Image of brake pads with elements of copper source Pixabay

When buying brake pads, you are always made aware of the features and type of brake pads that you should choose.

There are different types of brake pads and each one of them is made of a different material.

However, you have noticed that your brake pads are turning yellow. You are likely to notice this when the brake pads are wearing down hence the top layers peel off.

So, what does the yellow color on the brake pad means?

To most of us, we believe that the yellow color is proof of the presence of copper in the brake pads.

What are the Main Materials Used on Brake Pads

Before we even look at where the issue of copper comes in, let’s look at the materials that are used for making different brake pad types.

There are four main types of brake pads and these are:

-Semi-metallic brake pads: These brake pads comprise 30% metal. They are quite popular thanks to their strength and durability.

They are used on both high performance and commuting cars.

-Ceramic brake pads: Ceramic brake pads are the most expensive and are made of ceramic material.

They are mainly used on high-performance cars. They produce minimum dust and tend to last for longer than any other type of brake pad.

-Low-Metallic, Non-Asbestos Organic: These brake pads feature a small element of metals and some organic compounds. Copper and steel are just some of the metallic materials that are used on these brake pads.

-Non-Asbestos Organic brake pads: As the name suggests, these brake pads are made of the organic compound and have minimal asbestos. The organic compounds can include rubber, kevlar, and glass.

Why is Copper Used in Brake Pads?


Image of copper dust on brake rotor

As you have seen, some brake pad materials comprise of copper. Even in some, there is the presence of copper only that it is not mentioned.

But why is copper a common denominator in most brake pad materials?

One of the reasons is it streamlines the braking experience. You will be able to brake smoothly without any vibrations or going through a struggle.

Brake pad manufacturers may include copper to facilitate efficient heat transfer.

Keep in mind that there is a significant amount of heat that is generated when the brake pad comes into direct contact with the rotor or brake disc. Copper being a good heat conductor will dissipate that heat away

Another reason why copper is used on brake pads is its ability to prevent the brakes from squeaking or shuddering when in operation.

As you can see, there are various reasons why manufacturers consider including copper metal in their brake pads.

It has numerous desirable properties that improve the overall quality of the brake pad.

So, next time you see the brake pad turning yellow, that could signify the presence of copper metal elements.

However, there is the other side of this issue of the copper metals on brake pads that you need to know.

The Problem with Copper on Brake Pads

Many people and organizations have raised some complaints regarding the presence of copper in the brake pads.

Washington and California passed legislation that controls the use of copper metals in brake pads.

In both states, the copper percentage in brake pads should not exceed 0.5% in terms of weight.

Also, the copper in the brake pad should meet all the safety and regulation standards that are internationally recognized.

Many governments have been encouraging brake pad manufacturers to use alternative materials that are friendly to the environment.

These regulations are still enforced to date.

Is Copper Harmful to the Environment?

Image of copper granules from brake pads source Pixabay

Probably you are assuming that the reason the use of copper in brake pads was regulated is because it may have a negative impact on human beings and animals.

You may be right about this.

Studies found out that brake pads were a significant source of copper runoffs. These are simply tiny pieces of copper metals that fall off from the brake pads.

These copper runoffs find their ways to water sources and cause a significant amount of pollution.

However, copper is not that harmful. Human beings and even animals contain a significant percentage of copper metals in their bodies.

However, to stay in line with international regulations.

Copper Free Brake Pads

In response to the brake pad regulations, most popular brake pad manufacturers resorted to manufacturing copper-free brake pads.

These are brake pads that have zero copper content.

In doing so, the manufacturers can supply their brake pads in any country without dealing with many bottlenecks.

Instead of copper, brake pad manufacturers have opted to use alternative elements which when combined will have the same desirable properties of copper.

Choosing the Best Brake Pads

Image of quality brake pads source Pixabay

Now that you know the issue of brake pad regulation, you can go ahead and buy quality brake pads.

Whether you are buying the brake pads for personal use or you import brake pads for wholesale, you should strive to choose the quality.

In addition to quality, you need to ensure that the brake pads meet the international standards for brake pads.

The level of copper metal in the brake pads should be according to the required standards.

Since the brake pads play a critical role in the safety of the vehicle, you should not compromise on anything regarding the quality.

If you are planning to resale the brake pads, then it is your responsibility to sell something that is internationally acceptable.

Copper Free Brake Pad Manufacturer in China


Image of copper free brake pad source Pixabay

Are you planning to buy quality brake pads that meet all the international standards?

Then you seriously need to consider where to buy the copper-free brake pads.

Choose a manufacturer that is dedicated to meeting all the required brake pad regulations.

By doing this, you will have nothing to worry about with regards to the quality of the brake pads.

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