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Friday 12th October 2001


BRAKING THE MOULD

The shape of things to come, is err... round!


As fitted to Saleen S7

Renault is considering the introduction of a new type of braking system on its cars. It's some time since we saw a major revolution in the world of braking with ceramic disks possibly the last major step forwards.

The latest innovation isn't purely with materials technology however, it's in the configuration of the brakes with a full contact disk system that's been designed by Canadian company NewTech.

Renault are now working with Newtech to assess the viability of using full contact brakes on their cars in conjunction with a brake by wire system. Part of the study is to assess the viability of manufacture.

Click to enlarge...The brakes have a 360 degree contact patch with circular pads operating on both sides of the disk. NewTech believe that the system has considerable advantages over conventional brakes with better cooling, higher strength and reduced noise and vibration.

To ensure the brakes remain cool, the pads features a multitude of fins to dissipate heat and the inboard pads are fitted with a moulded thermal barrier made of a composite material. Special inserts made of a variety of frictional materials are distributed evenly on the entire surface of the pad. The range of materials is used to ensure performance under diverse conditions.

Behind the inner pad is the 'spider', which integrated with the hub carrier combines the brake system and the suspension. The disk is connected to the wheel by means of the driving hub. Between them sits a unique hydraulic diaphragm. This membrane made of an elastomer composite extends and retracts much like a piston providing the force to exert the pad on the disk. Incredibly resistant, it can withstand 15 times the required pressure. Besides providing a rapid and gradual action during braking, it needs little pressure to operate the action. This diaphragm is kept in position inside the spider by means of a gasket-ring which eliminates distortion and leaks. The outer pad is hidden from view behind the aluminium housing that's visible through the wheels. This housing holds the outer pad and supports the whole brake assembly but does of course hide the disc giving the whole system its unique appearance.

Click to enlarge...Take a good look at the system. A few years from now we might have a good chuckle about the systems we currently rely on.

Links: www.newtech-ibs.com, www.howstuffworks.com/brake.htm