This paper investigated a failure in a ventilated disc brake in an automobile. The failed brake disc had been in service for approximately 10 years. The observed failure was in the form of radial cracks that appeared to have initiated at the outer edge of the disc brake. The cracks were rather straight with no branching. Optical microscope, scanning electron microscope (SEM), and energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) were used to study the microstructure of the failed disc. Vickers microhardness test was also used to evaluate the hardness of the samples. Results showed that the root cause of crack formation, in this case, was related to the excessive wear in the brake disc. Different wear mechanisms, namely abrasive and adhesive wear, were recognized in the failed specimen. Moreover, the worn surface in some areas was covered with fine oxide particles. These particles appeared to have a significant contribution toward abrasion. To further understand the wear mechanisms, pin-on-disc experiments were also conducted on the samples. Results of the pin-on-disc experiments were compared and correlated to the results obtained from the failed brake disc.
- disc brake