GM Develops New High Tech Brakes

GM has endeavored to create a new chemical makeup for the components of their brakes in order to hopefully fix the problems associated with rusty brake rotors. These problems should soon be a thing of the past with this new technology that is set to perhaps double the life of the typical brake rotor, in effect saving customers a lot of money over the course of the life of their vehicles.

The new technology in question was developed by GM engineers in recent years and has helped with the process that corrodes brakes, something which normally requires the replacement of the vehicle’s rotors. This new technology is actually a process by which the brakes can be made corrosion proof by super heating the rotors. The oven that the rotors are placed in is made large and filled with nitrogen which causes the atoms of nitrogen to attach themselves to the rotors which hardens and strengthens them.

GM engineers have named this new technology Ferritic Nitro-Carburizing which they abbreviated with the letters FNC. This new process will soon be used as a standard treatment for parts of the vehicle’s powertrain, and has already been used on many powertrain parts on the market today.

GM has been studying the effectiveness of this process since 2008. In the cars that were tested, warranty claims on the brakes went down by seventy percent! Recently GM also asked consumers what bothers them most about their cars. Forty percent of vehicle owners in the study listed corrosion as one of their top three problems. Brake parts were also listed as one of the top concerns for many vehicle owners.

The technical expert on this project, Jim Webster, saw that oxidation that was caused by environmental factors used to be a huge problem for many vehicle owners, which is why he and his team decided to work on this project. GM discovered that the majority of vehicles in the U.S. are regularly exposed to many oxidizing elements like acid rain, intense sunlight, snow, ice, and salt.

FNC also does not affect the braking performance of the vehicles that it is placed in. In fact, FNC actually improves the performance of most vehicles’ brakes because it makes sure there is no rust built up on the brakes which lessens the friction on the brakes. FNC rotors also allow less brake dust to build up in the rotors.

GM expects FNC to be a key component to the majority of its vehicles by the 2016 model year. Right now it is available in both the Buick LaCrosse and the Buick Regal.

“Rotors aren’t a cheap thing to replace,” said Jim 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.”

GM is the leader of the new FNC technology. It is the only automaker right now that has engineered the proper way to use FNC on brake rotors and has several patents on the process in the works. This is just one more technology on the growing list that marks GM as the leader in automotive innovations according to the U.S. Patent Board.

“GM engineers are pushing forward with innovative technologies that meet the demanding needs of our customers,” said John Calabrese, vice president of Global Vehicle Engineering.

If you would like more information about getting a new FNC treated vehicle please visit our contact us page or call 888-306-1908!