Some interesting braking facts
Did you know?
- The power generated by the braking system of even a modest family car can exceed 500bhp (375kW), outstripping the engine output of virtually everything on the road. Take a loaded Quantum for example: decelerating from 80Km/h at 8m/s^2 uses over 410KW of power.
- Modern braking components need exceptional wear resistance, heat resistance and of course exceptional stopping capabilities because, under extreme conditions, their operating temperatures can average over 350 Celsius and peak at up to 700º Celsius.
- In race use, 400 to 600º C is common on smaller cars. In touring cars and larger race cars temperatures shoot up to 800 - 900º C where the discs will glow red or orange.
- Disc Brake Pads for a Formula 1 car cost $250 apiece, and during the course of racing and testing, a team will use around 1000 of them each season. That makes for an annual bill of $250,000 for pads alone. Then there are the rotors, calipers, fluids and other components before you even start considering the things that make a car go rather than stop.
- Formula 1 racing is where the most advanced brakes are found. During 1997, German driver Heinz-Harald Frentzen recorded a force of 5.99 G under braking. This is around six times the braking performance of a conventional road car and meant that Heinz-Harald’s 65kg body momentarily weighed nearly 390kg. To achieve this deceleration he had to push the brake pedal of his Williams-Renault with a pressure of 150kg.