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Ceramic brakes

Lighter, can handle the heat better (less fading), don't wear as fast as steel disc brakes.

Overall better performance (a lot still depends on the callipers,...), but waaaaaaaaaaay more expensive.

Edit: what of the brakes do you want to be ceramic? Pads, discs, rotors,...
 
Compared with conventional steel discs, ceramic brakes not only last four times longer, but also offer high braking performance, even when driving at the limit, as well as high resistance to fading. Braking performance is not diminished even after repeated braking, when driving down a mountain pass, for example. The unsprung rotating masses at the wheels are reduced by a total of around 20 kilograms or 50 percent compared with conventional brake discs, resulting in noticeably improved handling and agility.

Audi ceramic brake discs are made from a carbon fibre-reinforced ceramic. The raw material used to make this compound ? known as composite ceramic ? is the very hard and abrasion-resistant silicon carbide. High-strength carbon fibres are embedded in it, and these effectively absorb the stresses occurring in the material. Compared with an identical brake disc made of steel, this material lasts four times longer: the high abrasion resistance of ceramic discs means that they will last for up to 300,000 kilometres. The extreme surface hardness of the composite ceramic also means that the brake discs are unsusceptible to solid and liquid road salts as well as to corrosion and rust.
 
Basically, they kick ass. :)
 
next stop for ceramics: engine components!

(if they can get the manufacturing costs and reliability down that is)
 
why will reliability be an issue arent they fade proof?
 
as engine components, ceramics have to be manufactured very very very precisely and carefully, otherwise they're prone to cracking.

Toyota built a ceramic engine a few years back - a lot of benefits - no/less need for cooling, lighter components allows for higher and faster revving. Lighter engine weight is even more beneficial overall.

but because of the stresses involved in an engine, the parts need to engineered and produced to a high degree which means high costs which means only metal engines for the moment.
 
I think it was in C&D or R&T i once read that a very enthusiastic american Enzo owner had worn out a pair of ceramics. He had been beating it ALOT around tracks, but still. They are not 100 % indestructable, but i guess with normal road use and a track day once in a while they would last for the cars lifetime.
 
POWERRR!! said:
what is fading anway?

The performance of the brakes fades as the brakes get hot and can't disipate the heat effectively. The most common time this happens is when people overheat the brakes going down a mountain, and gradually find they have less and less braking force.
 
As fbc already said, fade happens when the rotors and brake pads overheat. The pads begin to vaporize so a layer of gas forms between the pad and rotor surface. The brake fluid begins to boil and forms air pockets in the brake lines.

Many factors combine to give you brake fade. And many things can be done to minimise the occurence of it.
 
The brakes can even start smoking or whatnot.

When I went to California a few years back, we were hauling a tent trailer with our old Corisica (a car that's not designed for towing) and coming down a really long, steep hill with a lot of traffic, the brakes literally started smoking and such. We had to pull over because the disc brakes just got too hot and basically started to stop working.
 
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