The braking system is the most critical safety component in your car.
No matter how well the vehicle moves, you will need to stop at some point.
Every time you step on the brake pedal to bring your car to a halt, you will need the brakes to absorbs the kinetic energy from the moving vehicle and convert it into friction.
You will find a pair of brake pads fitted inside calipers in a disc brake system and suspended on either side of the brake rotor.
When you step on the brake pedals, the calipers squeeze, forcing the brake pads to grab brake rotors, slowing the wheels and eventually stopping the car.
Brake pads produce friction when pressure is applied to the rotors.
The friction material often wears away as it causes damage to the brake rotors.
This material can be ceramic (in ceramic brake pads) or metallic (in semi-metallic and metallic brake pads).
History of Brake Pads
In the early days, brake pads were mainly made of asbestos which were highly durable, heat resistant, and affordable.
However, asbestos was discovered to be a source of health and environmental hazards.
This prompted discoveries in other types of brake pads, including metallic brake pads and semi-metallic brake pads.
Ceramic brake pads became the latest invention. Every type of brake pad comes with unique characteristics.
Ceramic and OEM brake pads: Construction
Ceramic brake pads are mainly manufactured using ceramic fibers.
These fibers are reinforced with some amount of metal using a bonding agent to give them their structure.
On the other hand, OEM brake pads are often semi-metallic and are made of various metallic materials, such as shredded metal wire, iron powder, and steel wool.
Ceramic and OEM brake pad manufacturers use different metallic materials to make their products.
Most China-made ceramic and OEM brake pads are created with a filler material to bond the metallic components.
Ceramic brake pads are often softer, more consistent, and easy on the brake rotors.
In contrast, OEM semi-metallic brake pads are more rigid and vary significantly, depending on the metal used to create them. Ceramic and OEM brake pad prices also differ.
Ceramic and OEM Brake Pads Purpose
Ceramic and OEM brake pads work in the same way, despite their various designs and composition.
Brake pads are fitted on calipers and work by squeezing against brake rotors.
When pressure is exerted on the brake pedal, the calipers close, causing friction between brake pads and brake rotors to slow or stop the car.
Most car models are designed with front disc brakes and rear drum brakes. Currently, many automotive companies manufacture four-wheel disc brake cars.
Choosing Brake Pads
When choosing between ceramic brake pads and OEM brake pads, you need to consider various factors such as your driving style and what suits your vehicle.
The best option would be to buy a direct replacement for your car.
This would mean buying OEM brake pads.
You can also choose to purchase quality aftermarket brake pads, mainly ceramic brake pads and semi-metallic brake pads.
What you need to know is that there are no perfect brake pads for every situation.
Therefore, you consider the following features before deciding to go for ceramic or OEM brake pads.
- Wear on brake rotors
- Amount of brake dust
The final decision will depend on your preference. However, the need for your vehicle is also essential.
If you want a smooth and quiet drive, buy ceramic brake pads. On the other hand, if you love speeding around racetracks or drive a heavy car, opt for OEM brake pads.
Ceramic brake pads
Ceramic brake pads are the latest inventions in the world of brake pads.
They are made of dense ceramic materials embedded with copper fibers.
They were created in the 1980s to offer a viable alternative for organic and semi-metallic brake pads since these were noisier and produced a lot of dust.
Ceramic brake pads are generally softer and easier on brake rotors compared to OEM brake pads.
- They are quieter: Ceramic brake padsproduce less noise when braking.
- Do not produce a lot of dust: Ceramic brake padsproduce finer, lighter dust clouds that do not stick to the wheels.
- Durable: Ceramic brake padshave a longer life span compared to organic or OEM brake pads.
- Heat resistant: Ceramic brake padsare often stable over varying temperature ranges and offer consistent performance.
- Ceramic brake pads are costlier than other brake pads.
- Ceramic brake pads are not suitable for heavy-duty or racing vehicles.
- Ceramic brake pads absorb no heat like OEM brake padsand may lead to overheating of the braking system.
- Ceramic brake pad types do not produce excellent bite as OEM brake padsand may not be suitable in cold temperatures.
Why Choose Ceramic Brake Pads?
Ceramic brake pads are ideal if you want a smooth, quiet braking system for your car under a wide range of temperatures.
Friction materials that contain ceramic formulations, such as copper fibers, are used to make ceramic brake pads.
This composition does away with steel fibers used in OEM brake pads, especially semi-metallic brake pads.
The result is a braking system that can handle a wide range of temperatures with less heat fade.
These brake pads also offer faster recovery after every stop and produce less dust and wear on brake rotors.
Ceramic brake pads also offer quieter barking since the ceramic compounds help dampen noise.
The absence of noticeable dust is another attractive feature of ceramic brake pads.
All brake pads generate dust as they sting brake rotors and wear. However, ceramic formulations produce finer, lighter specks of dust that do not stick to the car wheels.
This helps your car tires maintain a cleaner appearance all year long.
Ceramic brake pads are also perfectly durable.
These brake pads’ composition helps them extend the brake life than any other semi-metallic or organic material.
Therefore, ceramic brake pads outlast OEM brake pads without compromising brake performance.
Ceramic brake pads and OEM brake pads are available at varying costs.
Accordingly, brake pad manufacturers use different materials to make these components, giving many options.
As indicated, ceramic and OEM brake pads function in the same way but have different characteristics.
You should always consult your car dealer for the best option for your vehicle.