Composite brake discs

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    Global market leader

    As early as 1993 SHW put the first light-weight composite brake discs into production for a German automobile manufacturer.

    As with mono-bloc brake discs, the key feature of the design is a cast iron friction ring. The iron pot has been replaced by an aluminum pot, which leads to significant weight-savings.


    The iron friction ring is mounted floating on radial stainless steel pins that are cast into the aluminium pot. This allows the friction ring to expand radially during braking, which significantly reduces thermal deformation – referred to as shielding – and noticeably improves the comfort features of the braking system.

    The lighter composite brake discs reduce the unsprung mass of the vehicle, which improves driving comfort. At the same time an average reduction in CO2 emissions of around one gram per kilometre is achievable, assuming that four composite discs are used per vehicle.

    With its aluminium foundry, SHW is at present the only manufacturer of brake discs worldwide that can cover the entire production chain in-house. As with monobloc brake discs, perfect mill-turning allows particularly close tolerances in production and this constitutes a unique selling proposition of SHW.

    At first, composite brake discs were primarily used in sports cars. However, comfort aspects are also becoming increasingly relevant. For this reason, this type of brake disc is becoming increasingly common in luxury vehicles. The OEMs particularly appreciate the development and process expertise of SHW, but also increasingly the automated production chain from one source.

    In the meantime, SHW composite brake discs are being delivered not just to German luxury car makers but are also being developed for European and American automobile manufacturers.

    The lightweight composite brake disc from SHW sets the industry benchmark in terms of comfort and weight. SHW works constantly on improving its production process and the brake disc itself.


    The objective is to make further inroads on the market and therefore make a sustained contribution to the reduction of CO2.