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Power Stop — Innovation & Research

Power Stop

Power Stop Extreme Performance Brake Rotors & Pads were first introduced in California in 1997. Over the years, Power Stop has earned a reputation for high quality by assuring tight tolerances and the best materials. Their mission is to provide the best solution for your vehicle's braking problem. Power Stop uses extensive testing to develop the best rotor and pad combination for your vehicle and driving style.

Today, Power Stop is more committed to new product development and innovation than ever before. Their demanding criteria mandates high pad bite without high temperature fade or pedal pressure deterioration. They use independent dynamometer testing to validate brake performance including pre-burnish (green) friction, high temperature brake fade, pedal pressure sensitivity, speed sensitivity and noise.

A limited range of brake rotor applications are manufactured in Power Stop's US-based facility with a larger percentage manufactured to Power Stop's specifications, blueprints and processes developed over years of experience by their manufacturing partners overseas. Each rotor is carefully analyzed for the best drill or slot pattern and modeled with CAD software.

Power Stop stands behind their brake rotors with a unique 3-year / 36,000 miles warranty against cracking (when combined with Power Stop Brake Pads purchased and installed together). See Power Stop's Warranty for more details.

See Power Stop Product Information for more product details.

See Power Stop Resources for "how to" info (install brakes, bleed brakes, break-in brakes) & warranty details.

See Power Stop FAQs.

The Foundation for Power Stop Quality Starts with Comprehensive Testing

The Leading Causes of Brake Problems:

• Uneven friction layer deposits on the rotor that lead to brake pedal pulsation
• Rotor glazing due to high temperature resin bleed from the brake pads
• High temperature brake fade (loss of coefficient of friction)
• Gas and dust build-up between the pad and rotor that reduces pad bite
• Improper bedding of new brake pads

The Science Behind the Power Stop Solution:

High carbon rotors improve temperature stability and heat transfer – Power Stop uses the finest blanks featuring G3000-grade castings from the best foundries in the world. Most foundries lower carbon to increase tensile strength and hardness. Power Stop rotors have a carbon content that is 3% more than competitive brands while maintaining 210 Brinell hardness and 250 MPa tensile strength. The microstructure is an ideal homogenous matrix of perlitic and graphite flakes.

Castings are made from primary scrap and charcoal pig-iron without residual contamination from secondary scrap metals – Some foundries dump scrap in the material with residual elements such as Niobium, Vanadium, Molybdenum, Titanium and Tungsten. These residual materials cause the formation of uncontrolled carbides in the microstructure that weaken the casting.

Precise machining – Power Stop rotors are carefully machined to prevent stress risers, and they are guaranteed not to crack for 3 years / 36,000 miles when combined with Power Stop brake pads purchased and installed together. (See Power Stop's Warranty for more details.) All products conform to OE dimensions for a perfect fit every time.

Fade resistant friction – Power Stop Brake Pads are specifically engineered to hold a high coefficient of friction above 1000°. Where other pads show brake fade, Power Stop consistently delivers superior brake power verified via independent test results comparing brake performance with other leading brands. Power Stop Brake Pads deliver up to 35% more pad bite and longer pad life.

Posi-mold brake pads – Power Stop brake pads use positive mold technology. Posi-mold pads enable consistent density as the material is hot pressed at over 6,000 psi. The result is consistent performance and low noise. All pads are asbestos-free.

Zinc-dichromate plating – Power Stop's plating resists rust and keeps the rotors looking new. Some competitors use cadmium plating which is highly toxic and a potential cancer risk. Cadmium is banned in Europe and with all major vehicle manufacturers.

Power Stop Brake Rotors Technical Data

Power Stop Drilled Rotors

Drilled rotors are engineered to keep your brakes cool. Air flows over and through the drilled holes to effectively dissipate heat and eliminate hot spots.

Power Stop uses the finest casting and carefully countersinks the holes to prevent stress risers. The drilled holes are precision machined in Power Stop's CNC machining centers.

Warped rotors are caused by excessive heat and the uneven deposition of friction. Power Stop Drilled Rotors run up to 180° cooler and prevent warped rotors.

The combination of Power Stop Drilled Rotors & Brake Pads will provide shorter stopping distances without fade. Power Stop Drilled Rotors are designed to maximize convection heat transfer and work in concert with their high mu (friction coefficient) brake pads.

Power Stop's Drilled Rotors (except hub/rotor assemblies) are treated with a gold zinc-dichromate finish to keep that new rotor look.

If you have ever experienced pulsating brakes and a shaking steering wheel, then drilled rotors are for you!

Power Stop Slotted Rotors

While slotted rotors do not improve brake cooling, they provide a nice cleaning action to wipe away friction debris.

On a standard rotor, brake dust and gas gets sandwiched between the pad and rotor and can reduce pad bite.

Independent tests show that slotted rotors actually do not improve the brake performance as much as drilled rotors but they are more capable of handling severe thermal shock.

Power Stop's Slotted Rotors (except hub/rotor assemblies) have a silver zinc-dichromate finish to keep them looking good.

Power Stop recommends their slotted rotors for racing and heavy duty applications like off-road mud/trail driving.

Power Stop Drilled & Slotted Rotors

Power Stop Drilled & Slotted rotors combine the benefits of both cross-drilled and slotted rotors.

The cross-drilled holes keep brake temperatures down. The slots wipe away brake dust and gas from between the pad and rotor.

They have a silver zinc-dichromate finish (except for hub/rotor assemblies) and look great behind factory or custom rims.

Drilled vs. Slotted Analysis

In rotors, drilled only and slots only can both improve braking but under different braking scenarios. To understand how these rotor modifications can improve stopping power, it is first necessary to understand the (3) forms of heat transfer:

  • Conduction: When there exists a temperature gradient within a body, heat energy will flow from the region of high temperature to the region of low temperature. This is conduction. Conduction heat flows from the edge of the rotor through the hub bearing, and it also flows through the brake pad into the caliper.

  • Convection: Air flow dissipates heat from a body. Normally, the higher the air flow over the rotor, the more heat is removed. The rotor vanes act like a fan blade to move air from the inside of the rotor to the outside edge. The rotor vanes help remove heat through convection.

  • Radiation: Heat is removed through infrared radiation (electromagnetic radiation that is not visible). After you drive your car, stop and pop the hood, you can feel the heat with your hands above the engine without touching it. You are feeling the infrared radiation coming off the engine.

All three methods of heat transfer occur when you apply the brakes. During a typical stop, the heat transfer is about 25% conductive, 35% convective, 40% radiation.

For a high temperature, high speed stop, the heat transfer is about 15% conductive, 40% convective, 45% radiation. At high speeds, convection heat transfer is very important. This is why drilled holes can help reduce the brake temperature. The drilled holes help air flow through the vanes. The brake temperature can drop up to 180°. Brake pads work better at lower temperatures, and you reduce the risk of pulsating brakes as well.

Slotted rotors do not improve any heat transfer. However, the slots can improve brake output by removing gas and dust that is trapped between the pad and rotor. This gas and dust reduces the friction force by preventing the pad from fully contacting the rotor.

Given the choice between drilled only or slots only, the drilled holes will give you better braking power over slots for normal city/highway driving. This is why rotors are drilled, not slotted, on some high-end vehicles like BMW, Porsche, Corvette and Mercedes. However, for track racing (high speed stops), slotted rotors are the better choice.

Power Stop Brake Pads Technical Data

Power Stop Premium Brakes

Brake performance can vary greatly with different brands. Some aftermarket pads lose over 50% of the pad bite at high temperature or at high speeds. Over the past 15 years, Power Stop has developed the best performing brake pads in the business.

Power Stop pads are used by premier installer shops throughout North America. They have earned a reputation for OE-quality friction and great stopping power, low dust, and noise-free.

Power Stop validates friction performance using stringent SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) tests run by independent test labs. The following data shows braking power, noise and wear results for Power Stop Evolution Ceramic compared with some popular aftermarket brands.

Noise Test Results using SAE J2521

Brake noise is caused by pad vibration. Power Stop pads feature dual layer rubber shims to dampen vibration and eliminate noise.

Brake squeal can also occur if the backing plate is loose on the caliper guides. Power Stop uses precision stamped backing plates to assure good fitment to the caliper.

This graph shows the number of noisy stops for various aftermarket brands on a Chevy Tahoe. Compared to other brake pads, Power Stop pads are exceptionally quiet. Some premium aftermarket pads produce annoying brake squeal one out of every four stops.

The bottom line: Power Stop pads have OE-level noise performance.

Stopping Power

Brake performance is measured by mu, the coefficient of friction. Brake pads typically lose pad bite at high brake temperature or at high speed. This loss of stopping power is called brake fade.

The next graph shows the minimum mu (pad bite) for some popular aftermarket brands. The higher the mu the more pad bite.

The graph shows that Power Stop Evolution Ceramic Pads have significantly better pad bite and shorter stopping distance.

The OE friction coefficient is normally above 0.30 even at 1500°. Power Stop has minimum mu is 0.34. Some aftermarket brands lose more than 50% of the pad bite with mu around 0.15.

The bottom line: Power Stop has close to OE-level performance for safer, faster stops.

Pad Wear

The following chart shows pad wear during the ISO NWI 26867 test on a Chevy Tahoe.

One brand lost 42% of the pad thickness. Most pads average about 10%–13% wear during the test.

The bottom line: Power Stop pads have better than average wear characteristics.