Brakes are all about bringing moving vehicles to a stop. Brakes evolved as automobiles evolved in order to deliver better braking power.
The Disc Brake stands out for its superior braking characteristics and lack of brake fade, a phenomenon common in drum brakes. Most modern cars today have disc brakes sitting at the front and rear, providing incredible stopping power.
Still, the systems were primitive and it was not until 1964 when the Studebaker Avanti rolled out with disc brakes that made the auto industry take a serious interest in this system. European made cars had disc brakes back in the 1950s but it took another 20 years for American cars to switch to this system.
There are further refinements in disc brakes mainly relating to the rotor. A rotor may have a plain surface, a drilled surface, a grooved surface or a dimpled surface, or a combination of any of these to enable better braking and heat dissipation. The purpose is to provide better grip for the pads, allow gases and debris to escape and reduce weight.
The main parts of a Disc Brake are:
The challenges are that disc braking systems require higher hydraulic pressure and are expensive in comparison to drum brakes.
Disc brakes are now standard on front and rear wheels of most modern cars and motorcycles, pointing to their superior characteristics and agility it provides.