Based at the Bendix Product Engineering Centre in Ballarat, Victoria, Andrew French, Bendix’s Head of Engineering overseas the research and development of brake pads and components to make sure that they suit specific driving styles and perform to the highest standards.
Specific compounds are developed for each particular brake pad, meeting the various customer requirements to suit applications from driving cars around town to the more extreme use of performance vehicles on the racing circuit.
The Bendix formulations are developed in the Product Engineering Centre at Ballarat where the brake pads are made and tested with the whole process occurring in-house. “Both international and special in-house procedures and guidelines are used to validate the materials to ensure that our brake pads are safe once installed in a vehicle. They then undergo extensive lab testing both on hub dynamometers and on vehicles,” said Andrew French.
The General CT is is the bedrock of the Bendix brake pad range. Matching standard OEM spec replacement standards this product offers additional improvements and is quieter and smoother in application, whilst delivering low dust levels and consistent pedal feel. Each General CT pad contains a specially developed Blue Titanium Strip. This acts as an intermediate layer between the brake pad and the rotor and does away with the standard bedding in process providing maximum friction and pedal feel from its first brake application.
“Our 4WD/SUV brake pads cater for the avid adventurer, providing rugged and reliable performance in the most extreme conditions. We also understand that most off-roaders also spend a lot of time in urban surroundings so our 4WD/SUV brake pads are designed to deliver outstanding braking performance both on and off-road,” added Andrew. “Characteristics of the General CT are combined with that of the Heavy Duty, offering low dust, low noise and very effective performance.
“Our Heavy Duty brake pads cater for vans, trucks, utes and other load carrying vehicles operating under higher load and temperatures than a typical passenger car. The Heavy Duty pad is specially formulated to withstand high temperatures and loads. Ceramic materials wear excessively in high heat applications so a material with a high metallic content was needed to ensure performance and wear life is maintained in these conditions. The Heavy Duty pad is also available for most cars where loads such as heavy trailers are used,” said Andrew.
Bendix has developed the Euro+ brake pads to meet and exceed OEM and European Union’s ECE Regulation 90 rules. These regulations stipulate that our brake pads need a plus or minus 15% performance against the OEM item. To meet these stringent rules Bendix selects the right formulations to suit each vehicle and also includes all the hardware such as sensors and sundry components for an easy, stress free installation. Euro+ pads are also formulated to provide lower dust levels than the original pads.
The formulation has been specifically developed for performance across all conditions to maintain high braking performance and resist brake fade at high temperatures. Because of this, the testing regime for our high performance brake pads is different to the testing done on our General CT pads. Standard strength testing is combined with additional testing on the dynamometer and also on the race track.
Along with the research, development and manufacture of brake pads for passenger vehicles brake pads, brake shoe kits and brake linings are also manufactured for commercial vehicles such as long haul trucks, trailers and buses. The development of formulas for these applications draws on the learnings from the passenger car brake pad research and development, adding materials for improved strength and wear life to meet heavy commercial use. Dynamometer and extensive field testing is also undertaken with fleet operators around Australia providing us with real world conditions. The research and development also covers other brake products and accessories such as Ceramasil Brake Lubricant, Brake Cleaner, shims, sensors and clips, each tested to ensure long lasting reliable performance.