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What are Brake Pads: Meaning, Types and How They Work

  • Author :
  • TATA AIG Team
  • Published on :
  • 07/05/2024

Imagine you are going to bump into someone or something unexpectedly, and you spontaneously manage to stop the car before it causes any damage. Do you know the vehicle part that helped in avoiding the damage?

Yes, brakes help the vehicle to slow down and stop when necessary.

Brake pads are an essential part of your vehicle’s braking system. As a responsible driver, you must be aware of crucial information about your vehicle's parts.

In this blog, we try to understand more about the brake pads which are the linchpin between motion and stillness.

Car Brake Pads: Meaning

To put it simply, brake pads are located around the wheels and grab them to reduce the speed or stop the car. However, there is more to it than that.

Brake pads are mounted on brake callipers. A brake calliper is a mechanism that holds the brake pads and applies pressure whenever commanded. They are made from materials that generate friction around the surface.

The brake pad material is supposed to absorb and withstand immense heat and pressure created during braking. This makes the process of friction seem smooth and easy, due to the high-quality and strong components used in making the brake pads.

Now that we know what brake pads are, we can move on to understanding their functioning.

Brake Pad Operational Mechanisms

First, the driver applies pressure on the brake pedal. This movement initiates a series of events.

  • The force exerted on the brake pedal is transmitted through cylindrical chambers that contain fluids. The force or energy is also transmitted towards the brake callipers.

  • The pressure that is generated by the pedals initiates movement in the brake callipers, which are positioned near the wheel assembly.

  • The brake callipers are pushed towards the brake pads, and this pressure forces the pads to contact the brake rotor.

  • This creates extreme friction between the brake pads and the spinning rotors.

  • The friction created is the catalyst that helps your car to slow down its speed or stop the motion altogether.

  • Brake pads are separated from the rotor when the driver retracts their force on the brake pedals, allowing the vehicle to resume normal motion.

  • Essentially, the pressure, energy, fluids, friction, and motion come together to make the braking system work.

Types of Brake Pads

Let’s discuss the 3 major types of brake pads available in the market.

Organic Brake Pads

Initially, disc pads for cars were made of asbestos. However, after the braking process, asbestos proved to be a very harmful component as it was one of the reasons for cancer. It was replaced with non-asbestos organic brake pads (NAO).

These brake pads are made of natural materials like carbon, glass fibres, and rubber. They are affordable, gentle on the rotors, and produce less noise. However, due to their lightweight material, the NAO brake pads are wear-prone and easy to damage.

Semi-metallic Brake Pads

Since brake pads need to have a surface that can withstand high heat and pressure from the force and fluids pushed towards it, they are made of solid materials. Semi-metallic pads are hence made of strong metals like iron, copper, and steel, along with some fillers. These materials combined help in increasing the friction and speeding the process.

These semi-metallic brake pads are moderately priced, are ideal for heat dissipation and last longer than organic pads. However, one can experience louder noises compared to organic brake pads.

Ceramic Brake Pads

As the name suggests, these pads consist of ceramic fibres. The companies used non-ferrous fillers and binding agents to make these pads firm and robust.

These brake pads are high-performing, offer consistency, are efficient, and help reduce the dust produced on applying pressure. These ceramic brake pads have a longer life compared to the NAO and semi-metallic brake pads. These car brake pads' price is higher compared to other types of brake pads.

As we head towards the end of the blog, we now know how important brake pads are by the way they function for your vehicle. This will help you make better decisions while driving your vehicle, like being gentle with the brake pedals, speed, and control.

Navigating Safety With Tata AIG’s Car Insurance

You need to take a few precautions to protect yourself from financial hassle and your car from damage after an accident. One of those precautions is getting a car insurance policy. Four-wheeler insurance ensures financial support in case of an accident or loss of the car.

At Tata AIG, you can get comprehensive policies at your preferred car insurance price and premium. All you have to do is compare car insurance online using a car insurance premium calculator.

You have the answer to all your worries regarding your vehicle and its safety on Tata AIG’s official website. Visit our website and make the right choice!

Ending Note

Having a strong and stealthy braking system is very important if you want every ride to be safe and sound. The braking system is the primary component that makes up the major part of a car’s safety quotient. Maintaining your car’s braking system is paramount for the driver’s and passenger’s overall safety and car driving experience.


Are ceramic brake pads worth more money than other brake pads?

Ceramic brake pads offer superior results, performance, safety and longevity compared to other types of brake pads.

How do I maintain the health of my brake pads?

To ensure the brake pads remain in good condition, drivers must avoid aggressive brakes, maintain proper tyre pressure, make periodic maintenance visits, control the speed, avoid bad patches, and more.

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