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There are several factors that contribute to the quality and performance of braking components such as rotors, including their overall design, surface finish, heat dissipation qualities and metallurgy.

Metallurgy is the science of metal composition that studies the physical and chemical behaviours of metallic elements. The process of high carbon metallurgy involves carefully controlling the carbon content through various techniques such as alloying, heat treatment, and quenching. These practices help in achieving the desired microstructure and mechanical properties of the material.

How metallurgy affects disc brake rotors 1

Choosing a quality rotor from Bendix results in improved heat dissipation, enhanced braking, longer durability and other benefits.

Cheap rotors typically have simpler metallurgy that’s predominantly comprised of cast-iron. While functional, these rotors do not perform as well as disc brake rotors with high carbon metallurgy such as Bendix’s Ultimate Disc Rotors, Euro+ Disc Brake Rotors and Ultimate 4WD™ Disc Brake Rotors.

So, what are the benefits of high carbon disc brake rotors? There are many, and the additional investment in these higher quality braking components will repay the owner in the longer term with additional durability and longevity, as well as enhanced driving dynamics.

How metallurgy affects disc brake rotors 2

Bendix's Ultimate 4WD Disc Brake Rotors offer a four-wheel-drive specific metallurgy formulation.

Improved heat dissipation: High carbon steel brake rotors offer better heat dissipation properties compared to regular rotors. The high carbon content helps dissipate heat more efficiently, reducing the risk of brake fade and improving overall braking performance. This ability to withstand high temperatures therefore makes high carbon brake rotors better suited to demanding applications and conditions.

Better braking in the wet: An increased carbon content in brake rotors helps maintain more consistent friction, braking power and pedal feel even when the rotors and pads are wet.

Enhanced durability: Carbon is a hardening element, so higher carbon content increases strength, durability and wear resistance in brake rotors, allowing them to better withstand frequent braking under heavy load without cracking or warping, resulting in a longer lifespan.

How metallurgy affects disc brake rotors 3

Quality disc brake rotors, calipers and brake pads are a proven combination in delivering superior braking performance.

Better noise dampening: Rotors with a higher carbon steel content generally offer improved harmonics compared to cast iron rotors, for quieter braking.

Improved machinability: If disc brake rotors eventually need machining to extend their serviceability, those rotors with a higher carbon content may be easier to machine, as it allows more efficient chip formation as part of the resurfacing process.

Cleaner rims: Higher carbon brake rotors tend to produce less brake dust compared to standard rotors. This can help keep the wheels and braking and suspension components cleaner for longer.

How metallurgy affects disc brake rotors 4

Metallurgy also impacts brake dust - higher carbon brake rotors tend to produce less brake dust compared to lesser rotors, for cleaner rims, suspension and braking components.


  • Bendix Media Release December 2023 PRJ08469
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