Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Filip, Peter


Passenger vehicle disk brakes produce large amounts of wear debris that needs to be analyzed to verify its environmental and health impact because its effects are amplified by the massive extent of vehicular transportation around the world. An efficient and thorough method for wear debris analysis should be derived from this research to assist brake manufacturers and researchers in understanding the characteristics of wear particulates being released from current brake materials. In addition, a test method allowing inspection of brake formulations in development phase should be provided and several model "environmentally friendly" brake lining materials should be developed. The most hazardous constituents in a known brake lining formula should be replaced with non-hazardous materials that will obtain performance specifications comparable to the original formula. The brake manufacturing industry and general public should be notified of important findings from this research. Model brake linings fabricated on-site with known constituents were run through an AO4D performance dynamometer test to collect airborne and non-airborne wear debris that is comparable to wear debris produced by an average passenger vehicle. Based on previous experience with analysis of brake linings, this wear debris will be analyzed with scanning electron microscopy equipped with energy dispersive X-ray microanalysis (SEM-EDX), transmission electron microscopy with EDX (TEM-EDX), X-ray diffraction (XRD), polarized light microscopy (PLM), X-ray fluorescence (XRF), and laser scattering particle size distribution analyzer (LSPSDA). Research presented in this report indicates clearly that the previous work published by several groups is lacking sufficient information and the findings should be corrected. For instance the particle size distribution detected by particle size analyzers and impactors (recommended by EPA) is not accurate and TEM as well as SEM studies allowing direct observation of wear particles revealed considerable differences between sizes detected by these analyzers and realistic particle size. EDX in combination with XRF and XRD allows for reliable identification of chemical species and crystalline phases present in wear debris. True airborne wear debris should be sampled from brake exhaust from an appropriate distance. Degummed hemp shows promising results as a copper replacement in low-metallic friction material.




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