REL, Inc. Teams with NYU-Poly to Create Lightweight, Ultra Durable Automotive Brake Rotor

january 23 2012

Researchers at the Polytechnic Institute of New York University (NYU-Poly) and Michigan-based REL, Inc. are creating a next-generation aluminum composite brake rotor potentially weighing 60 percent less than today's cast iron rotors with triple the life expectancy.

Due to expense, today's composite brakes have been reserved for motorcycles, race cars and high-performance sports cars, but this new, fiber reinforced, metal matrix composite (MMC) brake rotor aims at the mass market. It will be easier to manufacture, and the fiber reinforcements will provide longer life span.

The researchers also estimate that their composite rotor will shave approximately 30 pounds from a mid-size sedan -- a significant advantage in an industry facing fleet a fuel economy requirement of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025. Manufacturers have long sought to improve the durability and performance of automotive brakes, which are subject to tremendous temperature and pressure changes.

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