Researchers look at ways to improve standard braking systems — ScienceDaily

Although it is not the case of reinventing the wheel, researchers are looking for ways to improve the standard brakes for trains and cars.

By mixing carbon fibers into polymer brakes, UBC Okanagan, a team of researchers at the Sharif University of Technology and the University of Toronto, was able to design self-lubricating brakes.

Mohammad Arjmand, assistant professor of engineering, explains that these new and improved brakes prevent wear and have better friction than current brakes on the market.

"No researchers in Canada are working in this area," said Arjmand, one of the project's main researchers. "This work is very important to the automotive and rail industry."

Brake pad materials usually come in three categories: metal, ceramic and organic. All of these have the advantages and disadvantages inherent in their design, such as cost, durability, noise, slow response times or elevated temperatures during use.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the breakdown of vehicle components accounts for nearly 2% of crashes, and about 22% of vehicle component failures are caused by brake-related problems.

"This new study looks at composite breakdown in high temperature, durability, friction and wear tests," Arjmand said. “Our results show that the newly designed carbon fiber polymer brake represents the acceleration of the science of deceleration and is a true boon for the industry and consumers.”

Arjmand says the new technology can make smaller brake pads more efficient and cost-effective because the pads can withstand greater friction and temperature.

"As we continue to develop nanomaterials and mix them with polymers to develop multifunctional cocktails to address friction, wear and heat distribution at the molecular level, we will continue to help the industry."

He added that these findings help to make cars and trains more economical, efficient and practical.

This study was recently published at Wear .

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