How Brake Pads are Made

How Brake Pads are Made

Hey guys ChrisFix here and today I need to replace the brakes on my truck
but instead of showing you how to replace brakes because i’ve done that multiple times with
In-depth how-to videos how to replace front brakes rear brakes drum brakes and on different makes and models
So instead of doing another how-to video on how to replace brake pads
We’re gonna be doing something way cool. Today i’m gonna show you how brake pads are made
That’s right. We’re gonna go to the factory and we’re literally going to make brake pads for my truck
It’s one thing to go to the store and buy brake pads and install them. That’s awesome
But it’s a completely different thing to learn how these are made
The process that goes into it the testing and the different types of brake pads
So the issue I’m having you can see there’s plenty of meat left on these brake pads
There’s about half the life left on here
But the problem I’m having is you see all this rust in here and all this rust in here because the brake pads slide back
And forth in the brake caliper this part where it’s painted
the paint gets rubbed away and
Shows bare metal and that bare metal will rust and this right now is getting seized into this brake caliper and the brake isn’t budging
So although we have plenty of life left on our pads. We still have to replace them because they’re getting rusted
So let’s head out to the brake pad Factory and let me show you how brake pads are made
So while many brake pads today are made in China or India. I’m grabbing a flight from Newark, New Jersey and
Heading to Toronto Canada and here in Toronto
We’re visiting new cap
the makers of
NRS brakes and their brake technology is used in om brake pads for big car companies like GM Ford Chrysler outtie and even Bugatti
And aftermarket companies like Brembo. So this is the real deal. We’re about to see from start to finish how brake pads are made
It all starts right here in their engineering
Department in the United States alone. There are over 3,000 brake pad designs like this one
This is actually the one that fits in the caliper of my truck, which is this right here
Each brake pad has to be manufactured to strict tolerances
Because when you install brake pads in your car, they have to fit nice and tight
But still have room to move in the caliper, so it doesn’t get stuck and to make sure each brake pad fits correctly
It all starts right here on the computer. This is the 3d model of my trucks brake caliper
And since we’re making brake pads for the truck
All the precise measurements are going to be taken from this model and are going to be used to create the die
Which is going to stamp the brake pad backing plate, so it’ll fit properly. So let’s go and check out the stamping process
So we need a head over to the stamping facility for step two where we’re gonna take raw steel and stamp the brake backing plate
And there is no shortage of steel on this factory each one of these coils weighs between three and five tons
And there are stacks of them to the ceiling
Look at all this deal and this steel is super important because it’s gonna be turned into the backing plate
Which is the foundation of the brake pad so high-quality
Pickled and oiled steel is all this factory uses to make their brake pads
Let me show you why so all of these steel coils that you see in front of us are hot rolled
That means they’re formed by heating them up and then rolling them out into shape after the steel is hot rolled
There are two things that could be done first. They could leave the steel as is and a scale a rust forms on top
That’s called black steel
this steel isn’t treated so that black that you see on here is all scale and impurities the
Positives of this are it’s less expensive to produce than pickled an oiled steel
But the negatives are you have those impurities you have this scale you have this rust on here
And we didn’t even make these into brake pads yet and on the other hand
We have pickled an oiled steel. The process of pickling steel is right after it’s hot rolled
it’s cleaned off with an
Acid so that you don’t get that scale that you see with the black steel and then oiling it you could see there’s a sheen
On here all they do is add oil so that it prevents it from rusting in the future
Now the negatives with pickled and oiled steel is it costs more than black steel?
But the positives are you’re starting off with a cleaner rust and scale-free metal
Also, this is what the OEM requires brake pads be made of
So if you’re making an OE brake pad you need to use pickled and oiled steel because it’s a higher quality steel now
I’ll show you the difference between pickled and oiled and black steel in the corrosion chamber a little bit later in the video
but for now know that this manufacturer only uses pickled and oiled steel now that you know
the significance of using pickled and oiled steel
Let’s get our four ton steel coil and bring it to the press at the back of the press
The forklift operator has to put the coil into the loading bracket that another worker
Releases steel which rolls into the feeder and now the worker could feed the steel into the press
But since the steel was coiled up, it’s curved and bent and bent steel can’t be stamped
So first the steel has to travel through a series of rollers to be flattened out
So the brake pad backing plate could be stamped properly. Here’s a closer. Look at what’s happening?
The steel moves along the rollers which are positioned to make that steel flat
Then that flat steel comes out and gets fed directly into the press which has one last set of rollers to ensure. It’s completely flat
Once that flattened steel makes it into the press the press applies up to 800 tons of pressure to stamp out a single backing plate
800 tons is like having the weight of
400 passenger cars stacked on top of each other pressing down on that single piece of steel. That’s a lot of pressure
So after the brake pad backing plate gets stamped it slides down into one of two
Buckets and not into the main orange bin this two bucket design is so smart
And here’s why they do it
Once one of the buckets gets full the worker closes the gate to that bucket and then the other bucket starts filling up he perceived
By grabbing a backing plate and blowing it off with some compressed air so we could visually inspect it
He’s trained to look for anything that indicates the backing plate isn’t being pressed correctly
If he sees an issue
He could shut the press and instead of contaminating the entire
orange bin of backing plates where there could be
Thousands of them already made he knows only the top two buckets have potentially bad backing plates
So this simple inspection prevents damaged backing plates from getting mixed in with the entire batch, which is very smart
All right. So check this out. We went from a coil of steel to this a freshly stamped backing plate
So at this point the backing plate is the correct shape and has all the holes and studs it needs
But what happens to the rest of the steel that isn’t used in the backing plate on the side of the press all the extra?
steel that isn’t part of the backing plate is also captured and
Recycled what you see here is scrap metal that comes from the area around the backing plate and this over here is the scrap metal
From cutting all the holes in the backing way
Nothing goes to waste here
That’s good for both money savings and for being environmentally friendly all this metal will be melted down and reuse
Alright, and as you can see this containers almost filled as this finishes up now we can move on to the next step
so let’s grab a backing plate and
Bring it to the Quality Control lab where the backing plate undergoes a full
Analysis to make sure each one has no flaws and will properly fit the caliper
So here’s one of our backing plates and I’m gonna hand it over to the lab technician who’s gonna place it on this high-tech scanner
The dimensional analysis scanner uses lights and cameras to precisely measure every part of the backing plate
It compares these measurements to OEM specifications in this case for my Mazda beat 3000 pickup truck if it isn’t within the acceptable
Tolerances that’ll come up on the screen as red and if it’s good, it’ll be green just like that. Perfect
Alright, and that is a pass now
Every single brake pad backing plate has a serial number stamped into it for complete traceability
This could be tracked back to the original pickled and oil steel that it came from
So now we know all of our backing plates are stamped to the correct specifications
And since this container is full we could take it to the next step at the mechanical attachment
Facility and just so you get an idea the size of this facility
Let’s go for a quick ride on the forklift
This company has a total of seven hundred thousand square feet of floor space and all those orange bins that you see that are stacked
Up. Those are all filled to the top with backing plates for almost every car produced in the world
And here we are making brake pads specifically for my truck. How crazy is that?
So now the forklift driver is bringing the backing plates to the next step which is adding the mechanical attachment to the backing plate
So we have the backing plates that we just stamped and these are going into the NRS machine. This machine is also oppressed
But it works a bit different than what we just saw
So the worker places a bunch of backing plates into the hopper which feeds the press to get you guys the best view they stop
The press for me and I literally went inside the press to set up cameras
So you could see what happens to the backing plate check this out
The blank backing plate is fed into the press and then the press pushes down to scrape the surface of the backing plate to create
hundreds of sharp rasps that at work
Here’s an up-close. Look of what these rasps look like
These are an important technology that allows the brake pad material to stick to the backing plate without using glue
Now after the brake pads get that mechanical attachment scraped into them
They get transported via conveyor belt and get collected into another orange bin
so we go from this smooth backing plate to a backing plate with hundreds of rasps on the other side that are gonna hold that
brake pad material on so with that we are done with our third step and
now the forklift operator could take the bin filled with the backing plates and bring it to the loading dock because the next thing we
Need to do is galvanize these backing plates and to do that. We have to bring them to a separate but nearby Factory
So after a short trip
We’re at the galvanizing factory where our backing plates are hung on these racks so they could be coated with zinc
This process is gonna put a sacrificial layer to prevent the backing plate from rusting. So, let’s see how it’s done
There are seven main steps for galvanizing backing plates first
The rack of backing plates is dipped into a heated water and sodium hydroxide bath
Which removes grease from the surface of the backing plates?
Next it comes out of that bath and gets dunked into plain water to rinse off the backing plates
Then it goes into a pickling bath where acids clean any surface
rust and scale off the backing plates then the rack gets submerged into water again to insure the acid is rinsed off and now the
Backing plates are placed in an aqueous solution and an electrical current is run through them
So the zinc ions attach to the backing plates
Now the zinc is bonded to the surface of the backing plate and a thin even layer to provide rust resistance
then the rack goes into a post treatment sealer which improves corrosion resistance and
finally the last step is to do one last rinse in plain water and
Pull it out to let it dry
After it dries all the backing plates are officially zinc coated and therefore rust resistant and ready for the next step
So let’s head back to the brake pad Factory and back at the brake pad factory
Our freshly zinc coated backing plates are about to look like a brake pad
Because the next thing we’re gonna do is add the brake pad material now
There are three main ways to add friction material to a backing plate and the first method which this factory doesn’t do
But I wanted to cover is gluing the friction material
This is actually really common for brake pad manufacturers to do they get a bare piece of metal because you can’t have galvanization
Because the glue won’t stick to it. You also don’t have that mechanical attachment
You have a nice flat bare piece of metal and they use heat and pressure to glue the friction material
Onto the pad now since it’s not galvanized it can’t be protected by rust
So what they do is they paint it so you get a painted pad like this now
This is what my truck was using and this is common on many aftermarket pads now
The second method is molding the friction material. This Factory does do that
And what they do is they get a mold they put the backing plate in there
They pour the friction material in and then they use heat and pressure to cure that friction material
Against the rasps against the backing plate so that mechanical attachment
Holds it in and then for the third method this is called the fusion process
It’s the newest technology in the brake pad industry, and we’re about to get a sneak peek
So let’s go check it out
What you’re looking at is the fusion machine and here’s how it works
First the worker places the friction material into the holder followed by the backing plate with a mechanical attachment facing down into the friction material
next the fusion machine rotates and brings the backing plate and friction material to the press the press pushes down with
1200 psi of pressure to join the friction material and backing plate as one solid piece
There is no heat used here
Instead the sharp mechanical attachment on the backing plate is pushed into the friction material and then it’s slightly bends poking into the friction
So it can’t come off finally the machine spins again and a vacuum picks up the brake pads and places it on a conveyor belt
To be brought to a worker who will package the brake pads
this is a much cleaner and more efficient method than gluing the friction material or even molding the friction material and
There we go. Our friction material is on our backing plate
But there’s one more step we need to do and that is make the brake pad shim which starts out as this rubber-coated
coil of steel which is
Straightened out and makes its way to the press the press then stamps out the brake pad shim and these shims are used to isolate
The brake head from the caliper to keep the vibrations and no down
so let me show you one of these up close all it is is a thin rubber coated piece of metal that goes on the
Backing plate. That’s all you need to make the brakes a little bit quieter now while it’s simple it’s important
So let’s get it on the back of our brake pad
And all you have to do is snap it on good now we’ve officially made our own brake pads from start to finish
so let’s package them up getting all four brake pads in here as well as the stainless steel brake hardware and the piston cushions and
Now, let’s fold the box up and close it, but we aren’t done yet
the last step in the brake
Manufacturing process is done here at the research and development and testing facility where they have a brake dynamometer
They have a shear test machine. They have a saltwater corrosion chamber
So what we’re gonna be doing is we’re gonna be testing the brake pads that we made and as a little comparison
We have some painted brake pads just to see the difference. So let’s go get these on the dyno
This is the brake pad. Dyno
So I’m gonna hand over the brake pads that we just made to the lab technician and he’s gonna install them in the caliper then
The doors are closed for safety because we’re about to torture test these brake pads
To make sure they could hold up to the harshest conditions
So with a hit of a button the dyno starts up and spins the brake rotor to highway speeds and then we’re gonna do multiple
Panic stops like if there was an accident in front of you and you had to slam on your brakes to come to a complete
The only difference is we’re gonna do this over and over until the brake rotor is brought up to 600 degrees Celsius
Which makes it glow red? Hi, this is pushing the pads to the extreme limits
So extreme chances are you’ll never see this on the road and we’re gonna be doing this for both the galvanized end Tainted peg
Which will get ready for the next test the corrosion chamber test
So here’s the painted brake pad and the galvanized brake pad after the dyno
The idea is to give them some wear and tear so we could test them in the corrosion chamber
This is the corrosion chamber which uses salty humid air to simulate about two months of winter driving
So the lab technician is gonna put both the galvanized pad and the painted pad in the corrosion chamber so we could see the difference
So with the lid closed the salty humid air is being circulated and we have to wait about a day for the tests to complete
And a day later, we are ready to see the results. So let’s remove the pads from the corrosion chamber and check this out
Right away, you can see the painted pad has rust on it and the paint is peeling off the backing plate
And remember this is after a simulated two months on a winter road
And then with the galvanized pad the zinc does its job it provides a sacrificial layer and protects the steel and prevents it from rusting
So it’s pretty cool to see how the galvanization prevents the steel from rusting. Now, let’s take these two pads to the shear test machine
This right here is the shear test machine and let me show you what it does
So this black metal piece is gonna push on the side of the brake pad and measure the force it takes to break that friction
material off now
we’re gonna load the brake pad into the holder add the top plate over the pad and
Lower the top arm to hold it in place. Now. The gauge is on the right are reading the force
it takes to break the brake pad material off and the top is the mechanically attached pad and the bottom is the glued pad so
Let’s start the test right now. The force is increasing until the brake pad fails
And you can see the glue pad just failed and the mechanically attached pad is still going and there you go. Finally it failed
So it took more than double the force to break it
so with the painted pad the glued friction material popped right off and with the galvanized pad you can see the hooks held on to
The friction material and what’s really cool? This is the brake pad that we made and while it’s awesome to see lab results
Let’s go out into the real world and test this out and instead of driving some fancy sports car
This is gonna be my test vehicle. It’s a Chevy Tahoe
It weighs over 5,000 pounds a nice heavy vehicle something that regular people drive and it’s really gonna put these brakes to the test
So let’s go get these installed
so we’re gonna install the galvanized brake pads in the of this SUV just like that and then we could install the brake caliper and
Finally tighten down both bolts. So they’re snug and we’re ready to go. Now. We’re gonna torture test the brakes by doing repetitive hard stops
So I need to floor it and then head down the track wide open throttle
Until I hear a beat, which means I hit 60 miles an hour
Now I’m hard on the brakes until we come to a complete stop and I’ll be doing this over and over and over and finally
after fifteen panic stops
the brake pads caught fire and the temperature of the brakes were just under 600 degrees Celsius or about
1,100 degrees Fahrenheit, so we really put these brakes to the test today and we got to experience that firsthand
So there we go. How cool is this?
We start out with a coil of pickled and oiled steel then we stamp that to make a backing plate
We added a mechanical attachment using the NRS
Press then. We galvanize it to prevent rust then we added our semi metallic friction material
We add a shim to prevent brake noise
And finally, we have our completed brake pad and that’s everything on how brake pads are made from start to finish
So now there’s one more thing we need to do and that is fly home
To good old New Jersey and install our brand new brake pads
so out with the old rusty brake pads that are stuck in here and look at how rusty these are then we could remove the
caliper to give us access to remove the old rotor as well now in with the new rotor torque down the caliper to spec and
Now we’re ready to install the brake pads
So let’s get the new stainless steel hardware
Installed into the caliper and these just snap into place and allow the brake pads to move freely along a smooth clean surface
Good now we’ll add some anti-seize onto the brake caliper pistons and let’s install the included
Piston cushions and these are something new to the market and they help prevent the brakes from making noise due to rubbing against the bare
Metal caliper Pistons, you just need to push them into the piston and that’s all there is to it. All right
so with our piston cushions in and our brake hardware in there’s one last thing we need to do and that
Is install the brake pads that we made I like to add a very thin coat
A nice ease to the back of the caliper and to the brake hardware and this helps prevent brake noise and keeps the pads moving
Freely, now we can add the pads and it goes right into place just like that and notice how easy these go in
that’s why it’s important brake pads are built to tight tolerances and Oh a speck then we could close up the caliper and
Finally, we could tighten down the caliper bolt and we are done. So
There we go out with the old
rusty seized up brake pads and in with the nice brand new ones and the best part is
We learned how they are made from start to finish
This was easily one of my most favorite videos to make ever
What an experience and how cool is it to actually see how brake pads are made?
It’s one thing to install them in your car
It’s another thing to learn what goes in to making brake pads now
I do want to thank NRS breaks for supporting the video and making this possible
you guys didn’t see what went on behind the scenes but they shut down part of their factory so I could go and film and
Show you guys each step of making brake pads
Not only that we got to see things that not many people get to see I got to get it on camera and share it
With millions of people so we can learn how brake pads are made. And again, thank you very much
I’m gonna link their brake pads in the description so that if you guys need brake pads
You saw what goes into them you saw the quality, you could find them down in the description
I think it’s pretty cool to run brake pads that you actually know how they’re made speaking of how it’s made
This is my first time making a video like this
Normally, I do how to replace brake pads or how to replace a wheel bearing not how it’s made
let me know in the comments what you guys thought is this something that you want to see me continue doing we can make a
little series out of it
Hopefully other brands reach out and we could see how I don’t know wheel bearings are made or tires are made
Comment some ideas down below if you like this and as always if you enjoyed the video remember to give it a thumbs up also
If you’re not a subscriber consider hitting that subscribe button for more videos just like this and finally again
I’m gonna link this brand brake pads in the description go check them out
I’ll also link a video on how to replace brake pads from start to finish that goes in-depth so
You know exactly how to do it yourself

100 Replies to “How Brake Pads are Made”

  1. The company that let me film in their factory is giving all of my fans 20% off their brakes using the code "20off" at checkout. I do not make any money from this! They are doing this to get you guys to try out their new technology brake pads and I will always share a discount to help my subscribers. Here is the link:

    This video was one of my most favorite that I have ever made! It took about a months worth of work and I hope you enjoy! It took a lot of time and work to make and NRS brakes literally closed down part of their manufacturing line so I could film this. It’s absolutely incredible how much help they were! I hope you guys like it and I hope other brands reach out so we can do more of these how-it’s-made episodes!

    Also I will be in Ireland for a meet-up on Saturday July 13 so check out my Instagram or YouTube stories for more info if you are from Ireland!

  2. Hey Chris, would you show us how to stop windows from squealing? I've got a 2016 Mustang and the driver window started squealing. I tried washing the rubber and cleaning everything possible, but it didn't work. Saw a few vids of people using some lubricant, but I dont trust them. So I came here to ask.

  3. Very interesting, the moral or the story is don't buy cheap pads, never mind problems with things like squealing on cheap pads.

  4. @ChrisFix This was a really nice video but you didn't talk about the different materials used for for brake pads (metallic, semi-metallic and porcelain). Do you have a video about that?

  5. This video was top notch wow, 10 times better than any "How it's made" video with that boring generic stock footage on discovery channel. I just had to leave a comment cuz this was legit man, top notch, so fun to watch, so educational. make more dude.

  6. Man, you have outdone yourself in this one.
    It's even better than How It's Made.
    I would LOVE to see more videos like this!

  7. Said the words "Brake Pads" too many times. Was too excited during the video which became tiresome to listen to after 20 minutes. Good information though.

  8. Made in Canada! Sign me up….
    I just installed stop best crap on my car because of an unforeseen circumstance and regret it. They squeal and make a lot of dust.

  9. Excellent video and love that they are made right here and not somewhere half-way around the world. I don't need new brakes right now but will within a year and I will definitely choose these NRS brakes and get your discount. If I could only add one thing, I would have loved to know what the brake material (the pad) is made from? Thanks for this!

  10. Word of note from experience. Don’t EVER use anti seize on brakes! It can’t withhold the temps brakes create and becomes hard and crusty. Always use high temp grease! They aren’t the same.

  11. Thanks for taking the time to demonstrate how brake pads are made and tested
    You we’re able to cram a lot of interesting content in this video given the time you had
    Very entertaining and informative
    It’s nice to see how much effort is given to ensure our safety on the road and Yes I would like to see other videos similar

  12. Kudos to NRS for stopping the factory line to show the process. The best way to attract a customer is to provide proof of how good you make the stuff and that's why it's a great video. The testing part is just as important as the how it's made part, for credibility. Definitely do more of this.

  13. Hi Chris, I have been problems with the booster on my van, I think it´s a common issue, maybe you can make a video about the booster and the booster valve 😀

  14. On steel plate you havr two holes. How that this holes are full with friction material as long as this is glued or fusioned?

  15. How about a safety video, good eye protection, hearing protection, and good lung protection. Brake pads like these can contain asbestos. The manufacturers once slowed using asbestos, but it is still legal to use, and now companies are probably using it even more often in brake pads. Avoid brake dust like the Plague.

  16. The one thing I wanted to learn about wasn't really covered in this video at all….. How are the friction pads themselves made? You talk a bunch about making the steel plate, and then you just have a friction pad and talk about how it attaches to the steel. I mean this is interesting but not really what I wanted to know.

  17. in 35 years ive never seen the friction material sheer from the backplate. so why does the pressed variant have to be 6 times stronger

  18. Zacisk do regeneracji. Widać korozję na tłoczkach zacisku. Przy cofnięciu tłoczków podczas zakładania nowych tarcz i klocków skorodowane tłoczki moga się zatrzymać w zacisku. Dodatkowo korozja rantu tloczka powoduje niedokładne przylegające uszczelki przeciwpyłowe przez co do wnętrza zacisku dostawac będzie się brud i wilgoć.

  19. Hey! Check out our first ever completely Drill Les Brake! totally drill and damage free. we have install videos, a fb page, and a website with all our info. ​@UC7-J7BpExTgPAtPccjs1nlA ​@t ​@t​

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