4 Types of Disc Brakes in Cars & Their Functions

Of the many important systems in a vehicle, the brakes are very important because they provide the ability for the occupants to stop as soon as they move. There are two types of brakes commonly used by drivers, namely disc brakes and drum brakes. However, most modern vehicles use a disc brake system.

These brakes use the force applied to the discs attached to the wheels to slow down and stop the car. Compared to drum brakes, discs provide more stopping power and don’t overheat under heavy use.

Disc Brake Type

One of the most important safety factors as a driver, you must recognize each type of car disc brake in order to be able to maintain and repair it when it breaks. Among the types are:

1. Flat disc

The basis of the disc brakes themselves are flat, smooth discs usually made of iron, attached to a rotating shaft.

These brakes have excellent braking power due to the large surface area in contact with the pads, but may lose effectiveness during prolonged braking periods.

2. Disc ventilated

As the size and weight of the vehicle increases, so does the load on the brakes. This generates more heat which causes problems in the brake system.

The braking system works by converting kinetic energy – speed – into heat through friction through the brake pads and discs. As the heat level increases, the disc needs help to dissipate this heat quickly enough to prevent damage.

To assist the disc in dissipating excess heat, a ventilated disc brake design is required, which looks like two discs sandwiched with fingers between the gaps.

This allows the heat generated to escape more easily from the back through the vents between the two surfaces.

3. Drilled disc

Another way to keep the disc cool is to increase the surface area by drilling holes all the way through it. These holes also provide an outlet for heat, gases, and waste material, preventing them from accumulating on the contact surface.

There is some underside to the drilled disc. The holes can collect material and other debris, and more concerning, they tend to warp and crack under high temperatures.

Although the holes do not compromise the disk’s structural integrity, they can reduce the amount of heat the disk can tolerate after exceeding the amount the disk can effectively remove.

4. Perforated and grooved disc

This type is not much different from the drill type disc. The goal is to remove excess heat, gases and material from the friction surface without compromising the heat resistance of the disc itself.

However, this type of disc will be more noisy later on because the slotted grooves rub directly against the brake pads.

Those are the four types of disc brakes that you must know. All four have different uses, can be adapted to the needs of each vehicle.