Technology company Continental has announced that it is working on a new brake design called the green fist brake caliper. This major advance was made possible by targeted further development to meet the requirements of a brake in an electric vehicle.
The brake caliper is developed to the point where it can be integrated into vehicles with the usual lead time for application development of two to three years, Continental said.
A press release from the company noted that these calipers are designed for disc brakes and are significantly lighter than previous designs while having a lower residual brake torque. The cast iron fist caliper is much more compact, and the brake pads are smaller and less thick, as they wear out more slowly; hence the calliper's mass is reduced. At the same time, the smaller brake caliper with its lower bridge height enables the installation of a larger cast-iron brake disc. Due to the reduced thermal load, the disc can be made significantly thinner, which saves further weight.
The company noted that the green calliper design results from a systematic analysis of the brakes in the vehicle. In combination with the brake disc, the lower mass – in individual cases up to five kilograms per brake – and the reduced friction between brake pad and disc contribute to increasing the range of an electric vehicle, it added.
Since the brake engages further out on the larger disc and thus achieves high deceleration power with the same clamping force due to the longer lever arm, the braking performance is optimal simultaneously.
With up to around 0.3g of deceleration – in the comfort braking range – the foundation brake is hardly needed in the electric vehicle. Meanwhile blending area – i.e., the seamless transition between recuperation and foundation brake use controlled by the electronic brake system – only occurs beyond this point.
Notably, the foundation brake is only active during emergency braking.
Furthermore, the green caliper also features an active retraction of the brake pads after each braking action. This reduces the residual brake torque between the pads and the disc to less than 0.2NM, i.e. virtually loss-free operation.
A further design innovation ensures that the air gap between the pad and disc is larger and evenly distributed on both sides of the brake, the release added.