Carbotech Compounds and Applications
- Why ceramic?
- Does Carbotech have brake pads and/or brake shoes for my application?
- Can I have descriptions of the different compounds?
- How many miles will I get out of the Carbotech brake pads?
- Which compound is best for me?
- What is the primary difference between street and track brake pads?
Friction materials have evolved significantly over the years. Brake pads were originally made with organic ingredients such as asbestos and carbon, held together by a strong resin. Asbestos brake linings were used because it was heat-resistant to the intense friction and heat produced in braking. They've gone from asbestos to organic to semi-metallic formulations. Each of these materials has proven to have advantages and disadvantages. Some of those advantages and disadvantages are noise, wear, stopping capability and environmental friendliness. The use of asbestos was eventually banned by the US government. There are still some non-metallic or organic brake pads sold today.
Asbestos pads caused health issues and organic compounds can't always meet a wide range of braking requirements, such as high performance driving. Unfortunately the steel strands used in semi-metallic pads to provide strength and conduct heat away from rotors also generate noise and tend to cut up rotors as well. At Carbotech, we felt this kind of friction materials were not the best solution, and we decided to develop something that was better in performance and better for the entire braking system. That’s when Carbotech decided 14 years ago to take a path not taken by any other brake pad manufacturer.
Friction materials that contain ceramic formulations have become recognized for their desirable blend of traits. Ceramic compounds use copper fibers (amongst other materials) in place of the semi-metallic pad's steel fibers. This allows the ceramic pads to handle higher brake temperatures with less heat fade, and provide faster recovery after the heavy braking.
Another characteristic that makes Carbotech-Ceramic™ materials attractive is the absence of noticeable dust. All brake pads produce dust as they wear. Carbotech-Ceramic™ compound ingredients produce a light colored dust that is much less noticeable and less likely to stick to the wheels. On that same note, all Carbotech compounds produce a 100% non-corrosive dust that can usually be rinsed off with a hose.
Ceramic compounds extend brake life compared to most other semi-metallic and organic materials, and at the same time they outlast other premium pad materials by a significant margin, without compromising in noise control, pad life, and all around braking performance.
Most brake pads sold today are considered semi-metallic, semi-metallic brake pads use brass, copper, and steel wool shavings held together by a resin. Unfortunately the main drawback about the use of steel strands, iron, graphite, and small amounts of filer and friction modifiers (used to provide strength and conduct heat away from the rotors) is that the metal shavings and iron must rub against steel rotors every time the brakes are applied. This can also generates a lot more noise and are a lot more abrasive on the rotors. It also creates corrosive dust that can damage your braking system as well as the paint on your wheels and car.
YES, ABSOLUTELY. There isn’t anything Carbotech can’t make when it comes to your brake pads or your brake shoes. If we don’t have your pads/shoes or if we can’t get your pads/shoes (which isn’t often) just send us your cores and we can clean them up and reline them with any of our brake compounds. It’s that easy. The only thing you can’t send us is old pads and shoes that are lined with asbestos. You need to clean off the asbestos yourself and then send us the backing plates or shoe frames. If you can’t get the asbestos off then just give us a call and we will help you arrange something.
Carbotech™ Bobcat 1521™
The Carbotech Bobcat 1521™ is our high performance street compound that is our most successful compound. The Bobcat compound is known for its awesome release and modulation, along with unmatched rotor friendliness. Like our AX™ & XP™ line of compounds, Bobcat 1521™ is a Ceramic based friction material offering minimal rotor damage and non corrosive dust. Bobcat 1521™ offers outstanding performance, even when cold, low dusting and low noise with an excellent initial bite. This compound’s virtually perfect linear torque production provides incredible braking force without ABS intervention. Bobcat 1521™ operating range starts out at ambient and goes up to 900°F. Bobcat 1521™ is suitable for ALL street cars, perfect for your tow vehicle, police cruiser, and has won multiple SCCA Solo 2 and Prosolo National Championships. The Bobcat 1521™ compound has been found to last two-three times longer than OE pads you can purchase at a dealership or national retailer. Bobcat 1521™ compound has also been found to extend the life of your rotors 2-3 times. That’s one of the beauties of Carbotech Ceramic brake compounds. Bobcat 1521™ is NOT recommended for any track use.
Carbotech™ AX6™ (1106™)
The AX6™ takes the place of the Panther Plus™ compound that was so successful. AX6™ was specifically engineered for Autocross applications. A high torque brake compound delivering reliable and consistent performance over a very wide operating temperature range (150°F to 1250°F +). Advanced compound matrix provides an excellent initial “bite”, high coefficient of friction, and very progressive brake modulation and release characteristics. AX6™ offers high fade resistance, rotor friendliness at all temperatures, excellent cold stopping power, and non corrosive dust. As a result, AX6™ is an excellent choice for Autocross & novice track day drivers and beginner high performance driver education (HPDE) drivers on street driven cars using street tires eliminating the need to change brake pads at the track. AX6™ has gained tremendous popularity with SCCA Prosolo/Solo2 competitors for its fantastic bite, release & modulation. Many drivers use the AX6™ for street driving as well, even though Carbotech doesn’t recommend street driving with AX6™ due to possible elevated levels of dust and noise. AX6™ is NOT a race compound, and should not be used as such. AX6™ shouldn’t be used by any intermediate or advanced track day drivers, and should not be used with “R” compound tires (racing tires). Cars in excess of 300hp and/or 3,000lbs should not use AX6™ for any track use.
Carbotech XP8™ (1108™)
A high torque brake compound with a wide operating temperature range (200°F-1350°F+). Carbotech XP8™ is the first of our racing compounds. Outstanding initial bite at race temperatures, high coefficient of friction, excellent modulation and release characteristics. Extremely high fade resistance, very rotor friendly with 100% non-corrosive dust. Excellent as a front brake pad for lighter ITA, ITB, ITC, SRF, H4, H5, and other cars that weigh less than 2,400lbs. Perfect for novice, intermediate and advanced track day (HPDE) use with any tire, and can still be driven safely to and from the track. There are several vehicles that use XP8™ on the street, autocross, and at track day (HPDE) events. Carbotech does NOT recommended XP8™ as a daily driven street pad due to elevated levels of dust and noise. XP8™ is also a great rear brake pad for almost any race car (Spec Miata-T1/T2/CMC). XP8™ is a great compound on the front & rear of most open wheel and sports racers.
Carbotech™ XP10™ (1110™)
When Carbotech unleashed the XP10™ to the general public, and it was an instant success, gathering multiple regional, divisional, and national championships. The XP10™ is a very high initial bite friction material, with a coefficient of friction and rotor friendliness unmatched in the industry. Fade resistance is in excess of 1650°F. Due to the high level of friction and bite, this material is recommended for cars weighing around 2,000lbs or more, not including formula cars and cars with brake bias bars weighing less than 2,000lbs. This is the preferred compound for the front of Spec Miata racers, SSC,SSB, T3, SRF, ITS, ITE, H1,H2, H3, H4, 944 Cup, ST, GS, Factory Five Cobra’s and many more Grand-Am/ALMS/SCCA/NASA classes. XP10™ is also ideal for advanced/instructor level HPDE drivers. XP10™ still maintains the highly praised release and excellent modulation, rotor friendliness, and 100% non-corrosive dust that have made all Carbotech compounds so successful. XP10™ is not recommended as a daily-driven street pad due to possible elevated levels of dust and noise.
Carbotech™ XP12™ (1112™)
The latest iteration of the highly successful XP™ series of compounds with an extremely high initial bite, torque and fade resistance than compound XP10™. XP12™ is a world leading friction compound that is unmatched as a Ceramic racing compound, with a temperature range of 250°F to 2000°F+. The XP12™ still has that excellent Carbotech release and modulation that has made all other Carbotech compounds so successful. The XP12™ is the most rotor aggressive compound Carbotech offers, but compared to the competition the XP12™ is still very rotor friendly and contains 100% non-corrosive dust. XP12™ is recommended only for expert/very advanced drivers. XP12™ is found to be most affective on race cars weighing 2,400lbs or more using R-Compound tires; or street cars weighing 3,200lbs or more for track use only. Ideal for LMP1, LMP2, DP, T1, T2, T3, H1, H2, GT1, GT2, GT3, TC, GT, ST, GS, MX-5 Cup, etc… XP12™ is NOT recommended for use as a daily driven street pad due to possible elevated levels of dust and noise.
Carbotech™ XP16™ (1601™)
The second compound to be released this year from Carbotech. It is a step up from the highly successful XP12 compound. The XP16™ leads the highly touted XP™ series line of compounds from Carbotech. With an extremely, and we mean extremely high initial bite, torque and fade resistance than compound XP12™. XP16™ is a world leading friction compound that is unmatched as a Ceramic racing compound, with a temperature range of 250°F to 2000°F+. Carbotech XP16™ still has outstanding release and modulation that has made all other Carbotech compounds so successful. The XP16™ is the most rotor aggressive compound Carbotech makes, but compared to it's competition the XP16™ is still very rotor friendly and contains 100% non-corrosive dust. XP16™ is recommended only for expert/very advanced drivers. XP16™ is found to be most affective on race cars weighing 3,000lbs or more using R-Compound tires only. Ideal for sprint use only in classes such as T1, T2, H1, GT1, GT2, GT3, GT, GS, DP, P1, P2, etc… Not recommended for use as a daily driven street pad due to possible elevated levels of dust and noise.
Carbotech™ 912 Kelated Metallic™
An advance organic-metallic compound specially formulated for drum shoe applications in lighter weight race cars and/or high performance street vehicles. High friction coefficient of 0.46 to 0.48, providing excellent braking without any risk of lock-up. Very good brake modulation throughout the entire brake pedal travel range, with excellent wear characteristics, providing an outstanding value. With a price-point significantly below other compounds offering similar performance, 912 ™ is an excellent choice for the budget-minded racer or high-performance driver. Optimal recommended operating temperature range is from ambient to 650°F.
Carbotech™ 913 Kelated Metallic™
A D.O.T.-approved high-performance compound for brake shoes on high performance street vehicles and race cars. Carbotech Kelated Metallic (CKM) achieves a very high coefficient of friction (approx. 0.48 to 0.50) by taking advantage of a chemical reaction within the friction mass, which creates a tri-alloy metallic film at the liner/drum interface when subjected to heat and pressure. Designed to overcome the shortcomings of other liner materials, CKM is a very versatile and provides excellent braking performance in a wide variety of applications. Excellent wear characteristics and a very high resistance to lock-up under hard braking. Optimal recommended operating temperature range is from ambient to 750°F.
There is no specific mileage interval at which the brakes need to be relined because brake wear varies depending on how the vehicle is driven, the braking habits of the driver, the weight of the vehicle, the design of the brake system and a dozen other variables.
There is no one answer for every person and/or every car. One drivers driving style and their vehicle might find the performance of our XP10 the best. Another driver with the exact same car might find the XP12 to suit them the best. A third driver with the same car, but different tires might find the XP8 compound to work best for their car, driving style, and tires. So, we can help you narrow it down to one or two compounds based on what you tell us; then we can give you the different characteristics of the two and let you decide (we will give our opinion on which compound we think will suit your needs the best). You might know just based off what you read on our site. Read the entire compound description section first, then if you still don’t know or have any questions at all please give us a call or send us an email. At Carbotech all of our customer service specialists are also racers and track day enthusiasts that have the technical knowledge and on-track experience to assist you in every way.
High performance street/track brake pads are a special breed of brake pad. Each brake pad has to be engineered to withstand the rigors of frequent and extremely hard braking. High performance brake pads have be able to withstand the extreme heat that can build up on the street and track.