Brake Finder

Brake Caliper Material Types

Brake calipers are the ‘muscle’ component of disc brake systems. Because they have to hold up under extreme conditions, they are made from super-strong materials.

Calipers are subjected to:

  • the hydraulic pressure of brake fluid,
  • the extreme heat generated when braking, and
  • very dirty road conditions.

Any auto part expected to last for the life of the vehicle must be made from very strong and corrosion-resistant material.

Cast Iron Brake Calipers

Historically, manufacturers used cast iron to make brake calipers. Cast iron meets all the requirements for braking systems. It is cost-effective, extremely strong, and stress-resistant. With the proper coatings, it won’t corrode. Designed to last the life of the vehicle, cast iron calipers rarely need to be replaced.

However, cast iron, while durable, is extremely heavy. It adds weight to a vehicle, so manufacturers began using aluminum for caliper construction.

Aluminum Brake Calipers

An excellent replacement for cast iron, aluminum is competitive, strong and stress-resistant, and does not rust.

Calipers made from aluminum meet the demands of modern vehicles while reducing the weight of cast iron by about 40%. Less weight adds to fuel economy and improves ride quality.

Aluminum has no current competitive material, but competition may be on the horizon.

Thermoplastic Brake Calipers

In 2016, a new material, thermoplastic reinforced with carbon fiber, was patented for brake calipers. This new material has two distinct benefits.
It meets the temperature stability requirement for cars of 200 degrees Celsius or 392 degrees Fahrenheit.
It is 40% lighter than aluminum.

Brake calipers made from this material have not yet been commercialized for passenger vehicles.

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.


Brake Caliper Material Types

Resources Brake calipers are the ‘muscle’ component of disc brake systems. Because they have to hold up under extreme conditions, they are made from super-strong

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