High-Performance Brake Systems

While most passenger car brake systems are quite robust and reliable under typical operating conditions, high-performance driving and/or racetrack operation generally require alternative design solutions to optimize consistency and longevity. Whether it is brake fluid fade, cracked rotor discs, chronic knockback, or insufficient brake pad life, the stresses of motorsports can pose unique challenges to even the very best brake system designs. Consequently, ceramic rotors, six-piston calipers, adjustable balance bars, and titanium backing plates have all made their way onto the high-performance brake system scene, but what is the right answer for your application?

This seminar has been designed to assist you in answering that very question. The day begins with a concise yet thorough analysis of brake system design factors relevant to all types and categories of high-performance vehicles. The principles of energy conversion, gain, balance, and deceleration are discussed and supported with straightforward mathematical models, allowing attendees to realize the compromises that must be considered when designing from a system perspective.

From selecting an appropriate brake pedal ratio through the calculation of caliper effective piston area, the second portion of the seminar dives into the details of brake system component design. Based upon the principles learned earlier in the day, attendees will quickly realize that just as with proper system design, brake system component design is an exercise in managing engineering trade-offs. As a result, the material presented will not disclose what components to choose as much as how to choose them.

Day two of the seminar concludes with a design exercise that will allow attendees to put into practice several of the key concepts learned throughout the seminar. Detailed course notes and illustrations are provided along with a copy of High-Performance Brake Systems: Design, Selection, and Installation for on-the-job reference.

What Will You Learn

By attending this seminar, you will be able to:
  • Estimate brake system energy capacity
  • Approximate brake system gain requirements
  • Calculate vehicle deceleration
  • Establish brake proportioning for ideal balance
  • Determine pedal ratios, booster output, and hydraulic system gain
  • Discuss the differences between brake fluid chemistries
  • Specify brake caliper components
  • Differentiate between brake pad friction materials
  • Select rotor technologies for application-specific needs

Is This Course For You

This course has been developed for individuals involved in the specification, design, installation, maintenance, and performance of brake systems and their associated components in high-performance and/or racing applications; however, the fundamental principles and design considerations presented apply to all facets of brake system engineering.

In addition to individuals involved directly in brake system design, this course can be valuable to those responsible for chassis design, suspension tuning, tire optimization, and overall vehicle dynamics in high-performance applications.


Materials Provided

This data is not available at this time

Course Requirements

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Day One
Module 1: Energy Conversion
  • The Conservation of Energy
  • Types of Energy
  • Energy Transformation
  • Calculating Brake System Temperatures

Module 2: Tires
  • Brake Forces & Tire Slip
  • The Mu-Slip Curve
  • Calculating Maximum Deceleration

Module 3: Gain
  • Gain & Force Distribution
  • Brake Component Gain
  • Brake System Gain
  • Calculating Stopping Distance
  • Compliance

Module 4: Brake Balance
  • Brake Force and Corner Weight
  • Static and Dynamic Weight Distribution
  • Ideal Brake Balance
  • Why Ideal Brake Balance Matters

Module 5: Apply System
  • Brake Pedal Design & Function
  • Brake Booster Design & Function
  • Master Cylinder Design & Function
  • Balance Bar Design & Function
  • Proportioning Valve Design & Function

Module 6: Brake Fluid & Hoses
  • Boiling Points and Water Adsorption
  • DOT Ratings
  • Hydraulic Circuit Design
  • Brake Hose Design & Function

Day Two
Module 7: Calipers
  • Caliper Design & Function
  • Taper Wear and Piston Count
  • Caliper Mounting
  • Caliper Body Design
  • Knockback

Module 8: Brake Pads
  • Brake Pad Design & Function
  • Brake Pad Fade
  • Friction Material Categories & Chemistries
  • Friction Mechanisms

Module 9: Rotors
  • Rotor Design & Function
  • Rotor Cooling
  • Solid & Vented Rotors
  • One-Piece & Two-Piece Rotors
  • Cross-Drilled Rotors & Slotted Rotors

Module 10: Design Exercise
  • Brake Force Analysis
  • Deceleration Analysis
  • Weight Transfer Analysis
  • Brake Balance Analysis