Brake Pad Innovation


Hall 2.0 Stand B60 Automechanika – GERMANY, September 11th 2012 – TRW Automotive Aftermarket will use this year’s Automechanika to highlight its recent and upcoming innovations in its brake pad range. TRW has more than 100 year’s experience as a pioneer in the design, development and manufacture of complete braking systems for the vehicle manufacturers. In the past 15 years, TRW has directly transferred this experience into the aftermarket and has manufactured well over 100 million brake pads in house.

Kinetic Energy

In quarter four 2012, TRW will introduce a new brake friction formula across its European markets, which is engineered to meet the specific requirements of a select range of Light Commercial Vehicles (LCVs) and high end Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs), to improve the braking stability of the vehicles with a higher kinetic energy [1].

This material has been developed because in parallel with roads becoming more congested, vehicle speed is increasing. Stopping distance is exponentially longer at high speeds; each time the speed is doubled it quadruples the stopping distance required. For LCVs and SUVs the issue is compounded by the fact that they are heavy. Alongside this, the number of these particular vehicles is on the rise, with the latest figures available for the European Union (EU) showing a rise in LCV and SUV sales of 8.7 percent from 2009-2010[2].

TRW’s Product Group Marketing Manager, Richard Adgey explained: “These types of vehicle pose a particular risk. We decided to proactively develop a new friction material which is engineered specifically to meet the demands of high kinetic energy. This new material will be introduced to our range on a rolling basis over the next months, and will replace the existing material supplied for those references.”


cotec-brake-padTRW introduced Cotec in January 2012. This is an innovative silicate brake pad coating which provides optimum performance from the first stop. Independent tests proved that brake pads coated with  Cotec outperformed major competitors, and even the original equipment brake pads, by reducing stopping distance by as much as seven metres in the stops immediately following a pad change.

Technical braking expert at TRW, Peter Jobelius commented: “At the start of the ‘bedding in’ process, the brake pad exhibits ‘green behaviour’, where the friction co-efficient is lower. Drivers can find it difficult to adjust to the difference in performance during these first stops. By improving contact between the brake disc and pad, TRW Cotec addresses this issue. As a global safety measure, Cotec is being introduced to the vast majority of TRW pads for passenger cars and light commercial vehicles. After all, every stop could be a safety critical stop.”

Environmentally Friendly

More than a decade ago, and way ahead of ECE R90 Regulations, TRW was the first manufacturer to introduce an ‘environmentally friendly’ and copper free braking programme for passenger cars. No: copper; lead; mercury; cadmium; antimony; brass or molybdenum. When a driver brakes, the friction produced causes small particles of the brake pad to turn to dust. Any metals in the brake pad material will eventually find their way into the watershed. Dust from harmful metals is detrimental to wildlife and thus affects the whole food chain.

Additional Value

Alongside these developments, TRW offers a programme of differentiation, for design and material quality, safety, noise reduction and identification purposes.

TRW has invested millions of Euros to develop the market’s optimum friction materials which ensure a stable friction coefficient and the safest braking.

Unlike others in the industry, TRW practices the OE system of advanced heat plate scorching , where the friction material is heated to 600-700°C under one ton of pressure, eliminating trapped gases and resins and reducing the bedding-in time. TRW also mirrors the original equipment design for slots and chamfers.


Where vehicle manufacturers use a metal shim, TRW ensures the aftermarket part has the same type of shim. Even where a shim is not fitted to the OE part, TRW will always fit at least a phenolic shim. And to make life easier for the mechanic and to negate the use of old and possibly unsafe accessory components, all necessary bolts and loose accessories are included in the product box, where they are included in OE.


[1] The kinetic energy of an object is the energy which it possesses due to its motion, mass x speed

[2] European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA)

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