• Jun 2, 2009
New technologies always cost the early adopters big bucks. But higher demand leads to increased supply, and costs eventually go down to the level accessibly by the common man. So while carbon-ceramic brakes might be a big ticket item right now – often dipping into five figures as optional equipment on European exotica – Brembo has formed a new joint venture with carbon-fiber supplier SGL Group with the specific goal of mass-producing the brake technology for widespread application.

Carbon-ceramic brakes offer several major benefits over cast-iron discs -- specifically light weight and the ability to dissipate heat quickly, preventing fade -- with few drawbacks. The only downside is that the extant manufacturing process is labor-intensive, driving the cost up, which is why they're currently only available on high-end exotic supercars. Brembo SGL Carbon Ceramic Brakes, however, which just began operations at its Milan headquarters on the first of this month, aims to streamline the production of the rotors so that they can be implemented across the industry. (That's a good thing.) Scope out the press release below the fold for more details. PRESS RELEASE

Brembo and SGL Group Join Forces in Carbon Ceramic Brake Discs

  • Brembo and SGL Group sign a full-fledged joint venture in carbon ceramic brake discs for the passenger car and commercial vehicle markets
  • The new company will be leader in the development of carbon ceramic brake systems as well as production and sale of carbon ceramic brake discs for the premium segment
  • Significant synergies in technological development, operations and marketing
  • Development of next generation carbon ceramic brake discs for larger scale automated production as medium-term target

Stezzano / Wiesbaden, May 28, 2009. Brembo S.p.A. – a world leader in high performance brake
systems – and SGL Group – The Carbon Company – announced today the contract closing of a
joint venture, in the area of carbon ceramic brake discs, with each parent company owning a 50 of the company. The
new joint venture, renamed Brembo SGL Carbon Ceramic Brakes S.p.A., then resolved to
purchase for € 30 million all the shares in SGL Brakes GmbH, the SGL group company dedicated
to the production of carbon ceramic discs.

A 5 year lock-up agreement has been agreed between the parts.

Robert Koehler, CEO of SGL Group, comments: "Brembo SGL Carbon Ceramic Brakes will be the
worldwide benchmark in technology, design, development and production of carbon ceramic brake
discs for sports and luxury cars. After intense efforts made in recent years, the carbon ceramic disc
technology is now ready to be applied on a wider scale. Brembo is the ideal partner for SGL Group
to bring this innovative product to the next level of industrialization and commercialization. The joint
venture is in line with our Carbon Fibers & Composites growth strategy to cooperate in the down-
stream businesses with established industry partners to bundle know how and to better utilize the
market potential by offering superior solutions to the customers."

Alberto Bombassei, CEO of Brembo S.p.A., remarks: "I am especially proud to announce this joint
venture, which will give a critical boost to the next generation of carbon ceramic brake discs. The
combination of our expertise in top level brake systems and carbon ceramic disc application with
SGL Group's outstanding knowledge of the materials will allow this type of product to be applied in
a broader market segment. "Brembo SGL Carbon Ceramic Brakes" marks a further step in
Brembo's development towards systems with even greater performance and lightweight that meet
the changing requirements of the automotive world, including respect for the environment."

Synergies in materials, processes and product development

The complementary skills of both companies will result in the release of synergies in areas such as
materials, processes and product development. Brembo, a leader in the development and
production of high performance brake systems for car and motorbike applications, has developed
carbon and carbon ceramic materials for F1 and street applications, and will contribute its expertise
in automated production as well as its brake system know-how. SGL Group has comprehensive
experience in carbon fiber based materials and is the only European integrated supplier covering
the entire value chain, ranging from precursor and carbon fiber production, to fabrics, preforms and
prepregs, as well as composite components. The combined capabilities will enable Brembo SGL
Carbon Ceramic Brakes to serve OEMs as their development partner, which will be a key success
factor for carbon ceramic brake systems in the marketplace. Joint R&D investments will ensure the
efficient utilization of resources and lower development costs by avoiding duplicate work in similar
areas.

Large scale production is medium-term objective

Carbon fiber reinforced ceramic materials have been used in aerospace applications since the
1990s. In 2001, the first cars were equipped with carbon ceramic brakes on a commercial basis,
with Brembo Carbon Ceramic Brakes Systems and SGL Brakes establishing their current plants at
this time. Both manufacturing facilities have sufficient production capacities to meet current market
demand. Despite the present slow-down in the automotive mass market, the significant untapped
growth potential for carbon ceramic brakes in the premium segment offers a potential triple digit
million Euro market. However, current production technology is still characterized by several
manual and semi-automated process steps. Efforts will therefore continue to develop and launch
new products based on automated processes suitable for larger scale production. Ultimately, these
developments aim to significantly reduce manufacturing costs to a level that justifies future
investment in a new large scale production facility.

Carbon Ceramic Discs: Green performance

Compared to traditional cast iron discs, carbon ceramic discs offer significant weight reduction – up
to 50 of whom are engineers and product specialists
active in the R&D. 2008 turnover is € 1 billion. Brembo is the owner of the Brembo, Breco, Marchesini,
Sabelt brands and operates through AP Racing brand.

About SGL Group – The Carbon Company

SGL Group is one of the world's leading manufacturers of carbon-based products. It has a comprehensive
portfolio ranging from carbon and graphite products to carbon fibers and composites. SGL Group's core
competencies are its expertise in high-temperature technology as well as its applications and engineering
know-how gained over many years. These competencies enable the Company to make full use of its broad
material base. SGL Group's carbon-based materials combine several unique properties such as electrical
and thermal conductivity, heat and corrosion resistance as well as high mechanical strength combined with
low weight. Due to the paradigm shift in the use of materials as a result of the worldwide shortage of energy
and raw materials, there is a growing demand for SGL Group's high-performance materials and products
from an increasing number of industries. Carbon and graphite products are used whenever other materials
such as steel, aluminum, copper, plastics, wood etc. fail due to their limited properties. Products from SGL
Group are used predominantly in the steel, aluminum, automotive, chemical and glass/ceramics industries.
However, manufacturers in the semiconductor, battery, solar/wind energy, environmental protection,
aerospace and defense industries as well as in the nuclear energy industry also figure among the
Company's customers.

With 40 production sites in Europe, North America and Asia as well as a service network covering more than
100 countries, SGL Group is a company with a global presence. In 2008, the Company's workforce of
around 6,500 generated sales of €1.6 billion. The Company's head office is located in Wiesbaden/Germany.



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 21 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Hmm, that's not "the only downside" - they don't work well when cold nor do they have a long (comparably) life.
        • 5 Years Ago
        the problem isnt with the carbon rotors. it the pads that are normally used with the rotors. they are race compounds not street one. they need to be hot to work and they wear quickly being they need to scrub the speed super quick
        • 5 Years Ago
        the street CC brakes have long life, low dust, low noise and operate fine at all temps you are gonna be able to put them thru
      • 5 Years Ago
      Also - no break dust :).

      This will be awesome when they finally trickle down to consumers in 5 years...
      • 5 Years Ago
      saying that they dissipate heat quickly is misleading

      they operate at higher temperatures so the heat travels faster across the larger temperature differential

      this allows you to use even less mass to get the job done, rotating unsprung weight is about as good a place to drop weight there is

      great future feature, will greatly benefit cars ride and handling
      • 5 Years Ago
      Awesome. I never thought I would see a day when carbon ceramic brake discs are commonplace and potentially decently priced. Thank you greenies, reducing some massive rotating mass=fuel savings. Now lets get some magnesium and even CF wheels to become standard and we'll be set!

      Way, way too cool.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @Naggs,
        Not only that but the big wheels also kill ride quality. Drive a G8 on 18" rims and then drive one on 19"s, you can feel the harsher difference.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Already have magnesium wheels on my vintage Italian car. I would welcome modern versions. On a related note, I can't imagine why people do these 20" wheel conversions and the wheel/tire combo weighs more than a sack of concrete.
        • 5 Years Ago
        i cant wait for the huge wheel thing to die already

        so lame, anything bigger than clearing the breaks is BLING and kills performance

        that is actually the major benefit of these brakes in racing is that they allow a much smaller wheel to clear them, hope that design fad dies in time to take advantage of this
      • 5 Years Ago
      YES!!

      I like this.... I like this a lot.
      • 5 Years Ago
      This article dose a great job of explaining the benefits of CCB's. I know that the option on the Boxster is over $8,000.00 in this article. Will this new joint venture bring the cost down by 50%? Still a lot of cabbage unless your a track dawg.


      http://www.edmunds.com/ownership/techcenter/articles/130013/article.html
        • 5 Years Ago
        keep in mind, porsche is marking up the options pretty heavy

        they are talking maybe a 2k option on its own, expect it to be included with premium and performance packages for the near future, will continue to trickle down as time goes on
      • 5 Years Ago
      Sweet! Aftermarket derivatives?
      bubbajan21
      • 5 Years Ago
      Carbon Ceramics are now standard on all Ferraris model year 2009 and on.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Now if only we can get some people from saying "yea y0 those carbon FIBER brakes are awesome y0"
        • 5 Years Ago
        As you so desire: yea y0 those carbon FIBER brakes are awesome y0
      Carlos
      • 5 Years Ago
      What happens when these brakes fail? Usually iron brakes crack and show signs of failure but these are much harder to detect any failures and when they do fail o boy lol.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Sweeeettt... I'm going to mount it on my 96 civic. Admittedly It's going to cost more than my car, but what the hell.
      • 5 Years Ago
      If these can stand up to racing use, then surely they must be tough. Good brakes like that would be awesome for towing!
        • 5 Years Ago
        They would be great for semis!
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