Brake Finder

Brake Pad Friction Material: Ceramic

Understanding the advantages of various friction materials allows you to choose the right material for your vehicle’s brakes.

The use of clay and porcelain for brake pad friction material is recent. The innovation of combining ceramics bound to copper flakes happened in the 1980s.

This development addressed customer complaints about semi-metallic brake pads. These pads were noisy, coated the wheels in black dust, and caused high brake disc wear.

Semi-metallic brake pads became the standard after asbestos was removed due to worker health concerns in the early 1970s.

Ceramic Pads Gain Popularity

Ceramic pads became popular because of their braking characteristics.

For the driver, they provide a nice, firm feel. Though they give off brake dust, the color is lighter. It doesn’t stick to the wheels, and it has less volume when compared to semi-metallic pads.

Ceramic pads stop brake squeal because there is no hard metal rubbing against the brake rotors. Even with these positive characteristics, ceramic pads have limitations.

Brake rotors and calipers absorb the heat generated during braking. Ceramic pads do not absorb as much heat as semi-metallic pads. While this might seem like a good thing, the heat generated under braking must be distributed into the atmosphere.

When rotors and calipers cannot dissipate the heat fast enough, the pads and rotors glaze. The brake’s stopping ability is significantly reduced. In cold weather, until the ceramic brake pads absorb enough heat, stopping distances are longer.

Ceramic Pads Advantages

Here are the advantages of ceramic pads:

  1. Minimal brake dust
  2. Easy on brake rotors because ceramic material is less abrasive than semi-metallic material.
  3. They give predictable performance over a wide temperature range.
  4. They are durable and can last longer than organic and semi-metallic pads with light and moderate use.
  5. While these pads do make noise, they don’t squeal because the sound is too high for the human ear.

Ceramic Pads Disadvantages

Here are the disadvantages of ceramic pads:

  1. Ceramic pads usually cost more than other pad materials.
  2. They don’t perform well in extreme driving conditions.
  3. High speed and heavy loads can cause ceramic pads to fade because of heat buildup.
  4. In cold weather, stopping distances are longer until the pads absorb enough heat to operate effectively.
  5. These pads wear out faster because the ceramic material is softer than semi-metallic pads.

About Goodyear Brakes

Goodyear Brakes manufactures premium quality brake bundles, calipers, rotors, brake pads and all the hardware required to successfully install brakes, all backed by a national warranty, decades of production experience and one of the best-known names in automotive excellence. The brake pads are manufactured in the USA using a proprietary green production process by a company with more than 50 years of experience in friction science. The Goodyear Brakes product line is available through Goodyear Brakes at Amazon, CarID, Buy Brakes and AutoAnything.

Goodyear (and Winged Foot Design) and Blimp Design are trademarks of The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company used under license by FDP Virginia Inc., 1076 Airport Road, Tappahannock, VA 22560, USA. Copyright 2020 The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company. Goodyear Brakes and FDP Virginia are not responsible for its products when they are subjected to improper applications, installation, or accident.


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