Automobile friction materials: a test instrument and technique for determining dynamic mechanical properties in relation to brake squeal

  • Roger D. Rushton

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


This study is primarily concerned with the problem of break-squeal in disc brakes, using moulded organic disc pads. Moulded organic friction materials are complex composites and due to this complexity it was thought that they are unlikely to be of uniform composition. Variation in
composition would under certain conditions of the braking system, cause
slight changes in its vibrational characteristics thus causing resonance in the high audio-frequency range.
Dynamic mechanical propertes appear the most likely parameters to be related to a given composition's tendency to promote squeal. Since it was necessary to test under service conditions a review was made of all the available commercial test instruments but as none were suitable it was necessary to design and develop a new instrument. The final instrument design, based on longitudinal resonance, enabled modulus and damping to be determined over a wide range of temperatures and frequencies. This apparatus has commercial value since it is not restricted to friction material testing.
Both used and unused pads were tested and although the cause of brake squeal was not definitely established, the results enabled formulation of a tentative theory of the possible conditions for brake squeal. The presence of a temperature of minimum damping was indicated which may be of use to braking design engineers.
Some auxilIary testing was also performed to establish the effect of water, oil and brake fluid and also to determine the effect of the various components of friction materials.
Date of AwardSept 1973
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorA.J. Lovett (Supervisor), G.S. Learmonth (Supervisor) & A. Wilczenski (Supervisor)


  • Automobile friction materials
  • test instrument
  • technique for determining dynamic mechanical properties
  • brake squeal

Cite this