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‘Self-lubricating’ rail and car brakes prevent wear-and-tear

Professional Engineering

UBCO School of Engineering researcher Mohammad Arjmand examines the new polymer-based brake pad, which he says could revolutionise braking systems in cars and trains (Credit: UBC Okanagan)
UBCO School of Engineering researcher Mohammad Arjmand examines the new polymer-based brake pad, which he says could revolutionise braking systems in cars and trains (Credit: UBC Okanagan)

Carbon fibre-infused polymer-based brakes for cars and trains can ‘self-lubricate’, researchers have claimed, becoming more efficient and resistant to wear-and-tear.

The international team of engineers – from Sharif University of Technology in Iran, UBC Okanagan in British Columbia and the University of Toronto – created the brakes, which they said could be “very important for the automotive and railroad industries”.

Brake pad materials are typically available in three categories: metallic, ceramic and organic. All have benefits and weaknesses inherent to their design such as cost, durability, noise, slow response time, or increased temperature during usage, said professor Mohammad Arjmand, one of the lead researchers.

The engineers added carbon fibres to the polymer-based brakes, reportedly making them self-lubricate. The new technology could lead to smaller brake pads that are more efficient and cost-effective, thanks to greater resistance to friction and temperature.

"This new research looks at things like composite breakdown during high temperatures, durability, friction and wear testing," said Arjmand. They “could be a real boon for the industry and consumers alike," he added, eventually making vehicles more efficient and affordable.

The research was published in Wear.


Content published by Professional Engineering does not necessarily represent the views of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.
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