It’s common to associate visible brake dust on a vehicle’s wheels with something negative such as a fault with the vehicle, incorrect choice of brake pad, low quality, or even just untidiness! However, brake pad dust is completely normal, and while ceramic brake pads make the least noticeable dust, all brake pads will naturally create some level of dust!
Ceramic brake pads are unique in that their dust is usually light-coloured which makes it far less noticeable compared to other brake pad types such as semi metallic brake pads or low metallic brake pads. Additionally, the texture and composition of ceramic brake pads make the dust less likely to stick to the wheels and rims of the vehicle, creating the illusion that ceramic brake pads don’t create any dust at all.
Although dust is usually nothing to worry about and is simply caused by your vehicle braking under normal conditions, seeing lots of dust covering your wheels after every journey can indeed be a cause for concern. Dust is created when the brake pad comes in contact with the brake disc during braking, and the dust is simply wear caused by friction and heat. Over time, the brake pad will gradually get worn down and need to be replaced, however, if this happens too quickly, it can mean the wrong type of brake pad has been installed (too soft or of poor quality), and can also indicate misalignment, uneven wear, or something else entirely. We always recommend speaking to a specialist if you are concerned about the amount of dust your brake pads are producing as the dust and excessive wear on the brake pads can be a safety concern.
How can I make my brakes less dusty?
While it’s not possible to eliminate dust entirely, there are some steps you can take to reduce the amount of dust produced by brake pads. Firstly, as a distributor, always ensure your suppliers hold valid accreditation for the region you operate in: this is important as vehicle standards, types, and weights will vary across the world; as will the road surface types and speed of driving. At Frontech, we are certified to internationally-recognised standards and produce some of the highest-quality brake pads on the market, making us a trusted global supplier.
What brake pads create the most dust?
Generally speaking, semi metallic brake pads produce the most dust, especially when paired with slotted brake discs (rotors). This is due to the materials of both parts, but also the increased friction between them during braking. Semi metallic brake pads can be composed of anywhere from 30% to 70% metals including iron, steel, copper, and others which form an alloy. Fillers for the remainder of the materials can consist of graphite lubricants, vermiculite (a type of soft mineral), barium sulphate (a man-made compound), silicates such as mica, and lots more. The higher the metal component, the more dust will be created.
Does anything repel brake dust?
While you may not be able to eliminate dust entirely, you can repel it or remove it to keep your vehicle clean! Shops such as Halfords sell brake dust repellent sprays which can be highly effective but need to be reapplied, or alternatively, you can also mount a brake dust shield to the brake disc (rotor) which is designed to collect brake pad dust and prevent it from settling on your wheels or rims.
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