost sensitive to the material price due to
the small lot sizes. In this case, the VOC is covered by the Titanium-alloy in the bubble diagram. So, the
Titanium-alloy can be chosen for race vehicles because of the high required performance value.

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Figure 13: Value curve diagram of the default VOC

Considering the value curve diagram, it can be seen, which physical material properties affect the final
consensus between material performance and VOC the most. The combination of the two influences,
customer importance of the product requirements that are connected with the key features and the strength
of the dependency itself, derive in the relative importance of each key feature.
From the performance point of view, the VOC shows you the importance of Titanium-alloy material with
the respect to the physical aspects material performance 1, yield strength and hardness. Comparing to the
cast iron and stainless steel the differences in the attributes behave similar as already in the bubble
diagrams discussed.
The relative importance of the cost affecting key features is small compared to the others, because the
quantity of the performance product requirements is higher than cost affecting product requirements. To
leave this deceptive effect in the final analysis beside, the bubble diagrams have to be taken into account.
There the two requirement categories are separately regarded. Basing on this fact, we chose the material
selection for each market segment on these diagrams.
Summarizing the conclusion, for the commercial vehicle brake disc we choose the stainless steel, for the
passenger vehicle brake disc we choose the cast iron and for the race vehicle brake disc we choose the
titanium-alloy.

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BIBLIOGRAPHY

## 1. D’Errico, Fabrizio: Lecture Notes in Applied Metallurgy

2. Engel, H. G., Bachmann, T. and Eichhorn, U. (1993). Dynamic behavior of brake-disc geometry as
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3. Meyer, R.: Brake Judder - Analysis of the Excitation and Transmission Mechanism
within the Coupled System Brake, Chassis and Steering System. In 23rd Annual Brake Colloquium &
Exhibition, Orlando, Florida, October 2005

4. T.J. Mackin, Thermal cracking in disc brake, Engineering Failure Analysis, volume 9, Pg (63-76),
(2002).

5. IJISET - International Journal of Innovative Science, Engineering & Technology, Vol. 2 Issue 5, May
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P,Vishnuhasan.AP. 4. P, Vimalraj.TP.

6. Maleque, Md, S. Dyuti, and Md Rahman. "Material selection method in design of automotive brake
disc." (2010): 1196-1201.
7. Pederson, Robert. Microstructure and Phase transformation of Ti-6Al-4V. Diss. Luleå tekniska
universitet, 2002.

8. De Vries, A. and Wagner, M. (1992). The brake judder phenomenon. SAE Paper No. 920554.

## 9. Burckhardt, M.; Reimpell, J. (Hrsg.): Fahrwerktech- nik: Bremsdynamik und

Pkw-Bremsanlagen

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