Carbon metallic vs. Ceramic brake pads (primary differences)

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What stops the vehicle, even when it's running at high speed? Most of you will answer the braking system. That's true enough, but the vehicle actually stops because of the friction created by brake pads.

Therefore, a braking system with a better brake pad will ensure better vehicle stopping.

Semi-metallic, ceramic, organic, and hybrid are some of the popular types of brake pads you will notice in the market.

But this particular article is about to put light only on the carbon-metallic and ceramic brake pads.

Let’s find out how they match and differ from one another-

Carbon metallic brake pads vs. Ceramic

what are the types of brake pads?

In a broader sense, brake pads are of four different types. If you dig deeper into the topic, you may notice some varieties. But all of them somehow will fall under one of these four types.

Here are the four primary types of brake pads-

  • Ceramic brake pads
  • Low-metallic NAO
  • Semi-metallic
  • Organic brake pads

You may also check this extract to understand each of the brake pad types better.

What is a Carbon Metallic brake pad?

Carbon metallic brake pads are a variety of metallic brake pads. By ‘metallic brake pads’ we refer to those braking pads that are built by combining various types of metals.

The metals used to build a metallic brake pad are usually steel, copper, iron, and carbon.

When the percentage of carbon in a metallic brake pad tends to be high, we call it as a carbon metallic brake pad.  

characteristics of a carbon metallic brake pad

Carbon metallic brake pads are a great inclusion in most high-performance vehicles because of their higher heat absorbing capacities.

Here are some of the primary traits of a carbon metallic brake pad-

  • The percentage of carbon is higher
  • Creates noise while braking
  • A perfect fit for high-performance vehicles
  • Fast braking
  • Better heat-absorbing capacity
  • Keeps the braking system cool
  • less wear and tear-resistant

Due to higher heat absorption capacity, carbon metallic brake pads tend to wear soon. But the plus point of having a carbon metallic brake pad in your vehicle's braking system is that it can create higher friction to stop a vehicle comparatively faster.

That is the reason why you will notice that most sports cars tend to have metallic, semi-metallic, or carbon metallic brake pads.

Read more: DOT-3 Automotive Brake Fluids

What is a ceramic brake pad?

The term Ceramic brake pad is comparatively new. Dense ceramic is used with embedded copper fiber to build ceramic brake pads.

These new ceramic brake pads are a modern day solution to reduce sound while hitting the brake.

Another great reason to go with a ceramic brake pad is that these braking parts last longer than all other types of braking pads that you would notice in the braking system.

characteristics of a Ceramic brake pad

Ceramic brake pads are the most suitable option when you drive moderately and demand to have a long-lasting braking pad.

Here are some of the major characteristics of a ceramic brake pad-

  • Constructed with dense ceramic and embedded copper
  • Zero noise production
  • dust-free braking pad
  • Less heat-absorbing
  • Better option for moderate drivers
  • Better wear and tear-resistant
  • Long-lasting and durable performance

Comparison between Carbon metallic and ceramic brake pads

brake pads

All you have known is about both carbons metallic and ceramic brake pads. But comparing them side by side is going to give you the clearest idea regarding which one has the edge.

Therefore, the following comparison chart may turn out a supportive option for the readers.

Carbon metallic brake pad 

Ceramic brake pad

The majority of the construction material is Carbon

Ceramic and copper are the construction material

Absorbs the heat

Doesn’t absorb the heat

Doesn’t transfer it to the braking system

Transfer the heat to the braking system

Creates noise during brake

Noise-free braking experience

Isn’t dust-free

Dust-free braking

For extreme driving conditions 

For moderate driving conditions

High-performance, and sports cars

Regular usable cars

Not wear and tear-resistant

Wear and  tear resistance

Less durable than ceramic ones

Durable and long-lasting ones

Construction 

The carbon metallic one has a hard construction as it comes with Carbon built. On the other hand, Ceramic is the one that is used to make regularly used pottery and plates.

Also, it has copper embedded inside the construction to enhance durability.

Heat absorb 

It's one of the crucial factors that keeps the Carbon metallic ones on top of the ceramic ones. Neither Ceramic nor copper can absorb the heat, which results in the unusual heating of the entire braking system.

On the contrary, the metallic one is made to absorb the heat yet produce braking with superb accuracy. For the absorbance, the heat doesn't move to the other parts of the braking system and affects it.

Noise and dust 

Moderate means if there is unusual noise during starting or stopping the car, it can be annoying. But that actually enhances the thrill when the same noise happens on the racing track.

In that sense, ceramic ones have their best use for moderate driving for regular use as they don't create any noise or dirt.

Meanwhile, you can always have that loud noise and dust produced from the metallic ones as they are made for the extreme conditions driving.

Durability

Can you change the brake pads frequently on your daily usage car? Well, it sounds ridiculous for sure and to keep that ridiculous thing away from your daily life, a ceramic pad is the best option you have.

These pads are tear and wear-resistant as they don't absorb heat and lose quality. On the other hand, Carbon metallic ones have to go through a rough and tough time whenever they are on the run.

Also, they are heat absorbent that decreases the ability frequently and makes the pads tear easily. Therefore, they have a shorter lifespan on the racing or extreme driving tracks.

 Carbon metallic or Ceramic: which one is for you?

brake pads frictions

You should go for a carbon metallic pad if you are looking for it for your racing car or you are amongst the harsh riders. Meanwhile, as a moderate user, ceramic ones will get you a lengthier lifespan with tear and wear resistance.

However, these are made for moderate use as well because of the construction that combines ceramic and copper.

Not absorbing the heat makes these pads a bad choice in extreme conditions. So, the choice of the brake pads depends on the condition and usage of the user.

Advantages of carbon metallic brake pads

The common question any seller will have from the buyer is why I would buy this? Fair enough, you have all the right to know about the good sides of the pad before paying for it.

  • Metallic pads can absorb a superb amount of heat.
  • It doesn’t affect the other parts of the braking system.
  • Useful in extreme driving conditions.
  • Hard construction for quick responsive braking.

Cons of carbon metallic brake pads

The thing is that you can't go and purchase anything just by seeing one side, which is the good side. The inspection of the product depends ongoing through the cons of it as well.

  • Carbon metallic brake pads aren't worn and tear-resistant.
  • Creates noise and dust.
  • Less durable than ceramic ones.

Advantages of ceramic brake pads

Comparing ceramic pads with carbon metallic ones is fair enough in many senses. But when it comes to moderate driving, ceramic brake pads remain on top always.

Here're the other reasons why you should get these pads for your vehicle.

  • Ensures a noise and dust-free braking system.
  • These are tear and wear-resistant.
  • Provides a durable and long-lasting service.
  • Perfect choice for moderate usage.

Cons of ceramic brake pads

Although it has a lot of positive sides, the brake pads are not out of cons or negative sides.

  • Doesn’t absorb the heat produced during braking.
  • Makes the braking system hot by transferring the heat.
  • Not a good choice for racing tracks or extreme driving conditions.

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