SRT® Shoutback: fade-free braking leads to speed.

Brake fade occurs after multiple cycles of hard braking causes rotors and pads to heat up and lose their effectiveness. Managing thermal loads on brake components leads to more consistent braking power, which helps instill driver...
Posted on Oct 25, 2012

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Brake fade occurs after multiple cycles of hard braking causes rotors and pads to heat up and lose their effectiveness. Managing thermal loads on brake components leads to more consistent braking power, which helps instill driver confidence during spirited drives. Jim Wilder and Marty Jagoda are part of the test team responsible for minimizing or eliminating brake fade in SRT vehicles.

SRT brake testing is conducted at one of the most challenging braking courses in existence. Testing is specifically conducted at this facility because of its ruthlessness toward brakes. Typically, engineers test subjective brake feel over a span of more than eight laps. The target: eliminate fade. A skilled driver will notice light fade, but the average driver won’t even notice fade until it reaches a moderate level. Laps are considered ‘good’ until engineers encounter moderate fade.

Fade and fluid boil disturb drivers, because the same amount of effort on the pedal will not slow the car down. Get to a certain level of fade, and you can press as hard as you want and the car just will not come to a stop. On a racetrack, when brakes begin to fade, drivers start lifting sooner and lose time. Minimizing brake fade allows lap times to remain consistent.

During testing, the pad compound, the mass and swept area of the rotor and the airflow ducting are all optimized. SRT uses a blend of computer modeling and real-world testing to determine the effectiveness of the ducts cooling. Air must come into the duct facing directly onto the rotor to cover as much of its surface area as possible. Engineers work hard on getting that direction correct. We don’t want to cool the tires - we want to cool the rotors. An imbalanced design can ruin the car’s overall aerodynamic balance, so it all connects together.

The end effect after testing is a 93 percent increase in brake cooling airflow on the Charger SRT. You don’t need to put special brakes on an SRT to run it on a racetrack.

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