General Motors creates new recipe for brakes to prevent rust, increase life

GM Brakes

So how many of you are familiar with walking to your car after having it sit for an unusually longer period, only to find rust plaguing your disc brake rotors?

Although a quick drive around the block would rid the rotor of the surface rust, the overall fact that the rotors experience significant levels of corrosion still means that the rotors aren’t lasting as long as they should be. As a result, General Motors has just formed a new process to help prevent brake rotors from rusting that could double the life of rotors and save consumers some decent dough.

Thanks to a preexisting anti-corrosion process used on powertrain parts, GM engineers heat their rotors to 560 degrees Celsius for a day in an oven the size of a tour bus. Inside the oven, the air is circulated with a rich mixture of nitrogen, which then bonds to the surfaces of steel rotors allowing the steel to harden and become stronger.

The name of the technology is called Ferritic Nitro-Carburizing, or FNC, which was introduced in 2008. GM has been using the technology on their rotors since 2008 and through a study, the brand says FNC has helped customers reduce warranty claims on brakes by 70%.

Additionally, the new surface treatment also reduces the expulsion of brake dust, allowing owners to maintain a cleaner look.

So far, the FNC rotor technology can only be found on the new Buick Lacrosse, Regal, and the new Chevrolet Malibu, Volt and Impala. GM said they will be featured on more than 80% of the brand’s vehicles in the US by 2016.

“Rotors aren’t a cheap thing to replace,” said Webster. “So doubling the average life expectancy of the brake rotors from 40,000 to 80,000 miles is something we think our customers will appreciate.”

– By: Chris Chin

Chris Chin

Chris Chin is the Editor-In-Chief of egmCarTech and is a regular contributor to Automobile Magazine.

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