Copper from vehicles disc brakes is one main contributor of the total copper found in the environment. Therefore, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the automotive industries started the Copper-Free Brake Initiative. The pad friction material is essentially composed of a binder, fillers, reinforcing fibres and frictional additives. Copper and brass fibres are the most commonly used fibres in brake pads. There is a need to understand how the contact temperature distribution will change if copper-based fibres are changed to steel fibres. The aim of this work is, therefore, to investigate how this change could influence the local contact temperatures. This is done by developing a multi-scale simulation approach which combines cellular automaton, finite element analysis (FEA) and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) approaches with outputs from inertia brake dyno bench tests of Cu-full and Cu-free pads. FEA and thermal-CFD are used to set the pressure and the temperature boundary conditions of the cellular automaton. The outputs of dyno tests are used to calibrate FEA and CFD simulations. The results of the study show lower peaks in contact temperature and a more uniform temperature distribution for the Cu-free pad friction material.
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