Ceramic vs. Semi-Metallic Brake Pads – Comparison!

If you are here, probably you are looking for a materials recommendation for the brake pedal of your car. According to these general recommendations, we will try to give different kinds of comparison parameters between the ceramic versus semi-metallic brake pads. We will keep it simple, and understanding the differences between these two materials will be very easy for you. But again, it is up to you to select the correct material for your car.

What is a brake pad?

Ceramic vs. Semi-Metallic Brake Pads.
Ceramic brake pads. Image Source:

We need to start with the fundamentals first. The brake pad is a very simple system that you attach to the brake caliper of your car. Once you press on the brake pedal of your car, the brake pads will come in contact with the brake rotor to create friction between these two elements and stop your car. Over time, your brake pads get worn out, and you need to replace them with another brake pad.

So, the material of your brake pad is a crucial thing that you need to consider. The performance of your brake system will be defined according to the material of your brake pad.

And then, you can easily understand the differences between the ceramic brake pads and the semi-metallic brake pads.

Semi-metallic brake pads

Metallic brake pads are the latest technology in brake pad systems. As you understand from its name, the material of that metallic brake pad is composed of different amounts of metallic elements with particles inside it.

So we can say that semi-metallic brake pads are composite materials. When it comes to the properties of semi-metallic brake pads, we can mention these important parameters that can affect your selection criteria:

The first parameter that we need to assess for the semi-metallic brake pad is the cost. The most common materials in brake pad technology are organic brake pads, semi-metallic brake pads, and ceramic brake pads. So if we make a comparison between these brake pads in terms of cost, the cheapest one is the organic one, as the manufacturing of organic brake pads is much easier compared to the other systems. Semi-metallic brake pads take the middle position in terms of cost, and the highest price of brake pads is the ceramic brake pads. This means if you are looking for a lower-cost solution for the brake pads of your car, you can consider the metallic brake pad.

And also, when it comes to braking performance, the metallic brake pad shows the best performance along with the other materials that you are explaining. Dismiss if you want to increase the performance of your brake pads; you need to select the metallic ones. Because of this, in general, high-performance cars and sports cars are using semi-metallic brake pad technology.

The most important aspect of the semi-metallic brake pad is the noise levels that they produce. When you apply the brake pedal of your car, there can be some sort of noises manufactured due to the friction. Because of the material structure of the metallic brake pad, its noise is much higher if you compare it with the other ones. However, if you are driving a high-performance car, you need to change the metallic brake pad more frequently compared to the other ones.

In terms of performance, wear and tear on the wheel system or tire system are significant factors. In the braking application, wear and tear can occur on the roller system of your car. Also in terms of of wear and tear, the semi-metallic brake pads take the middle position among these three types of brake pads. Also, this can be considered a downside of the semi-metallic brake pads.

Parameters of ceramic brake pads

Also, in terms of the same criteria, we can make a small comparison between the ceramic gray pads and the semi-metallic brake pads.

First of all, as stated, the price of ceramic brake pads is the highest among these three types of categories. So if you are considering the cost to be much higher than the other parameters, you need to be prepared to pay much higher values for ceramic brake pads.

The greatest advantage of ceramic brake pads is the noise levels that are produced during the braking application. So if you don’t want any noises from the brake system of your car or any noise at all from your vehicle, you can select the ceramic brake pads in general.

Metallic brake pad.
Metallic brake pads. Image Source:

The greatest advantage of ceramic brake pads is the low noise levels they produce during braking applications. If you want a brake system without any noise, ceramic brake pads are a suitable choice.

Another important advantage of ceramic brake pads is that they cause less wear and tear on the wheel and roller systems compared to other materials.

However, in terms of overall performance, ceramic brake pads may show slightly lower performance compared to metallic brake pads.

Which one to choose?

To make a decision between semi-metallic brake pads and ceramic brake pads, you should consider the following:

  1. Check your vehicle’s manual: The recommendation in your car’s product manual can provide valuable insights into the best material for your brake pads.
  2. Regular maintenance: If you bring your car for regular maintenance and the brake pads need replacement, the mechanics or experts can help you select the best material for your car.
  3. High-performance cars: For high-performance cars and sports cars, ceramic and semi-metallic brake pads are generally preferred.
  4. Braking capabilities: If you prioritize excellent braking capabilities, you should choose metallic brake pads. They offer superior braking performance but may require more frequent replacement compared to other materials.
  5. Reliability: If you seek a more reliable system, ceramic brake pads are a good option.

Conclusion – Metallic Brake Pads versus Ceramic Brake Pads

These are the general pieces of information about different brake pad materials. If you have any additional comments or questions about brake pad materials, metallic brake pads, and ceramic brake pads, feel free to leave them below.

Additionally, you can explore other important topics and content about the brake systems of your car available on our website.

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What is Brake Checking? Is it Legal? How to Prove?

Uğur Uygun

Hello everyone, I am Uğur. I am a mechanical engineer who has experience in different R&D departments of HVAC companies. With my best friend, I decided to build this website to share out knowledge and experience. And also, I am interested in automotive. So, I am writing about automotive and automotive-related articles here. Sharing my knowledge and experiences on these topics is a very big pleasure for me. I am willing to answer all of the questions people have about these topics.

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