How Brake Rotors Function

Car brakes system

The usual routine procedure in a scheduled car maintenance check up entails the following:  changing the engine oil, checking on the tire pressure, and checking on the car’s brake system that includes the brake fluid, brake pads, and brake rotors.  Brake rotors or brake discs have its own specific role functions in the brake system as they are the parts where the brake pads clamp down on to stop the car’s wheels from spinning.

Brake rotors are classified into drilled and slotted types, wherein each type has its own performance functions, for instance, the drilled brake rotors which are distinguished by its holes drilled into the brake parts for reasons of, first, dissipating the heat created from friction when the brake pads grab the rotor, because if heat cannot escape or dissipate the brake’s stopping power is reduced and, second, any gas build up or water entering into the brake parts can be quickly removed at the brake rotor surface, thereby, allowing for the brake system to perform well.  The other type of brake rotor, which is the slotted rotor, is used as a brake part choice for performance car driving like those in the racetrack, since the slots are carved into the face of the rotors with its vents located around the edge of the rotor, therefore, when the rotor spins, the heat escapes through the vents, making it possible to have faster removal of heat which results into a high brake performance.

In trucks and in other heavy vehicles, the brakes and rotors are made of sturdier materials, such as cast iron or steel, and are of larger size than those of cars, this is because a lot of force is needed in stopping a truck and, therefore, the stopping and slowing down need a lot of friction from the brakes and when there is greater friction, there is bound to be more heat generated, so the brake rotor is purposely designed to consider the fast removal of heat generated from friction in trucks.

The brake rotors in motorcycles operate similarly as those of car rotors, but differ in the sense that the front and rear brakes in motorcycles work independently, where the front brake takes a greater role in the stopping power, while the rear brake assisting to slow down the motorcycle.  Furthermore, the similarity in function and performance with respect to the types of brake rotors in cars are also applied in motorcycles, such that the drilled brake rotors are often used for street driven motorcycles, while the slotted brake rotors are installed in motorcycles used for racing.  Brake rotors are also considered a means to make motorcycles stand out, since they are visibly seen, and, with that, some motorcycle brake rotors are custom-designed having decorative drills or unique rotor shapes.

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