Brembo is working on a new brake disc with a higher level of corrosion resistance that the supplier say reduces particulate emissions and has a longer life cycle.
The disc, called Greentive, is in the development phase with automakers and will reach the market at a later stage, Alessandro Ciotti, head of advanced R&D at Brembo, said in an interview with Automotive News Europe.
Brembo said a Greentive disc will be first offered in the luxury segment or in niche applications. In the long term, economy of scale will help to extend the Greentive potential market to premium vehicle applications.
Brembo sells discs for luxury, premium and mass market applications, while its calipers are mainly sold to luxury and premium brands.
“Our initial target in development was to reduce disc corrosion,” Ciotti said. Nevertheless, when coupled with a specific friction material for pads, a Greentive disc can decrease emissions of particulate matter by up to 50 percent, he added. He said the reduction has been certified at the EU’s Joint Research Center in Ispra, Italy.
How fast the market develops will also depend on the evolution of the electric vehicle market, Ciotti said. Hybrid vehicles and mass-market full-electric vehicles might need slightly smaller discs, he added. For example, the battery-electric Renault Zoe and similarly sized – but lighter -- gasoline-powered Renault Clio have the same brakes.
Premium and sports-car makers will have to cope with additional situations, such as racetrack driving or steep downhill driving with fully charged battery, which hinder regenerative braking. Therefore they might need larger discs.
Brembo also unveiled a new generation of brake spring technology, designed to offset residual torque in the brake system and thus brake dust and wear.
The new spring reduces possible residual contacts between pads and discs while the driver is not braking, ensuring that the pads return to their initial position in the caliper once the brake pedal is released. The system contributes to lowering vehicle emissions because it limits brake pad and disc wear, decreasing the brake dust generated by residual friction. Avoiding excessive wear also means reducing the products’ maintenance needs and increasing their duration.
The new springs will not directly contribute additional revenues but will help Brembo keep its technological edge in an increasingly competitive market, Ciotti said.