Speed and performance are vitally important in motorsport. However, of equal importance the car must have an efficient braking system for the safety of the driver and for racing performance. The 3D Consultancy have a wealth of knowledge and experience in designing, developing and manufacturing high performance brake cooling systems. 

With the force applied on a racing car during braking, the brake systems generate a huge amount of heat, with the brake discs reaching temperatures of 1,000°C or more. 

Brake components have a temperature window which they can operate within, and their performance drastically degrades when they exceed their maximum operating temperatures. Despite carbon discs, pads and calipers that can handle high temperatures, high temperatures over a prolonged period can create issues for the braking system. 

The brake systems need a cooling system for more efficient use and better car reliability, hence the use of brake duct systems. They work by channelling air from a high-pressure source, then passing it through the brake ducts and out through the disc, pads and calipers to cool them down. This dramatically lowers the temperature that the brakes are operating at. 

The brake disc has hundreds of holes drilled to maximise the surface area and therefore the cooling potential. These holes help reduce the temperature significantly. 

More holes and bigger holes would certainly help cooling the disc further as a greater quantity of air would pass through. That said, these extra holes would affect the aerodynamics and the reliability of the car. This means that a balance must be found to provide the right level of cooling without affecting the aerodynamic performance of the car. 

This is a trade-off that Aerodynamicists and Designers have to balance when developing a Brake cooling system. 

Our materials 

All the Brake Ducts can be manufactured using the High Temperature CEM100 prepreg and the Low Temperature EVOPREG EPC200/300 prepreg. 

The High temperature carbon parts can be manufactured from CEM100 resin system, cured at a long 90°C for the longevity of the moulds and then post-cured to 240°C stand alone. 

In order to protect these parts from higher temperatures, we can coat these components with Intertherm 50, a single component high temperature coating based on a moisture curing silicone binder. 

Because of the design and packaging restrictions, it is inevitable that certain parts of the brake cooling system are very close to the brake disc itself (you can see this in the first image). These parts are consequently exposed to very high temperatures. In addition to Intertherm 50, we are able to apply a ceramic thermal spray coating to protect these parts, or specific areas of the parts that are most exposed to the heat. 

All the low temperature carbon parts can be manufactured from EVOPREG EPC200/300 resin system, cured at 80°C for longevity of the tooling blocks to allow production of up to 6 sets. We can also post-cured these parts to 125°C stand-alone just to make sure the full technical specifications of the materials are reached. 

Alternative Material for Brake ducts applications 

The operating temperatures and mechanical loads of the Brake ducts inlets present an excellent opportunity to use our Carbon SLS reinforced material (the two pictures above show the inlet made of both Carbon composites and Carbon SLS). This material is 

a carbon-fibre reinforced material based on polyamide. It is processed on highly advanced laser-sintering equipment from 3D Systems. 

We have successfully utilised this technology and solution in high-end motorsport endurance environment. 

Additional Composites prepregs systems 

We have used EVOPREG EPC WITH FLAX on various products for motorsports with good success in non-structural parts. 

We also use PFA flame retardant resin systems for Battery Box’s for automotive applications, its another good resin system for flame retardancy requirements. 

We have a wealth of knowledge on resin systems that are either out there or in research with our material manufactures, if we can help you then please contact us. 

About us 

The 3D Consultancy is an engineering led design and manufacturing consultancy providing technical solutions utilising advanced 3D printing/additive manufacturing, 3D scanning and CAD digital processes using the latest materials and processes, with industry leading expertise in composite materials technologies. 

If you have a technical challenge with very tight deadlines that require exacting specifications and an agile working approach to achieve results, then please contact us.