4 Types of Brake Pads to be Aware Of

Braking your car is an essential function that can help you successfully avoid car accidents. Although the model of your car plays a major role in its braking capacity, there are also several other important factors that determine the successful braking of your car. The correct brake pad for your car plays an essential role in the proper functioning of your overall braking system. There are 4 types of brake pads to be aware of when selecting the pad that best suits your car model. By understanding the composition of ceramic, organic, semi-metallic, and low-metallic brake pads you will be able to ensure the functioning of your brake system!

4 Types of Brake Pads: The Most Common Options

White car driving on along a highway.
Image source: Unsplash

When choosing the best brake pad, there are several different factors that can help you in making your decision. Ceramic brake pads, organic brake pads, semi-metallic brake pads, and low-metallic brake pads are all suitable for different preferences. When reading about these 4 types of brake pads you should consider the price, durability, and usage of your cars such as everyday use or sports car driving. If you keep these factors in mind, you will be able to make an educated choice on which common brake pad option is most suitable for your car.

1. Ceramic Brake Pads

Ceramic brake pads are mostly made of ceramic materials and a lower percentage of other materials such as metal and other bonding agents to produce the power needed to stop the car. The main reason for selecting ceramic brake pads is the lack of noise produced upon braking in comparison to the metal-based brake pads. Additionally, they last longer than alternative metal options as it takes longer for this brake pad to wear down. Another benefit to ceramic brake pads is that they result in less dust residue being produced. 

One of the major downsides to buying ceramic brake pads is their price point. The most expensive of the brake pad options, ceramic brake pads prove to be a long-term investment. This being said, ceramic brake pads are perfect for high-performance sports cars as they absorb the heat from rapid braking.

2. Organic Brake Pads

The organic brake pads are a low-metallic option that results in their soft quality. These brake pads comprise rubbers, glasses, and different types of resins that are combined to endure a large amount of heat. The soft texture of these organic brake pads is beneficial for brake discs as it goes easy on them.

Due to the lack of metal in these pads, there are high dust outputs that can become cumbersome to the owner. Additionally, their soft quality results in rapid wear and tear that means they will need to be replaced more frequently than other options. This option is most suitable for normal everyday driving but not for other more intense driving.

3. Semi-metallic Brake Pads

Semi-metallic brake pads are the most common type of brake pads that can be found in the majority of cars on the market today. These brake pads contain metal materials within the range of 30-65%. Using a mixture of metals and synthetic materials such as copper, steel wire wool, and graphite to form a hybrid compound, these brake pads are some of the most durable and long-lasting options. 

The metallic composition of these brake pads makes them highly resistant to both heat and water in comparison to the organic brake pad options. If you are looking for a semi-metallic brake pad that is suitable for intense braking situations, you can easily opt for a pad that contains 65% metal instead of 30%. 

Some of the downsides to opting for a semi-metallic brake pad are that they produce large amounts of dust and cause a significant amount of noise. Another fairly significant negative feature is that they can cause damage to and wear down brake rotors more frequently than other options.

4. Low-metallic Brake Pads

Low-metallic brake pads are similar to organic brake pads in that they contain very low percentages of metal materials. Often, low-metallic brake pads comprise around 20-30% metal with some options actually featuring 10% metal components. This means that around 70-80% of these low-metallic brake pads are made of organic materials. This combination of metal and organic material allows for the brake pads to offset the material decomposing of the organic materials during usage.

This option usually contains a mixture of copper or steel because these specific metals are very resistant to corrosion regardless of high temperatures. A downside to selecting low-metallic brake pads is that they often produce very loud noise as well as considerable amounts of brake dust. Overall, low-metallic brake pads work very well when stopping your car and are able to transfer heat very successfully.


White sports car driving along a highway.
Image source: Unsplash

Finding the best brake pad is an essential part of ensuring the overall quality of your braking system. There are 4 types of brake pads to be aware of that are ceramic, organic, semi-metallic, and low-metallic brake pads. After knowing your options, you will be able to select the best brake pad for your car.

Written by Stephanie Parmiter

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