Stop­ping ve­hi­cles of all sizes

Brembo is ad­dress­ing the spe­cific brak­ing re­quire­ments of light-, medium- and heavy-duty ve­hi­cles with a new range of calipers, discs, park­ing brakes and ven­ti­la­tion sys­tems

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The work de­manded of a brak­ing sys­tem and the heat that it must dis­si­pate dur­ing brak­ing are di­rectly pro­por­tional to the mass of the ve­hi­cle and the speed it is trav­el­ling at when brak­ing starts. The brakes, there­fore, have to work the hard­est when the ve­hi­cle is fully loaded and at max­i­mum op­er­at­ing speed. Such con­di­tions that are rel­a­tively com­mon for a com­mer­cial ve­hi­cle.

Light com­mer­cial ve­hi­cles (up to 6 tons), used for mid-long range trans­port, re­quire brak­ing sys­tems that of­fer su­pe­rior per­for­mance and can with­stand the stress caused by a com­bi­na­tion of in­tense use, heavy load­ing and high brak­ing speeds typ­i­cal of these ve­hi­cles. Medium com­mer­cial ve­hi­cles, weigh­ing gen­er­ally be­tween 6 and 16 tons, com­bine the ma­noeu­vra­bil­ity nec­es­sary for city cen­tres with the per­for­mance re­quired for long haul jour­neys and par­tic­u­larly de­mand­ing mis­sions. Heavy com­mer­cial ve­hi­cles (over 16 tons), used pre­dom­i­nantly for na­tion­wide and in­ter­na­tional trans­port on high­ways with very high mileages and av­er­age speeds, re­quire brak­ing sys­tems de­signed with par­tic­u­lar re­gard for the dura­bil­ity of their com­po­nents.

Ital­ian man­u­fac­turer of au­to­mo­tive brake sys­tems Brembo tack­les each of these chal­lenges dif­fer­ently with ded­i­cated prod­uct devel­op­ment strate­gies for calipers, discs, park­ing brakes and ven­ti­la­tion sys­tems.

Brembo pro­duces brak­ing sys­tems com­pris­ing brake discs with di­am­e­ters up to 300mm fea­tur­ing its pil­lar vent­ing tech­nol­ogy (PVT) and cast iron hy­draulic calipers for light-duty ve­hi­cles. The com­pany pro­duces front disc brake sys­tems con­sist­ing of over­sized hy­draulic calipers and pads, and ven­ti­lated discs with di­am­e­ters up to 330mm for medium-duty ve­hi­cles and ven­ti­lated discs with di­am­e­ters up to 432mm for heavy-duty ve­hi­cles.

The calipers in a com­mer­cial ve­hi­cle must en­sure su­perla­tive re­li­a­bil­ity, in­tegrity and safety for years and in all con­di­tions. To achieve this, all the com­po­nents of the caliper must be en­gi­neered to ex­act­ing stan­dards and suit­ably pro­tected from the el­e­ments.

The de­sign of the seals plays a ma­jor part in pre­vent­ing in­fil­tra­tion and cor­ro­sion. As­pects such as re­li­a­bil­ity, dura­bil­ity and main­te­nance also play key roles in the de­sign process. For ve­hi­cles up to a gross ve­hi­cle weight of 6 tons, Brembo de­signs and man­u­fac­tures sin­gle- and dual-pis­ton front and rear float­ing hy­draulic calipers made from cast iron. For ve­hi­cles be­tween 6 and 10 tons, Brembo pro­duces over­sized float­ing hy­draulic calipers to sat­isfy the greater de­mands for brak­ing power of such ve­hi­cles.

Brembo’s new range of elec­tric com­bined slid­ing (ECS) calipers si­mul­ta­ne­ously car­ries out the func­tion of the ser­vice brake and in­te­grated electro­mechan­i­cal park­ing brake. Built to with­stand the stresses and loads typ­i­cal of light-, medium- and heavy-duty ve­hi­cles, the ECS calipers are in­te­grated

into the ve­hi­cle’s elec­tronic sta­bil­ity con­trol (ESC) sys­tem. The in­te­gra­tion pro­vides ad­di­tional fea­tures com­pared to a tra­di­tional hand brake, such as as­sis­tance for up­hill starts, ve­hi­cle slip pre­ven­tion, man­ual/ au­to­matic park­ing brake re­lease, park­ing safety with hot brake discs and emer­gency brak­ing.

Brembo cus­tomises ser­vice brakes ac­cord­ing to cus­tomer re­quire­ments: a com­mer­cial ve­hi­cle man­u­fac­turer can opt for dif­fer­ent com­bi­na­tions of pis­ton di­am­e­ter, sur­face and pad vol­ume.

There are no peaks in the daily us­age of a brak­ing sys­tem for com­mer­cial ve­hi­cles. In­stead, the sys­tem is sub­jected to repet­i­tive thermo-me­chan­i­cal stress, which the brake disc must with­stand ef­fec­tively. Brembo pro­duces a range of cast iron discs sized ap­pro­pri­ately to in­crease re­sis­tance to the thermo-me­chan­i­cal stresses that oc­cur on heavy ve­hi­cles.

For crit­i­cal ap­pli­ca­tions such as in­dus­trial ve­hi­cles, Brembo uses its patented pil­lar vent­ing tech­nol­ogy, which ac­cord­ing to the com­pany, im­proves ma­te­rial distri­bu­tion, in­crease heat ex­change sur­face area and pro­duce greater air tur­bu­lence in the ven­ti­la­tion gap. All of these fac­tors sig­nif­i­cantly con­trib­ute to re­duc­ing cool­ing times and min­i­miz­ing ther­mal cracks. The discs pro­duced for these ve­hi­cles range from 280mm di­am­e­ter com­po­nents weigh­ing ap­prox­i­mately 9kg for light com­mer­cial ve­hi­cles, to units up to 432 mm in di­am­e­ter and weigh­ing over 36kg for heavy in­dus­trial ve­hi­cles.

Even though they don’t reach the 1200oc of a For­mula 1 car, the brak­ing sys­tems on heavy-weight ve­hi­cles can also over­heat and po­ten­tially cause ther­mal cracks to ap­pear on the sur­face of the disc. Brembo is in­tro­duc­ing pil­lar vent­ing tech­nol­ogy that can dra­mat­i­cally im­prove the cool­ing per­for­mance of the sys­tem. This ven­ti­la­tion sys­tem is char­ac­terised by a pil­lar struc­ture de­signed specif­i­cally for each in­di­vid­ual sys­tem. The pil­lars are ar­ranged in three bands on the brak­ing plat­form. Ac­cord­ing to Brembo, they in­crease re­sis­tance to ther­mal crack­ing by up to 30% to in­crease the lifes­pan of the disc.

Every band of the disc has a dif­fer­ent pil­lar struc­ture, de­signed to achieve the op­ti­mum ben­e­fit from the dy­namic flow of air. The im­proved air flow also con­trib­utes to a drop in op­er­a­tional tem­per­a­ture of up to 30%, pro­vid­ing a longer life for the brake pads. An­other im­por­tant ad­van­tage is a re­duc­tion in the weight of the disc, which can be up to 10%. This de­creases both fuel con­sump­tion and emis­sions of pol­lu­tants and, most im­por­tantly, the re­duc­tion in un­sprung weight in­creases per­for­mance, driv­ing com­fort and han­dling.

This ven­ti­la­tion sys­tem is the re­sult of two years of ded­i­cated re­search by Brembo at its Kilometro Rosso site, where it has been tai­lored to the spe­cific needs of in­di­vid­ual brak­ing sys­tems. For a quar­ter of a cen­tury Brembo has con­cen­trated its re­search on the shape of the ven­ti­la­tion cham­ber. One of the first re­sults was the devel­op­ment of the PVT ven­ti­la­tion sys­tem in the mid-1980s by re­plac­ing tra­di­tional lugs with a se­ries of pil­lars to im­prove both the safety of the sys­tem and the life of the disc. In 2004, Brembo de­signed and patented the T Pil­lar, pri­mar­ily for use on Iveco heavy-duty ve­hi­cles. As the name sug­gests, the outer pil­lars are char­ac­terised by their T-shape and have proved to be par­tic­u­larly ef­fec­tive on heavy­weight com­mer­cial and in­dus­trial ve­hi­cles. In 2010, Brembo in­tro­duced the star pil­lar ven­ti­la­tion sys­tem, which em­ploys star-shaped pil­lars to dis­perse the heat bet­ter, re­duce the risk of ther­mal shock of the disc and in­crease pad life.

Brembo sup­plies me­chan­i­cal and elec­tri­cal park­ing brake sys­tems. The first one may ei­ther be in­te­grated with a caliper or drum, or iso­lated in drum in hat (DIH) in­stal­la­tions. For park­ing of com­mer­cial ve­hi­cles weigh­ing up to 8 tons, Brembo has de­vel­oped the elec­tric drum in hat (EDIH), a two-servo brake with a spe­cific electro­mechan­i­cal ac­tu­a­tor to en­sure safe park­ing when the brake discs are hot. It can also be used as an emer­gency brake. The elec­tro-me­chan­i­cal ac­tu­a­tor has been de­signed to com­pen­sate the loss in EDIH lever load typ­i­cal of duo-servo drum brakes. An­other im­por­tant fea­ture is the to­tal ab­sence of drag in all con­di­tions. This is pos­si­ble through the mon­i­tor­ing of the EDIH lever po­si­tion dur­ing re­lease. Fur­ther ad­van­tages of the Brembo EDIH are the pos­si­bil­ity to re­lease the park­ing brake man­u­ally in case of fail­ure, and the ca­pa­bil­ity to park the ve­hi­cle on a cer­tain slope in case of fail­ure of one of the two ac­tu­a­tors.

Elec­tric com­bined slid­ing caliper.

Brembo elec­tro-hy­draulic ac­tu­a­tor.

Dif­fer­ent stages of ven­ti­la­tion sys­tems.

Elec­tric drum in hat, two-servo brake.

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