OEM & ODM services for automotive braking system since 2002 - Frontech Auto Parts

How to choose the friction materials of brake pads?

What is the mystery hidden in different formulas? What is the difference between them?

Brake pads are one of the most critical components in the braking system, and their friction materials directly determine the excellent braking effect and braking comfort. Different materials give brake pads different friction coefficients, service life and braking performance.

What materials are brake pads made of?


The names vary per materials of brake pads in the market, but actually there are 3 common formulas: semi-metallic, low-metallic and ceramic formulas.

Semi-metallic brake pad: It refers that the friction material ratio of the brake pad with ≥30% metal material.


The friction coefficient of semi-metallic materials is relatively high. Most American and European cars focus more on high-speed braking performance. Thus OE manufacturers prefer to use semi-metallic brake pads, due to the lower production cost following the increasingly mature powder metallurgy process.

However, the shortcomings of semi-metallic brake pads are also obvious. The friction coefficient is poor in stability, and it is easy to produce abnormal noise at low speeds. Because the friction material itself is relatively hard, the wear on the brake disc will also be relatively large. 

Low-metallic brake pads: It is similar to semi-metallic brake pads, except that the steel fiber content of the former is relatively low and the performance is more stable.

Based on the semi-metallic formula, it focuses more on braking comfort and solves the problem of "disc chewing" of traditional semi-metallic pads. Therefore, European comfortable cars tend to use brake pads with low-metallic formulas.

However, the shortcomings of low-metal brake pads are also very obvious, that is, they still cannot completely eliminate the resonance abnormal sound problems caused by the metal base, and the thermal stability is not as good as semi-metallic ones.

Ceramic brake pads: Its purpose is to make up for the defect of high wear of steel fiber. The fibers used in ceramic formula include plant fiber, aramid fiber, glass fiber, ceramic fiber, carbon fiber, mineral fiber and so on.

The main advantages of ceramic pads are to reduce wear, reduce noise, and extend the service life of brake pads, and this kind of brake pads are more favored by Japanese and Korean automobile manufacturers.

Ceramic brake pads are more comfortable, so the same pedal force sometimes gives car owners the illusion that their feet feel too soft and they cannot brake effectively. Moreover, since this type of brake pads does not contain metal compositions, its easy to get fake ones.

Which brake pad material is better?

After a large amount of data verification in the laboratory, we have summarized the different characteristics of the three formulas, as shown below:

How to choose the friction materials of brake pads?  1

It is not difficult to see from the experimental results that each formula has its own advantages and disadvantages, and each material has its own areas of expertise, so you should choose according to your own needs. Among them, the ceramic formula has stronger comprehensive performance and is more comfortable, so it has gradually been accepted by the public in recent years.


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Contact person: Allen Sun
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Frontech brake pads supplier was established in 2002. It integrates R&D, design, manufacturing and sales, focusing on automotive braking systems. 
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