The use of ceramics has greatly increased in recent years. The growth of ceramics has particularly mushroomed because of technology advancements. The use of ceramics has been diversified in the recent past. For many years, ceramics has been used in electronics. Ceramics has been used to manufacture portable electronic devices such as capacitors and semiconductors. It has also gained prominence in the industrial sector. In the industrial sector, ceramics is has been used in manufacturing cutting tools. The medical sector has also not been left behind in the usage of ceramic materials. Ceramic is considered a medical product, as it is widely used dental and joint replacement procedures.
The transportation industry has also relied on ceramic materials. Ceramic materials are used to manufacture motor vehicles and aerospace components and equipment. According to Prokop (2007), the application of ceramic material in the transport industry will lead to the accelerated growth of the motor vehicles and aerospace components. Despite the promises made by ceramics, the use and technology applied to ceramics will ultimately lead to shrinkage in market growth of automotive materials as applied to use in average consumer vehicles.
Ceramic brakes have been used in automobiles because of the advantages they bring. Ceramics has been used in motor vehicles to manufacture brake pads. Generally, a brake pad is a device that provides resistance between wheel rotors and the brakes of a car. In other words, brake pads press against disk brake’s surfaces to make a car come to a stop. When a driver brakes at top speed, the brake system generates heat and wears out. According to an article published by eBay (2014), ceramic and semi-metallic materials are the two commonly used materials in manufacturing brake pads. Ceramic brakes are used in manufacturing brake pads because of the matchless advantages. For instance, ceramic brakes are considered better than semi-metallic or metallic pads because they are quieter. They produce little-screeching noise when braking. Ceramic brakes are also more durable than metallic and non-metallic brake pads. These brakes are also considered to be an environmental friendly than semi-metallic and metallic brakes because they produce less dust.
However, the usage of ceramic brakes has caused shrinkage of automotive ceramics in average consumer vehicles because of their price. Ceramic brakes are costly and, therefore, unaffordable to average consumers. The advantages brought by these brakes cannot be matched by other materials. The exceptional thermal stability, high heat resistance, and rigidity of ceramic brakes (Hanson, 2012) has made them to average consumers. These braking systems are only installed in high-end cars such as Lamborghinis, Porsches, Aston Martins, Ferraris, Audis, and Mercedes-Benz. Evidently, these cars are by far not affordable to average customers. Also, the matchless capabilities of these cars make them appropriate for race and rally cars such as McLaren, Subaru Impreza WRCs, and Alpines. Racing cars are not only unaffordable to average customers but also uncommon among this group. While ceramic brakes have excellent capabilities, they are not common mainstream cars such as Toyotas that are driven by ordinary people. Mainstream cars such as Toyotas and General Motors’ models prefer to use semi-metallic and metallic brake pads that are affordable. On the Yahoo shopping website, an average ceramic brake pad roughly goes for about $150. Comparatively, an average semi-metallic brake pad on the same website goes for about $40. This is a huge difference for average customers who will prefer the latter over the former.
- Hanson, E. (2012). Ceramics that brake. Ceramic Industry. Retrieved from http://www.ceramicindustry.com
- Prokop, P. (2007). Advanced ceramics in demand. Ceramic Industry. Retrieved from http://www.ceramicindustry.com