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Thread: Formula 1 brakes

  1. #1
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    Formula 1 brakes

    I just got back from a tour of a composites company that makes (among other things) the precurser material used in carbon-carbon brakes for aircraft, but they also make the materials for the carbon-carbon brakes used in formula 1 cars. I was wondering if anyone knew how F1 cars' brakes work?
    They only explained how the aircraft brakes work - a rotating carbon-carbon disk is pressed against a stationary one, but the pictures they had of finished brakes were very very large and it seemed like it wouldn't fit inside a car-sized wheel.

    Also, does anyone know if F1 (or any other racing that uses carbon-carbon brakes) aerodynamics are designed to reduce airflow to the brakes? The reason being that the brakes can withstand very high temperatures and also because the carbon will oxidize at high temperatures in standard atmosphere.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated

  2. #2
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    I am not sure how exactly the F1 brakes differ from standard disk brakes except the materials used. The probably use a higher number of brake cilinders to get more brake force.

    The airflow is usually not reduced at all, the contrary. Even with the exotic materials used the temperatures achieved are very high. The lower the temperature, the less fading of the brakes. As you can notice on some cars, they even have special ducts to lead air into/towards them.

  3. #3
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    Formula brakes work exactly the same way as any other disk brake system installed on modern cars.

    They use carbon disks and pads because of the increased stopping power and the temperature resistence.

    Alot of cooling air is directed to the brakes to cool them off as quickly as possible. They don't want the carbon to stay warm and oxidize and be hot when they use the brakes again for the next corner.

    Formula One brake calipers don't have more than 4-6 pistons as the weight and rigidity of the caliper is much more important than creating alot of force.
    Power, whether measured as HP, PS, or KW is what accelerates cars and gets it up to top speed. Power also determines how far you take a wall when you hit it
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  4. #4
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    To decrease the inertia of the car around the vertical axis the calipers are at the back of the front discs and at the front of the rear ones. Also, on some cars this year I saw the calipers at the bottom of the disc, obviously to lower the center of gravity. I've never seen such thing in streetcars.

    Everything on an F1 car is as small as possible to reduce weight. They cannot stand at the same place for a too long time when the engine is on, because the cooling system is so small (relative to the heat of the engine) that in 1 or 2 minutes it would go overheated. For the same reason they can't go directly behind another car for more than just a few laps.


    You can see the air inlets here:
    http://www.ultimatecarpage.com/pic.p...=3&carnum=2670
    Last edited by Kultag; 11-06-2007 at 03:54 PM.

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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by hightower99 View Post
    Formula brakes work exactly the same way as any other disk brake system installed on modern cars.

    They use carbon disks and pads because of the increased stopping power and the temperature resistence.

    Alot of cooling air is directed to the brakes to cool them off as quickly as possible. They don't want the carbon to stay warm and oxidize and be hot when they use the brakes again for the next corner.

    Formula One brake calipers don't have more than 4-6 pistons as the weight and rigidity of the caliper is much more important than creating alot of force.
    although the carbon anchors do withstand a lot more heat than the stantard ones you find on your VW or the like... they still fade at high temps... so i would be very surprised if the aero directed air away from the vents... if this was the case, what would the advantage of the vents be? so i would so no, the aero would be situated in a way that didnt effect the air flow to the cooling vents for the brakes
    "No sir you may not eat my hat"


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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kultag View Post
    .... They cannot stand at the same place for a too long time when the engine is on, because the cooling system is so small (relative to the heat of the engine) that in 1 or 2 minutes it would go overheated....]
    ...except Mclaren, which have a system installed that alternately fires the cylinders, similar to a limp home mode on a road car when overheated, that reduces temperature, or rather, lessens the amount of heat generated by the stationary, idling car. The major reason why an F1 car cannot sit and idle for a long period of time is not due to the size of the cooling system so much as the fact it has no fans to move air through its radiators. I thought everyone knew about that.
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