Studies Highlight the Dangers for Millions of Drivers Operating Vehicles with Unsafe Aftermarket Brake Pads

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Dr. Gregory Fridman of Drexel University supports research conducted by the Global Brake Safety Council that reveals the low performance of many aftermarket brake pads

The Global Brake Safety Council, established to uphold the highest standards in brake safety, conducted field research of discarded disc brake pads from job shops and engaged in discussions with metallurgists, major disc brake pad manufacturers and original equipment brake foundation engineers to gain a better understanding of the cause of the premature brake pad replacement and the effects of black steel used for brake pad manufacturing.

Dr. Gregory Fridman, Assistant Research Professor at Drexel University’s C. & J. Nyheim Plasma Institute, reviewed the Effects of ‘Black Steel’ And Its Contribution to Premature Brake Pad Replacement and Brake Pad Failure and Brake Pad Failure Modes and their Consequences reports from the Global Brake Safety Council. The research of 10,000 brake pads in the studies reveal a significant safety concern for individuals in vehicles operating with substandard aftermarket brake pads.

Following his review of the research, Dr. Fridman stated, “I can conclude, with confidence, that poor manufacturing practices are clearly being employed in the aftermarket disc brake manufacturing process. Black steel use is shown, in the provided reports, to contain oxide layers that are linked to low pad performance, delamination (‘rust jacking’), and other issues. Combined, this seems to be a major safety concern and needs to be addressed. The report suggests the use of SAE 1010 hot rolled, pickled, and oiled steel. The evidence, provided in the report, supports this recommendation by the Global Brake Safety Council. While only one laboratory was used for this investigation, the report appears to show no bias. Additionally, the names of the brake pad manufacturers were omitted to show the importance of technology improvement rather than an attack on a specific manufacturer.”

Brake pad efficiency is essential for the safety of the roads. However, North America does not have any industry standards for aftermarket brake pad manufacturing, which results in unsafe driving conditions for consumer with black steel brake pads.

“We are seeing an increase in aftermarket brake pads that fail to reach the end of its life cycle,” says Scott Lambert, chairman of the Global Brake Safety Council. “Drivers unaware of the risks that accompany the installation of inferior aftermarket brake pads in their vehicle are vulnerable to accidents and jeopardize their safety with potential brake failure.”

The studies disclosed the risks of installing poor quality aftermarket brake pads. With aftermarket brake pads not having to adhere to the same standards of original equipment manufacturers, the roads in North America are hazardous for drivers and passengers in those vehicles.

To view the research reports, visit gbscouncil.com/tech-bulletins.

For more information about the Global Brake Safety Council, visit gbscouncil.com.

About Dr. Gregory Fridman
Dr. Gregory Fridman received his PhD in 2009 in Biomedical Engineering from Drexel University. Currently, he is an Assistant Research Professor at Drexel University’s C. & J. Nyheim Plasma Institute and an Assistant Professor at Rowan University. Gregory’s research interests primarily focus on plasma bioengineering that is integration of non-equilibrium plasma discharges into biology and medicine. Gregory is a PI and CoPI on multiple grants including NIH R01 on plasma-assisted stem cell differentiation and bone tissue regeneration. He has authored 34 peer-reviewed papers, and one book chapter in Plasma Medicine with total citation index >2,700 (h-index 21, i10-index 31). Among multiple awards, Gregory received a prestigious national IEEE Award in Nuclear and Plasma Sciences.

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Richard Krueger
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