Brake squeal is common issue, can be caused by several condition. For example worn pads, pads and rotors get glazed because of heat, incorrect installation and lately brake pads’ materials.
The most common type of brake pads the composite brake pads, it contains steel wool or fibers, copper fibers, that provide strength and carry heat away from the brake rotors. The downside to composites is they tend to be noisy and abrasive, causing greater wear to the rotors. As composites wear, they produce visible brake dust that sticks to the alloy wheels which then need cleaning more often as the dust accumulates.
Then comes the ceramic brake pads. Copper fibers replaced steel in ceramic composites, producing a brake pad that reduced friction on the pads and rotors, eliminating the squeal of steel based composites. As ceramic pads wear, they produce a lighter, less visible dust that does not stick to alloy wheels. As a result, drivers find ceramics to be much cleaner. Ceramic pads are longer lasting than steel based composites as the ceramic material wears more evenly. However ceramic brake pads cost more.
Brembo Ceramic Brake System
Copper Free Ceramic Brake Pads
And than comes the environment.
In 2010, the states of California and Washington both enacted legislation that requires brake pads, sold or installed in both states, to have reduced levels of copper and other heavy metals.
The legislation was ratified based on claims from environmental groups and regulators that as brake pads wear down, deposits of copper and other metals are left on roadways and are eventually washed into streams and rivers, thus impacting the environment.
Manufacturers of brake pads are now required to test and register friction materials in their products. They are also required to display compliance information on friction material edge codes and friction material packaging.
As a producer of brake discs, Brembo was called to contribute significantly to the creation of the new regulation, and actively participated in the working group of the Economic Committee for Europe and the United Nations. ECE-R90 Certification for the entire range of Brembo discs and brake drums. Read more about Brembo Brakes
TRW Brake Pads
TRW brake pads our main replacement brake pads. They needs no break in period, owned by ZF of Germany.
To help consumers understand which of the three levels of compliance a brake pad has reached, compliance level information will be marked on the brake pads. A new set of trademarks ‘the LeafMarks’, (created by the Brake Manufacturers Council) will appear on brake packaging.
There are three different LeafMarks:
A: All formulations met all requirements. Adopted in California January 1, 2014 and Washington in January 1, 2015, friction materials must be below 0.01% Cadmium, 0.1% Hexavalent Chromium, Lead, Mercury & Asbestos fibers.
B: All metallics do not contain Copper, ceramic is less than 5% Copper. California and Washington must both be compliant by Jan 1, 2021. Friction materials containing more than 5% by weight Copper are prohibited.
N: All metallics and Copper free ceramics meet this requirement . California to comply by Jan 1, 2025, Washington by Jan 1, 2023. Friction materials containing more than 0.5% by weight Copper are prohibited.
I have to note it: We do not have this kind of legislation in Canada.
However, why would manufacturers produce one kind of brake system for US and different for Canada? It dos not make sense, therefore I believe like many other things in automotive we will silently join in.
Akebono Ceramic Brake Pads
Akebono Ultra-Premium and Performance brake products are environmentally friendly. Their ultra low dust ceramic brake pads produce 80 percent less brake dust than composite brake pads.
We provide you with a choice of genuine or alternative brake components which are Made in Germany by TRW /ZF , in Made in Italy by Brembo , or Acebono, originated from Japan. They are certified ECE-R90 quality components for the best possible performance and ultimate in safety, adhere to the low copper requirements under California and Washington restrictions.
Please note, brakes are one serious business! We take pride in providing our customers with the best components in world in everything we do. My philosophy goes like this: If I would not bolt it on my car, I will not bolt it on your car!
Any questions? Please contact us. Our phone number: 905.795.0419
More info on performance brake sets for import cars.