The Bosch subsidiary Buderus Guss has now introduced to market a new brake disc known as the iDisc that reportedly generates up to 90% less brake dust than conventional brake discs do — while also lasting up to twice as long as conventional brake discs and being safer and/or more effective in some regards.
Considering that brake and tire wear are responsible for a significant portion of driving-related particulate emissions (with brake dust accounting for around half of combined tire and brake contributions), the new brake discs stand to potentially help reduce urban air pollution levels a great deal.
That is, if the higher initial price tag can be stomached by many people (who may not be willing to choose the better long-term choice due to the higher initial pricing). The new iDisc product was scheduled to go into production this month, so it’s possible that we’ll know how receptive the market is before too long.
Green Car Congress provides more: “The unique selling point of the iDisc is a tungsten-carbide coating that is currently only available from Buderus Guss. The technology is based on a conventional cast iron brake disc. … To transform a conventional disc into an iDisc, the friction rings are mechanically, thermally, and galvanically treated before being coated.
“In addition to the significant reduction in brake dust, the carbide coating also ensures greater operating safety. The braking performance is similar to that of a ceramic brake, especially when it comes to fading, as the reduction in stopping power following repeated braking maneuvers is known. Like a ceramic brake disc, the iDisc is highly stable in this respect and loses little deceleration performance. Wear is also significantly reduced. Depending on the strength of the carbide coating, the iDisc’s service life is twice that of a normal brake disc.
“The iDisc also eliminates gouging marks on the friction ring, as well as corrosion — a major advantage, especially in electric cars. Because they recover braking energy via recuperation, electric cars put less strain on the brakes and have to contend with rust formation on friction rings. The temporary slight decline in responsiveness during braking associated with this does not occur with the iDisc.”
I suppose that it’s also worth noting here that reduction in brake dust also means that it will become less necessary to regularly clean the rims on the vehicles outfitted with them — which will probably be a good selling point for some people.
As noted towards the start of the article, the iDisc still is, despite all of its potential benefits, fairly expensive — with a price point roughly 3 times that of a regular cast-iron brake disc. It is roughly 3 times less expensive than a ceramic brake disc, though, which counts for something. …