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Formula One (F1) Disc Brakes

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The aim of this report template for case study was to create an understanding of how the Formula one (F1) brakes work and more so the materials used. Different sources were reviewed and analyzed as well as a practical examination of the braking system not to mention an observation of how the brakes worked while the car was in motion. The results showed that the principle of formula one braking is quite simple. Research results also showed that the braking system used the conception that slowing an object requires kinetic energy to be removed from it (Salamone, 1996, 154). The brakes on the formula one car looked hugely complex but in reality they worked just like all other car brake systems do. By pressing the brake pedal, the driver would be pushing the hydraulic fluid down which in turn pushed out the pistons to the caliper. The piston was used to push the pads of the special friction material in the disc because it was directly linked to the wheel. However, researchers found out that a formula one car, in a mutual relationship with martial aircrafts as well as a few other modern passenger aircrafts, used a power-assisted brake measurable that was significantly different and complex.
It was found out that a formula one cars took a mere 4-second decrease its speed from 300 km/h to completely stop. The vehicle’s contender required just 2.9 seconds at 200 km/h to stop completely. It was found out that the process is usually accomplished over 65m.

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The performance on the car at the moment as allowed by the brake disc or calipers mish-mash carbon-fibers. It’s crude performance created fast deceleration and on the other hand, the density of the material was low enough to keep the weight of each disc below 1 kilogram. Furthermore, Orthwein (2004, 11) claimed it had the capacity to take and disintegrate heat wich in return provided unequalled longevity. That was found to be a dominant quality even on heating it to over 1000 degree Celsius before accosting, about 800 times for each race, the fibre was able to last for the length of a Grand Prix event with no grievance. The steel that had been used until the 80’s were abandoned and as a result, the overall performance of the formula one cars changed completely.
Literature review
Carbon-fibre material
One of the sources that were used in compiling this report retrieved from the use of fibre material in the braking system of the car played the most vital role. The literature material claimed that although the performance after the 80’s was unraveled, the use of fibre material obligated some more time for the driver to get used to the car. Jarno Trulli, while being interviewed, claimed that during the first millisecond after pressing the brake pedal, it felt like nothing was happening (Orthwein, 2004, 71). The delay was, in fact, the time that the disk caliper tandem required to reach the maximum or rather an operating temperature. Most importantly, the temperature increased by 100 degree Celsius per one over ten of a second within the first half of a second that the brakes were applied. It was clear that after that, the deceleration was immediate and brutal. When the temperature of operation was at the optimum level, the friction measurement between the pads and the disc could get as high as 0.6. Observations made asserted that from within their arenas, racing motorists could adjust the braking power supply amid the anterior and stern of their competitors.
Carbon-fibre manufacturing process
After doing research on the carbon-fibre material used on the braking system, it was found that the material’s reputation took on mystical proportion. Not only did it have a reputation for being the best and the strongest, but also felt cool for a person to have something made of carbon fibre. A very reliable website retrieved from made a precise illustration of what carbon fibre was made of. The material was made of carbon crystals aligned in long axis. The crystals were honeycomb shaped, and they organized themselves in long, flattened ribbons. The crystal configuration made the ribbons remain strong in the long axis. As a result, the ribbons aligned themselves within fibres. In the long run, the fibre shape was the original shape of the material that was used to produce the carbon fibre. The source made it clear that the raw material is called precursor. Close to 90 percent of the carbon fibres produced were from polyacrylonitrile material (PAN). This step is one that involves carbonizing and stretching the precursor fibres. It was also found out that there are several cycles of heating at various temperatures including oxygen.
When the process was examined, it was found to drive off most of the other elements, precisely hydrogen and nitrogen, of the starting material and left carbon behind. It also allowed the carbon to crystallize gradually in its characteristic honeycomb way. Information given by one worker in a carbon-fibre manufacturing company was that the most important factors determining the physical properties of carbon fibre were the degree of carbonization as well as the orientation of the layered carbon planes (ribbons). The best carbon fibre is one carbon content is more than 92 % by weight (Happian-Smith, 2001, 90). In this company, fibres were produced commercially with a wide range of crystalline and amorphous content distinctions to alter of favoring the various properties. Most importantly, depending on the starting material and also the process of carbonization, carbon fibre was adjusted to suit the end purpose. Polyacrylonitrile (PAN) was the most common precursor for other plastic composites in the company.
Importance of carbon-fibre in the braking system

Salamone, (1996, 11) affirmed that all the cars on the grid are used carbon fibre composite brake discs because they were found to save weight and were also able to operate at high temperatures than discs made of steel. A typical formula one brake disc weighs about 1.5 kg. The disks found in the car that was examined while the study were spellbound by brake pads that were made from special compounds and were proficient in moving at the highest possible temperature. As such, a huge effort must have been put into developing the brake ducts which not only provided sufficient cooling but were also aerodynamically efficient. The brakes were said to have come from the aerospace and aeronautic world, and they were adapted to serve the racing purpose. In that case, the carbon-carbon material was then used to make rocket nozzles and parts of missiles. The study showed that carbon-carbon was a hard material, highly resistant to thermos expansion, temperature gradient as well as thermal cycling. It is for that reason that the material became so well fitted for making the brake of the F1 car since its invention.
History of the decelerating/braking system
The formula one braking system was in the limelight throughout the 2014 F1 period. That was because of the number of crash-inducing failures and particularly that of Kamui Kobayashi during the Australia Grand Prix as well as Lewis at the Grand Prix in Germany In fact, the brake failure in Kobayashi’s case was caused by system failure in the brake wires. One of the companies found to make the material was Italian Brembo, intricately competent in Formula one since 1975 (Salamone, 1996, 79). As far as weight saving was concerned, the discs of the brake were found to have an all-out diameter of 278 mm, whereas the chunkiness ranges between 22mm and 28mm. In 2014, there were three companies supplying carbon friction materials that are, Hitch, Safran (Carbon Industrie) and Brembo.
A first it did not seem very significant, but the innovated unit of power had a crucial influence on the scheme as well as the brake’s task as discussed above. The formula one car’s minimal weight was increased to 691 kg last year, and that obviously meant that the brake’s life would change significantly. For that reason, last year a great proportion of braking force was taken to the axle. That made the highest level of brake rotation to decrease due to the reduction of the downforce and the car speed (Ashby, 2010, 45). After the modifications had been made, the distance of breaking, on the contrary, increased as well as the time spent under braking. The brake-duct of their racing cars, which conducts the air along the broken disk, was equipped with something that looked like a turbo.
Comparison to steel brakes
It was found out that the carbon-fibre brakes weighed less and did not wear out fast as steel. The price issues seemed hard to justify in that most cars companies that offered carbon-fibre brakes as extras were charging around ten grand for the privilege. Some drivers did not like these types of a break, though. The responses given pertaining the how it felt when the car was at low speed went together with the carbon breaks depending on the manufacturer were either, bad, dreadful or not a problem (Ashby, 2010, 45). Unlike steel fitted cars, the two companies claimed that they had the particular issue conquered well. It was reported that most of their cars with the carbon disc in the brakes managed to respond effectively no matter how slow it was traveling. The researcher also asserted that there was a dread patch under light breaking that was strangely typical of the breed. According to Savage (1993, 14) the new racing cars fitted with the carbon-fibre brakes were for people who had slightly wonky sense-to-money ratio and even argued that the carbon discs were a little more that tidy earner for manufacturers. However, the report concluded that in the case of Ferrari it was admirable that they came as regular, no matter what.
For last season, the new brakes need to be premeditated in a way that would meet the new tires being used which were 2kg weightier and had a softer sound. It became even more crucial to managing a car during the braking process to avoiding causing damage when the wheels are locked up not to mention limiting wear for the tires. As compared to the steel brakes, the airing holes had increased drastically to help dispel the extreme heat. Each disc was made with more holes of smaller diameter. In 2008, each of the discs had only 30 holes but in 2012, they were about 200 and 2014 the holes were increased to 1000 (Orthwein, 2004, 100). It was also found that the carbon-fibre brakes are more heat resistant that steel leaves alone being lighter. The steel brakes hard a difficulty withstanding an intense temperature of up to a thousand degree Celsius that is easily reached by the carbon brakes and the former had to be cooled quickly to maintain their efficiency (Savage, 1993, 14). Sebastien Buemi, a driver at the Toro Rosso team, said that they had to press hard at the beginning of a corner because when they reached 300 km/h it became pretty much hard to block the wheels due to inertia and then they let go of it gently. For that reason, the reaction of the brake to the release of the pressure between the two models (one fitted with carbon brakes and the other with steel brakes) was also different.

Brake pads’ compounds
Most pads used to be made of asbestos, but the material was not very convenient. The material was later changed, and they now use all manner of combination of materials. Manufacturer of the formula one cars used in the research made the pads using a resistance solid attached to the support plate (Salamone, 1996, 34). The piston caliper of the brake was designed to push against this plate, whereas the resistance material would have to be strapped alongside the rotor. The material combination characteristically fell into the subsequent broad groupings:
Organic pads
The pads were suitable for road racing since they wear well, are gentle to the ears and did not damage the rotor. Also, the pads did not spew dust everywhere.
They were a good concession between road and trail racing vehicles. Most important, the researchers observed that they were the pads of choice for vehicles such as Subaru Impreza WRX. The pads did not work well as organic pads when cold.
Metallic pads
Manufacturers claimed that these were pads reserved for racing. The pads squealed and dust too much, were hardly on the rotor and did not work very well when cold.
Ceramic pads
They were the most commonly used pads in formula one since they are said to have metal fibre. However, it was found out that they were copper but not steel. Therefore, they caused less wearing and transferred heat in a better way. These pads did not fade as easily as the other pads.
As discussed in the essay, engineer completely changed the braking system of formula one cars into something better and more efficient. The cars were able to reach the maximum temperature of 1000 degree Celsius and adapt the cooling system that was able to feature up to 1000 cooling holes. It was very clear by the end of the research that carbon-fibre brakes were by far efficient than steel brakes. The material (carbon fibre) was made of carbon crystals affiliated in long axis. The crystals were honeycomb molded, and they structured themselves in long, flattened ribbons (Orthwein, 2004, 11). The crystal configuration made the ribbons remain strong in the long axis. Unlike any other braking system, when the temperature was highest, the amount of resistance between the disc and the pads went up to 0.6. Most drivers seemed more comfortable when alterations were made to the cars. Observations made asserted that drivers could regulate the dissemination of decelerating influence between the facade and rearmost of their candidates. It was therefore suggested that the braking system is used in other road cars as an innovation.
ASHBY, M. F. (2010). Materials Selection in Mechanical Design. Burlington, Elsevier Science.
HAPPIAN-SMITH, J. (2001). An introduction to modern vehicle design. Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann.ORTHWEIN, W. (2004). Clutches and brakes. New York: M. Dekker.
SALAMONE, J. (1996). Polymeric materials encyclopedia. Boca Raton: CRC Press.
SAVAGE, G. (1993). Carbon-carbon composites. [Dordrecht], Springer-Science+Business Media.
STURMEY, H., & STANER, H. W. (1895). The Autocar. London, Iliffe, Sons & Sturmey [, etc.].
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY. (1923). California engineer. Berkeley, California Engineer Pub. Co. [etc.].
(1998). Formula 1 Yearbook 1998-99. Dempsey Parr.
(1924). Motor sport. London, Teasdale Pub. Co.

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