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New brake parts in lighter, ‘greener’ materials

Composite discs and drums are on the rise. Semimetallic pads and shoes contain less heavy metal.

China’s brake parts industry is rolling out more environment-friendly designs. Suppliers are either developing lightweight high-performance models that will enable greater fuel efficiency or adopting less toxic materials.


Brake pad
This brake pad from Ningbo Tianwei is made of ceramic with a blue matte coating.

The first trend is particularly apparent among makers of metal components. For instance, in the disc and drum sector, many companies have launched carbon-ceramic types.

Weighing about 5kg each, the products are 50 percent lighter than cast iron and steel versions. These are also more durable, boasting a service life of 300,000km, four times longer than metal counterparts.

In the brake caliper line, CME Auto Co. Ltd is offering aluminum alloy designs that are at least 50 percent lighter than iron and steel versions. These are fitted with four or six pistons, in contrast to the usual one or two.

The parts are priced no more than $200 per piece. TÜV and ISO/TS 16949 standards are followed during production.

For brake pads and shoes, the shift to “green” materials continues to gain momentum. Suppliers are expanding asbestos-free selections, which now account for the bulk of exports. Output of asbestos models has been on a downturn since the US and other major markets limited adoption of the material due to its harmful effects on health and the environment.

In the semimetallic sector, several companies are making designs more environment-friendly by reducing the levels of copper and other types of heavy metal.

ANTCH Industries Co. Ltd, meanwhile, is scheduled to release nonmetallic pads this year. The company developed the line in cooperation with a university in Shandong province.

Brake parts made of advanced materials target primarily the upscale segment. Encouraged by strong demand, makers are moving higher up the value chain.

A number intend to enter or shift more resources to the OE sector in coming months. At present, less than 10 percent of China’s brake parts industry supplies domestic vehicle assemblers and even fewer count overseas manufacturers as clients. These midsize to large parts makers adhere to various international standards, including ISO/TS 16949 and 14001.

Qingdao Sunsong Co. Ltd, Ruian Huachi Auto Parts Co. Ltd and ANTCH are among the companies already catering to vehicle assemblers.

For the aftermarket, suppliers are expanding selections for high-end cars. Ruian Hauchi, for instance, is developing brake pads for the BMW 5 series. Haiyan Zhenda Automobile Fittings Fty will be introducing models that can be used in Mercedes-Benz heavy trucks.

Key product categories
Product gallery

Key product categories

Brake parts can be procured from about 2,000 companies in China. About 85 percent of these makers are private enterprises, while the rest are SOEs or foreign-invested operations. Most suppliers are located in Shandong, Hebei, Zhejiang, Jiangsu and Guangdong provinces.

Discs, drums, pads and shoes account for the majority of products in this industry. The first two lines are available from an estimated 600 enterprises, while pads and shoes are offered by 900 makers.

Brake discs & drums: Output in this category exceeded 150 million pieces last year. Forty percent of the parts were shipped overseas.

Seventy percent of China-made discs and drums come in cast iron, and these usually target the low end or midrange. Priced $4 to $40 each, export-bound models adopt HT250 gray iron compliant with the G3000 standard of the US. Designs can withstand up to 600 C.

Versions made of steel and its alloys constitute about 20 percent of output. Quoted between $30 and $60, these can endure up to 800 C. The products are 25 to 35 percent lighter than cast iron variants, which helps reduce fuel consumption.

Designs in carbon-carbon and carbon-ceramic composites are also available. These are generally priced higher than cast iron and steel variants, being more lightweight and resistant to corrosion and high temperatures.

Brake pads & shoes: Production in this line reached 120 million sets last year. Exports accounted for approximately 70 percent of output.

Packed in sets of four for the front or rear wheels, models are classified as asbestos or asbestos-free.

The former accounts for 25 percent of output. Prices in this category range from $1.50 to $5 per set.

In the nonasbestos category, semimetallic, NAO and ceramic models are available. Semimetallic types are the mainstream line, accounting for almost half of production.

Semimetallic brake pads price guide


Brake caliper
Product gallery

CME Auto Co. Ltd

Model: C4608
MOQ: 2 pieces
Delivery: 15 days
Description: Brake caliper; cast 2-piece aluminum alloy body, pistons; 130mm radial mount; for 32mm-thick discs; with piston dirt seals and anti-rattle clip

Brake caliper

CME Auto Co. Ltd

Model: C4305
MOQ: 2 pieces
Delivery: 15 days
Description: Brake caliper; cast 2-piece aluminum alloy body, pistons; 130mm radial mount; for 28 or 32mm-thick discs

Air Brake Chamber

Fujian Hua Min Group
(Trantek Industries Co.)

Model: Air Brake Chamber
MOQ: 100 sets
Delivery: 30 to 45 days
Description: Zinc-plated or black; 800kPa rated, 1MPa maximum working pressure; -40 to 80 C ambient temperature

Brake pad

Haiyan Zhenda Automobile Fittings Fty

Model: 19032
MOQ: 200 sets
Delivery: 30 days
Description: Brake pad; asbestos; black; 222x180x12/18mm

Brake pad

Ningbo Tianwei Automobile Parts Co. Ltd

Model: TWBP929
MOQ: 300 sets
Delivery: 30 days
Description: Brake pad; semimetallic;
black matte coating; 125.8x61.9x18.9mm

Brake pad

Ningbo Tianwei Automobile Parts Co. Ltd

Model: TWBP159
MOQ: 300 sets
Delivery: 30 days
Description: Brake pad; ceramic; blue matte
coating; 137.6x51.1/48.8x19.7mm

Hydraulic brake hose assembly

Qingdao Sunsong Co. Ltd

Model: SAE J1401/3.2*10.5mm
MOQ: 100 pieces
Delivery: 45 days
Description: Hydraulic brake hose assembly; EPDM, PET, SBR, PVA or EPDM hose; GB20 steel fitting, Cr6, Cr3, zinc or nickel coating

Brake pad

Ruian Huachi Auto Parts Co. Ltd

Model: FA456
MOQ: 500 sets
Delivery: 25 to 30 days
Description: Brake pad; sintered copper, nonasbestos, asbestos, semimetallic, carbon or ceramic fiber; 450 C maximum temperature

Note:This article was originally published by Global Sources, a leading business-to-business media company and a primary facilitator of trade with China manufacturers and India suppliers, providing essential sourcing information to volume buyers through our e-magazines, trade shows and industry research.

All price quotes in this report are in US dollars unless otherwise specified. FOB prices were provided by the companies interviewed only as reference prices at the time of interview and may have changed.

Disclaimer: All product images are provided by the companies interviewed and are for reference purposes only. Those product images featuring products with trademarks, brand names or logos are not intended for sale. We, our affiliates, and our affiliates' respective directors, officers, employees, representatives, agents or contractors, do not accept and will not have any responsibility or liability for product images (or any part thereof) which infringe on any intellectual property or other rights of a third party.

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