What's Brake Ducting All About

Posted by Martin Gouda on

If you have ever seen brakes getting really hot, you obviously knew that friction is the main 'victim' for this thermal energy. As kinetic transforms to thermal energy when the pressure is too high, brakes normally get too hot.

But can technology change how brake systems work - and transform the hot thermal energy into cold? Sounds impossible, right?

But it isn't. With the innovative technology known as brake ducting, the braking equipment gets a true upgrade. Moreover, the 'ducting' in the term refers to actual ducting around the cooling system of the brakes, more precisely the upright, caliper and drillings in the friction material.

The brake ducting testing has founds its greatest use in the racing sports, in which the cars are cooled by forcing air throught the ducts and blowing it through the vents of the disc - therefore ventilating it and the surface of the pads and discs.

Wondering about what are the most positive effects of brake ducting?

First and foremost is the aerodynamic efficiency. While smaller discs are used for circuit racing events in which there is less braking in order to manage the temperature of the brake. Recently, a loophone in the Technical Regulations of Formula 1 has allowed the brake ducting technology to be applied directly to the wheels, and the Red Bull RB10 masterpiece has leveraged a brake cooling duct as one of the most innovative and efficient aerodynamic devices found in this sport.

The main loophole which introduced the brake ducting technology to a sport like the Formula 1 comes from a lack of definition of what actually constitutes a duct. Although the FIA can ban this type of innovative technology, they have certainly seen its effects and have decided to let this technology remain.

In the end, while slowing down the cars in a more effective way, the brake ducting technology also gives a vehicle downforce, which allows safer and efficient braking and precise aerodynamics - all coming from a simple method that redefined how the braking technology functions in racing sports.