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Composites: Lightweight braking systems

Lightweight braking systems

X-AT has carried out a range of projects into braking systems, with the research now led by Dr Luke Savage. The group has a wealth of experience on developing brake componentry with new materials. Our latest research project ‘Full-Stop’ aims to bring this knowledge together to deliver a complete braking solution.


Full-stop is an Innovate UK funded project supporting the acceleration towards zero-emissions vehicles, through the development of enhanced lighter braking systems. Full-stop utilises the latest advances in high temperature tolerant composite materials, to deliver a foundation braking system (callipers/discs and pads) with a 60% weight saving, whilst still performing to the highest rating for these safety-critical components.

Project lead: Freeman Automotive Ltd/EBC BRakes

CABTEC and Brake-thru

These two Innovate UK funded projects looked at different components of the braking system, aiming to develop a new type of automotive braking system for future low carbon vehicles. The aim was to deliver a lightweight and cost-effective alternative to heavy metal componentry such as grey cast iron. Both projects brought together knowhow from the world of automotive friction materials, car brake system design, and the composites industry.

Partners: Freeman Automative Ltd/EBC Brakes, European Friction Industries, Hexion, Caterham Cars, University of Exeter and Hexcel (Brake-thru only)

Eco-brakes and Eco-pads

Two projects investigating the use of naturally sustainable materials in brakepads. Eco-brake carried out research into high value brake pads for trains incorporating naturally sustainable materials combined with novel manufacturing methods, that are both faster and less energy intensive to produce. Eco-pad was aimed at the automotive industry, introducing eco-friendly crops into automotive brake pad formulations and reducing the amount of toxic material entering the environment.

Eco-brake partners: EFI, Aptec Products Ltd, Hemcore Ltd. Funded by: TSB

Eco-pad partners: EFI, Goonvean, Aptec, PBW Metals, Eden project, Hemcore. Funded by: DTi