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Semi Metallic brake pads vs Ceramic

TechGuru

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I installed the Power Stop drilled and slotted rotors and ceramic pads. I yank a 4,300 boat around and wanted rotors that won’t warp when I make a hard stop.

Then you better get rid of them ceramic and put semi-metallic on them.
 
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TechGuru

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Why? They work better than anything I’ve had before.

Did you read this whole thread from the beginning?

I'll repeat from post #8...

Organic Brake Pads

Organic brake pads (also known as NAO, or “non-asbestos organic”) were developed as an alternative to asbestos pads, composed of various fibers mixed with binding resins to hold them together. Some common materials used in organic brake pads include glass, fiber, rubber, carbon and Kevlar. The materials and tools used to manufacture organic brake pads are still the least expensive today, which is why the majority (roughly 70%) of new cars sold in the US still come with them from the factory.

Pros:
• Soft, quiet, easy on brake rotors
• Don’t require much heat to generate good friction
• Produce less dust than metallic pads
• Low manufacturing cost
• Suitable for normal driving/commuting across many environments
• Perfect for every day vehicles and drivers

Cons:
• Only operate well within a relatively limited temperature range
• Wear out quickly compared to other types of brake pads
• High compressibility – can cause “mushy” brake pedal feel
Will quickly lose their coefficient of friction when overheated
• Not at all suitable for performance driving

Semi-Metallic Brake Pads

As the name implies, semi-metallic pads contain anywhere from 30-65% metal by weight, typically consisting of steel, iron, copper, etc. combined with friction modifiers and fillers, as well as a graphite lubricant. Semi-metallic brake pads are arguably the most versatile style available, with the slight compromise being more noise and dust. They are also longer lasting and more durable, and their metallic composition can help draw heat away from the rotor and aid in more efficient brake cooling.

Pros:
Dramatically increased braking performance over organic pads
Have a much higher thermal threshold due to metallic content
Still provide good cold bite
Have a much wider operating range (temperature)
• Low compressibility – will provide a firmer brake pedal feel
Much more resistant to brake fade than organic pads
• Numerous compounds available – suitable for anything from daily street driving to extreme track use

Cons:
• Tend to be noisier than organic or ceramic pads
• Produce more brake dust
• More abrasive than other types of pads – will wear brake rotors more quickly
• More expensive than organic pads (but generally cheaper than ceramic)
• Require careful and proper bedding-in for best performance

Ceramic Brake Pads

The comparative new kid on the block is the ceramic brake pad. Ceramic pads are composed of a dense ceramic material (like pottery fired in a kiln) with embedded copper fibers. In use since the 1980s, ceramic pads were developed as an alternative replacement for organic and semi-metallic brake pads because at the time these types produced too much noise and dust. Ceramic pads are also generally easier on rotors than semi-metallic pads.

Pros:
• Quieter than semi-metallic pads – emit noises that are above the range of human hearing
• Produce finer, lighter-colored brake dust which does not stick to wheels
• Longer lifespan than organic or semi-metallic
• Stable under a wide range of temperatures for consistent performance

Cons:
• Typically the most-expensive type of brake pad
Do not produce as much cold bite as semi-metallic pads – may not be ideal in extremely cold climates
Do not absorb heat as well as semi-metallic pads which can increase brake system temperatures
• Good all-around braking characteristics but were never designed as heavy duty/racing brake pads
 
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SKI NUT

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Did you read this whole thread from the beginning?

I'll repeat from post #8...

Organic Brake Pads

Organic brake pads (also known as NAO, or “non-asbestos organic”) were developed as an alternative to asbestos pads, composed of various fibers mixed with binding resins to hold them together. Some common materials used in organic brake pads include glass, fiber, rubber, carbon and Kevlar. The materials and tools used to manufacture organic brake pads are still the least expensive today, which is why the majority (roughly 70%) of new cars sold in the US still come with them from the factory.

Pros:
• Soft, quiet, easy on brake rotors
• Don’t require much heat to generate good friction
• Produce less dust than metallic pads
• Low manufacturing cost
• Suitable for normal driving/commuting across many environments
• Perfect for every day vehicles and drivers

Cons:
• Only operate well within a relatively limited temperature range
• Wear out quickly compared to other types of brake pads
• High compressibility – can cause “mushy” brake pedal feel
Will quickly lose their coefficient of friction when overheated
• Not at all suitable for performance driving

Semi-Metallic Brake Pads

As the name implies, semi-metallic pads contain anywhere from 30-65% metal by weight, typically consisting of steel, iron, copper, etc. combined with friction modifiers and fillers, as well as a graphite lubricant. Semi-metallic brake pads are arguably the most versatile style available, with the slight compromise being more noise and dust. They are also longer lasting and more durable, and their metallic composition can help draw heat away from the rotor and aid in more efficient brake cooling.

Pros:
Dramatically increased braking performance over organic pads
Have a much higher thermal threshold due to metallic content
Still provide good cold bite
Have a much wider operating range (temperature)
• Low compressibility – will provide a firmer brake pedal feel
Much more resistant to brake fade than organic pads
• Numerous compounds available – suitable for anything from daily street driving to extreme track use

Cons:
• Tend to be noisier than organic or ceramic pads
• Produce more brake dust
• More abrasive than other types of pads – will wear brake rotors more quickly
• More expensive than organic pads (but generally cheaper than ceramic)
• Require careful and proper bedding-in for best performance

Ceramic Brake Pads

The comparative new kid on the block is the ceramic brake pad. Ceramic pads are composed of a dense ceramic material (like pottery fired in a kiln) with embedded copper fibers. In use since the 1980s, ceramic pads were developed as an alternative replacement for organic and semi-metallic brake pads because at the time these types produced too much noise and dust. Ceramic pads are also generally easier on rotors than semi-metallic pads.

Pros:
• Quieter than semi-metallic pads – emit noises that are above the range of human hearing
• Produce finer, lighter-colored brake dust which does not stick to wheels
• Longer lifespan than organic or semi-metallic
• Stable under a wide range of temperatures for consistent performance

Cons:
• Typically the most-expensive type of brake pad
Do not produce as much cold bite as semi-metallic pads – may not be ideal in extremely cold climates
Do not absorb heat as well as semi-metallic pads which can increase brake system temperatures
• Good all-around braking characteristics but were never designed as heavy duty/racing brake pads
Yep.
 
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Mbrooks420

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It depends on the particular semi-metallic pads. Some are garbage, and do not perform any better than ceramics.
 
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TechGuru

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It depends on the particular semi-metallic pads. Some are garbage, and do not perform any better than ceramics.

I'm referring to the Heavy Duty class of semi-metallic pads like Bendix Fleet Metlok and Wagner SevereDuty.
 
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karlos2

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I like the stopping power of Wagner thermo quiet semi-metallics.
 
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TechGuru

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Mbrooks420

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Wild guess, but one is designed to be quiet, one is designed for faster braking, at the expense of more noise.
 
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swshawaii

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Wagner® Quickstop® application-specific brake pads are designed and tested to achieve OE-like performance and confidence. They are designed to reduce noise-causing vibration. Wagner QS™ covers 99% of North American VIO, including many first-to-market application

Wagner® ThermoQuiet® brake pads are the quieter, “one-piece” brake pads. They feature Integrally Molded Sound Insulator (IMI™) that integrates the friction material, backing plate and insulator into a single high strength component. The application-specific design spreads out heat, sound and vibration over a much larger surface area for quieter operation. A unique application-specific laser-shaped friction optimizes pad-to-rotor interface for better braking performance.

Wagner® SevereDuty™ brake pads are exclusively engineered for vehicles driven in extreme environments. Dependable and durable, these friction products meet or surpass stringent testing standards for fleet and municipality vehicles.

See "Additional Offerings"
QuickStop Brake Pads
 
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Drewmcg

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I've never used them, but someone I trust recommends this brand/line sold by (AdvanceAuto): Carquest Wearever Platinum Professional Ceramic Brake Pads - Front (4-Pad Set) PXD1089H: Advance Auto Parts

The "someone" is Eric O. from South Main Auto, an independent mechanic in upstate New York with a large youtube following. Of course, a garage is going to prioritize (i) convenience (parts delivery); (ii) lack of noise (fewer come-backs); and (iii) easy warranty return/replacement when necessary. These factors would logically be weighted more heavily than cost (which he of course passes on) and maybe even absolute-best stopping power (almost no customer could discern, anyway).

Still, he's probably the most down-to-earth and trustworthy professional mechanic on youtube (South Main Auto), and has done hundreds if not thousands of brake jobs over the years, so that counts for a lot. Note: the above URL is not for Explorer pads, but includes a review where the guy confirms that this is Eric O's preferred pad. And Eric does tons of pickup trucks.
 
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GoshaCruel

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DEfinitely Akebono is one of the best on the market.I have Akebono ACT787 ProACT . These pads are what you would call a high quality ceramic brake pad. They will outperform most ordinary semi-metallic brake pads and even approach the smoothness of high-performance ceramic pads when braking. That in itself is a big compliment to the quality of these brake pads. Akebono brake pads are made to be as good as OEM parts and you can buy them to fit on most European, Japanese and American domestic cars.
 
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Bryan Greene

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Ceramic brake pads are composed primarily of ceramic fibers and other filler materials.

Advantage :stable under a wide range of temperatures, providing more consistent performance.Minimize harmonic pad vibration, producing much lower noise levels. Less abrasive, which minimizes brake rotor wear.
Disadvantage: more expensive than other types of pads, it was limited in range of application.

Semi Metallic Brake Pads are made from about 30% to 65% metal, and are commonly made out of steel wool, wire, copper or other metal materials.

Advantage: These types of brake pads are considered to be very durable.
Disadvantage: May wear brake rotors faster and will not function well in very low temperatures.

Difference between ceramic and metallic brake pads:
  • Ceramic brake pads produce less brake dust compared to semi metallic brake pads, and
  • Ceramic brake pads are great for smaller cars, they can be noisy on heavy cars and trucks.

Hope it’s helpful.
 
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Joe in NY

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I've tried Akebono pads multiple time. I love made in USA but can't use them anymore. THey wear out rotors extremely quick, don't stop well, and get ruined by the smallest bit of rust build up on the rotors, dirt, mud, salt, etc. Additionally, they ruined a nice pair of EBC slotted rotors I put on. Wore the rotors down so much that the slots are nearly gone and the pads are barely worn.

Switched over to semi-metallics and will carry on with them. Stopping power is excellent and they keep the rotors clean without wearing them down or ruining the faces.
 
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