Research published by a team at King’s College London, has led the team to believe that brake dust which releases metal particles from worn down brake pads may have harmful effects on the immune system. After tests performed in the lab dust created from grinding of pads can cause inflammation of the lungs and an inability of immune cells to kill bacteria.
Research leader Dr Ian Mudway at the MRC Centre for Environment and Health at King’s College London, said: “At this time the focus on diesel exhaust emissions is completely justified by the scientific literature, but we should not forget, or discount, the importance of other components, such as metals from mechanical abrasion, especially from brakes.
“There is no such thing as a zero-emission vehicle and as regulations to reduce exhaust emissions kick in, the contribution from these sources are likely to become more significant.”
Surface Transforms (LON: SCE) a leader in the design, manufacture and supply of carbon ceramic brake discs spoke with DirectorsTalk about the research.
“The relevance to us is that carbon ceramic discs significantly reduce brake pad dust – the brake pad reacts differently between grey iron discs and carbon ceramic discs. In the former the disc basically grinds away the pad; in the latter the pad forms a deposit on the disc (binding to the silicon and silicon carbide) but not to the carbon. The effect is very little brake pad dust on carbon ceramic discs
We are increasingly seeing our customers take an interest in this feature of CC – which is of course in addition to the weight savings, no brake fade, longer life feature of CC”
David Bundred Chairman Surface Transforms PLC