Semi metallic brake pads are one of the most popular types on the market today and a common choice for mid-size cars, SUVs, and industrial trucks from brands including, Scania, Range Rover, Ford, Mazda, Peugeot, Chevrolet, BMW, and many others.
Due to their versatile nature, semi metallic brake pads are suitable for use on a range of terrains and road surfaces and provide smooth braking in most weather conditions due to their ability to dissipate heat evenly, and quickly – meaning they reach their optimal operating temperature faster than most other types of brake pads.
However, semi metallic brake pads are known to create more dust than alternatives such as ceramic brake pads (though all brake pads will create dust, brake pads with a metallic component will create dust that is darker in colour and more likely to settle or stick to the rims). Alongside this, they may be prone to rust and can be noisy – however, this can also depend on the quality of your supplier! At Frontech, we produce high-quality low/no noise (and 100% asbestos-free) brake pads with superior heat dissipation qualities to help reduce wear and improve stopping time. Our full range is also tested for quality and heat resistance up to 650°C, which exceeds testing standards in most countries around the world.
What does “semi metallic brake pads” actually mean?
Any brake pad made with over 30% (and up to 70%) metals and/or metal alloys (including steel, copper, and iron) will be classed as a semi metallic brake pad. This helps differentiate semi metallic brake pads from low metallic brake pads which contain around 10-30% metal/metal alloy materials. In both cases, the remainder of the materials can consist of organic or man-made compounds such as vermiculite, silicates, and graphite lubricants.
What are two main advantages of semi metallic brakes?
Alongside providing excellent value for money, semi metallic brake pads provide better stopping power for large vehicles, making them the top choice for many SUVs, trucks, and industrial vehicles which make up a large portion of the market today. Additionally, semi metallic brake pads can heat up to their optimum operating temperature faster (even in cold weather), making them safer.
How many miles do semi metallic brake pads last?
Semi metallic brake pads can withstand journeys up to around 50,000 miles, though depending on the size of your vehicle, the road surface types you’re travelling on, your handling of the vehicles, and temperature fluctuations throughout the year, this number can be much lower. If you commute often, we always recommend inspecting your brakes every couple of years. On average, motorists in the UK drive around 10,000 – 15,000 miles annually – so the mileage can quickly begin to stack up!
How thick should semi brake pads be?
According to the highway code, the legal minimum thickness for brake pads in the UK is 1.5mm, however, ideally your brake pads should not be worn below 3mm and we always recommend replacing your brake pads if they are nearing this figure. The main reason for this is that old brake pads often don’t wear evenly, so where you measure 3mm on a brake pad, another part of the same brake pad might be much lower and this can reduce your stopping power and cause metal-on-metal friction which can additionally damage your brakes and rotors. Also, brake pads below 2mm thickness on average will give you less than 500 miles of normal driving before falling under the legal 1.5mm – making it extremely dangerous to hold off the replacement.
How do you break in semi metallic brake pads?
Breaking in (bedding in or burnishing) newly replaced brake pads is a controlled way to use heat to effectively optimise brake pads and rotors (brake discs) prior to doing more extensive driving. We have a whole post on this on our blog which we recommend you check out.
Looking for a new brake parts supplier? Contact our team today!
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