(19)
(11)EP 3 382 227 A1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT APPLICATION

(43)Date of publication:
03.10.2018 Bulletin 2018/40

(21)Application number: 17163195.5

(22)Date of filing:  28.03.2017
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
F16D 65/12(2006.01)
(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR
Designated Extension States:
BA ME
Designated Validation States:
MA MD

(71)Applicant: FCA Italy S.p.A.
10135 Torino (IT)

(72)Inventors:
  • BADINO, Renato
    10135 Torino (IT)
  • LUCÀ, Stefano
    10135 Torino (IT)

(74)Representative: Notaro, Giancarlo 
Buzzi, Notaro & Antonielli d'Oulx Corso Vittorio Emanuele ll, 6
10123 Torino
10123 Torino (IT)

 
Remarks:
Amended claims in accordance with Rule 137(2) EPC.
 


(54)BRAKE DISC


(57) Brake disc (2) for motor-vehicle disc brakes (1), comprising a body with a hub and two opposite annular planar faces (21), wherein at least one of these faces is formed with one or more lines defining a surface irregularity (50), in the form of grooves or ribs, which extend between a radially inner edge (22) and a radially outer edge (23) of the respective face (21), so as to substantially cover the entire radial extension of said face (21), The height of the surface irregularity along said lines (50) is less than 0.30 mm, so that during use, the aforesaid lines defining a surface irregularity disappear, due to wear of the respective face (21), after an initial fraction of the life of the brake disc. During this initial stage, the lines defining a surface irregularity (50) reduce the time necessary to obtain the bedding of the disc brake with respect to the case of a brake disc devoid of said lines.




Description

Field of the invention



[0001] The present invention relates to brake discs for motor-vehicle disc brakes, of the type comprising a body with a hub and two opposite annular planar faces, wherein at least one of these faces is formed with one or more lines defining a surface irregularity, which lines extend between a radially inner edge and a radially outer edge of the respective face, so as to substantially cover the entire radial extension of said face.

Prior art



[0002] A brake disc of the type indicated above is described for example in US 6,186,293 B1. In brake discs of this type, the aforesaid lines defining a surface irregularity are grooves formed on one or both the main faces of the brake disc.

[0003] According to this prior art, the aforesaid grooves fulfil the object of improving the cooling of the brake disc thanks to the increase in the cooling surface and the obtainment of turbulence in the flow of cooling air. In these known solutions, the grooves formed on the faces of the brake disc also fulfil the object of improving the brake response when the brake disc is wet, since the water that is deposited on the disc can be drained through the grooves. Another advantage of the brake discs of this type is that they also provide a visual indication of the wear of the disc. Indeed, when the brake disc has been worn out by an entity corresponding to the depth of the grooves, the grooves disappear, which enables an immediate visual check of the need to replace the brake disc.

[0004] As is clearly evident from the above, in all the known solutions mentioned above, the grooves formed in the faces of the brake disc are sized in order to fulfill their function throughout the entire operating life of the brake disc.

[0005] It should be added that a general problem of motor-vehicle disc brakes lies in the fact that, after their installation, they are not able to operate in an optimal way until the so-called "bedding" has been carried out of the disc brake pads. This bedding stage is required to obtain a perfect cooperation between the brake disc and the brake pads.

[0006] Naturally, it is desirable that the duration of the bedding stage is as short as possible, so as to rapidly enable the brake to operate in an optimal way.

Object of the invention



[0007] The main object of the present invention is that of producing a brake disc for motor-vehicle disc brakes which provides a dramatic reduction of the duration of the bedding stage of the brake after installation of the disc.

[0008] A further object of the invention is to achieve the above aim with a brake disc that can be manufactured with relatively simple and rapid operations, and with a relatively low cost.

[0009] A further object of the invention is to provide a brake disc that, in the stage after bedding, is able to operate correctly for an extended period of operation, such as a conventional brake disc.

Summary of the invention



[0010] In view of achieving the aforesaid objects, the invention relates to a brake disc for disc brakes of motor-vehicles having the characteristics indicated at the beginning of the present description and further characterized in that the height of the surface irregularity along said lines defining a surface irregularity is less than 0.30 mm, in such a way that during use, after the installation of said brake disc, the aforesaid lines defining a surface irregularity reduce the time required to obtain a bedding of the disc brake with respect to the case of a brake disc devoid of said lines, but at the same time said lines disappear, due to wear of said face, once bedding is completed, after an initial fraction of the life of the brake disc.

[0011] In a first embodiment, said one or more lines defining a surface irregularity are constituted by one or more grooves formed in said main face and defining sharp edges on said main face.

[0012] In a second embodiment, said one or more lines defining a surface irregularity are constituted by one or more ribs or ridges formed in said main face and defining sharp edges at the top of said ribs.

[0013] Studies and experiments conducted by the Applicant have shown that the forming of grooves or ribs having a depth/height less than 0.30 mm promotes the initial bedding stage of the brake. It is believed that this is due to the fact that the lines defining a surface irregularity define sharp edges that have a greater friction upon the brake pad surface, against which they slide during braking. The tests conducted by the Applicant have shown that, thanks to this effect, the time required to complete the initial bedding stage can be halved with respect to the case of an identical brake in which the brake disc has completely smooth faces, devoid of the aforesaid lines defining a surface irregularity.

[0014] Still in the case of the preferred embodiment, said grooves or said ribs have a height of less than 0.20 mm, and preferably between 0.02 mm and 0.15 mm. The width of said grooves or ribs, in a preferred example, is substantially equal to the height.

[0015] Still in the case of said preferred embodiment, the aforesaid grooves and ribs are obtained by an operation of laser marking.

[0016] The design formed by said lines defining a surface irregularity can be of any type. In one embodiment, each main face of the brake disc has a single line defining a surface irregularity in the form of a groove or rib, defining a triangular design with rounded vertices. The vertices of the triangle are adjacent to the radially outer edge of the respective face of the disc, and the three sides of the triangle are substantially tangent to the radially inner edge of the respective main face.

Description of an embodiment



[0017] Further characteristics and advantages of the invention will become apparent from the description that follows with reference to the attached drawings, provided purely by way of non-limiting example, wherein:
  • Figure 1 is a perspective view of a disc brake assembly including a brake disc according to the invention and a brake caliper associated therewith,
  • Figure 2 is a front view of the disc brake assembly of Figure 1,
  • Figure 3 is a detail on an enlarged scale of a view in cross-section according to the line III-III of Figure 2,
  • Figure 4 is a cross-sectional view on a magnified scale of a detail indicated by the arrow IV of Figure 3, and
  • Figure 5 illustrates a variant of Figure 4.


[0018] With reference to Figure 1, the number 1 indicates- in its entirety- a disc brake assembly, including a brake disc 2 and a brake caliper 3 of any known type, provided with brake pads 4 (see Figure 3) that can be pressed by a respective actuator (not illustrated) against the two opposite faces of the brake disc 2 to slow the rotation during braking of the motor-vehicle on which the brake disc assembly is mounted.

[0019] Still with reference to Figure 1, the brake disc 2 has a body with a hub 20 and two annular and opposite planar faces 21, which cooperate with the brake pads 4 for the braking action.

[0020] According to the invention, at least one of the faces 21 (both faces in the illustrated case) is formed with a line defining a surface irregularity 50, which is formed by a groove (Figure 4) in a first embodiment and a rib (Figure 5) in a second embodiment.

[0021] As shown in Figures 1 and 2, in the case of the illustrated example, the line 50 defines a triangular design having rounded vertices 51 tangent to the radially outer edge 23 of the face 21 and sides 52 tangent to the radially inner edge 22, adjacent to the hub 20, of each face 21. Figures 1 and 2 show only one and the same face of the disc, but it is understood that the hidden face of the disc is configured in an identical manner. The invention, however, also applies to the case where the two faces of the disc present different designs or to the case where only one of the two faces is shaped according to the disclosure of the present invention.

[0022] Naturally, the line 50, or lines 50, can be of any configuration. For example, it is possible to provide more lines 50 separated from each other, instead of a single line as in the case of the illustrated example. In any case, the lines defining a surface irregularity 50 extend so as to cover the entire radial dimension of the respective face of the disc, between the radially inner edge 22 and the radially outer edge 23.

[0023] According to an important characteristic of the invention, the height of the surface irregularity along each line 50, or rather the depth H in the case of the groove 50 (Figure 4) or the height H of the rib 50 (Figure 5) is less than 0.30 mm and is preferably less than 0.20 mm.

[0024] As already indicated above, in a specific case, the height H was chosen between 0.02 mm and 0.15 mm.

[0025] The tests conducted by the Applicant have shown that a dimension of the type indicated above is critical in order to obtain two results.

[0026] Firstly, the duration of the initial bedding stage of the brake, after the installation of the disc 2, is drastically reduced (substantially halved) with respect to that which occurs with an identical brake having a brake disc with smooth faces. It is believed that this effect is due to the action of the sharp edges 50A defined by the grooves 50, or by the ribs 50, against the surface of the brake pads that come into contact with them during braking.

[0027] Secondly, the aforesaid dimension of the height H is such that the aforesaid lines defining a surface irregularity disappear, due to wear of the respective faces of the brake disc 2, after bedding is completed, after an initial fraction of the life of the brake disc, which is slightly greater than the duration of the bedding stage.

[0028] With reference again to Figures 4 and 5, the lines defining a surface irregularity 50 are defined, both in the case of grooves 50, and in the case of ribs 50, so as to form sharp edges 50A. In the case of grooves (Figure 4), the sharp edges 50A are the edges that appear on the face 21 of the brake disc 2, while in the case of ribs 50 (see Figure 5), the sharp edges 50A are formed at the top of the ribs. In either case, the surface irregularities 50 considerably increase the action against the surface of the brake pads, with the advantage of drastically reducing the duration of the initial bedding stage. At the same time, as already indicated, the aforesaid lines defining a surface irregularity disappear once the bedding stage is completed due to wear of the disc, so that for the major portion of the life of the brake, the brake disc works with its main faces smooth. This aspect constitutes an important difference compared to known solutions in which grooves are provided on the main faces of the brake disc, which persist for the entire operative life of the disc.

[0029] Naturally, without prejudice to the principle of the invention, the details of construction and the embodiments may vary widely with respect to those described and illustrated purely by way of example, without departing from the scope of the present invention.


Claims

1. Brake disc (2) for motor-vehicle disc brakes (1), comprising a body with a hub (20) and two annular planar faces (21), wherein at least one of these faces is formed with one or more lines defining a surface irregularity (50), which lines extend between a radially inner edge (22) and a radially outer edge (23) of the respective face (21), so as to substantially cover the entire radial extension of said main face (21),
characterized in that the height (H) of the surface irregularity along said lines defining a surface irregularity (50) is less than 0.30 mm, so that during use, after installation of the brake disc (2), said lines defining a surface irregularity (50) reduce the time necessary to obtain a bedding of the disc brake with respect to the case of a brake disc devoid of said lines (50), while said lines disappear, due to wear of the respective face (21), once the bedding is completed, after an initial fraction of the life of the brake disc.
 
2. A brake disc according to claim 1, characterized in that said one or more lines defining a surface irregularity (50) are constituted by one or more grooves (50) formed in the respective main face (21) and defining sharp edges (50A) on said main face (21).
 
3. A brake disc according to claim 1, characterized in that said one or more lines defining a surface irregularity (50) are constituted by one or more ribs (50) formed on the respective main face and defining sharp edges (50A) at the top of said ribs (50).
 
4. A brake disc according to claim 1, characterized in that it comprises a single line defining a surface irregularity (50) on each of said faces (21) of the disc (2), each line (50) defining a triangular design with rounded vertices (51) which are adjacent to the radially outer edge (23) of the respective face (21) and three sides (52) substantially tangent to the radially inner edge (22) of the respective face (21).
 
5. A brake disc according to claim 2, characterized in that said grooves (50) are formed by means of laser cutting.
 
6. A brake disc according to claim 3, characterized in that said ribs (50) are formed by means of laser welding with weld material.
 
7. A brake disc according to claim 1, characterized in that the height (H) of said surface irregularities is less than 0.20 mm and is preferably between 0.02 mm and 0.15 mm.
 
8. A brake disc according to claim 7, characterized in that the width of said surface irregularities is substantially equal to the height (H).
 
9. A method for controlling the operation of a brake disc (2) in a disc brake (1), characterized in that it provides a brake disc (2) comprising a body with a hub (20) and two annular planar faces (21), wherein at least one of these faces (21) is formed with one or more lines defining a surface irregularity (50), which lines extend between a radially inner edge (22) and a radially outer edge (23) of said face (21), in such a way as to substantially cover the entire radial extension of the respective face (21), said method being characterized in that the height (H) of the surface irregularity along said lines defining a surface irregularity (50) is less than 0.30 mm and in that during use of the brake, after installation of the brake disc (2), said lines defining a surface irregularity (50) reduce the time necessary to obtain a bedding of the brake with respect to the case of a brake disc devoid of said lines (50), and disappear, due to wear of said face (21), after an initial fraction of the life of the brake disc (2), after completion of the bedding of the disc brake.
 


Amended claims in accordance with Rule 137(2) EPC.


1. Brake disc (2) for motor-vehicle disc brakes (1), comprising a body with a hub (20) and two annular planar faces (21), wherein at least one of these faces is formed with one or more lines defining a surface irregularity (50), which lines extend between a radially inner edge (22) and a radially outer edge (23) of the respective face (21), so as to substantially cover the entire radial extension of said main face (21),
wherein the height (H) of the surface irregularity along said lines defining a surface irregularity (50) is less than 0.30 mm, so that during use, after installation of the brake disc (2), said lines defining a surface irregularity (50) reduce the time necessary to obtain a bedding of the disc brake with respect to the case of a brake disc devoid of said lines (50), while said lines disappear, due to wear of the respective face (21), once the bedding is completed, after an initial fraction of the life of the brake disc,
wherein said one or more lines defining a surface irregularity (50) are constituted by one or more grooves (50) formed in the respective main face (21) and defining sharp edges (50A) on said main face (21) or by one or more ribs (50) formed on the respective main face and defining sharp edges (50A) at the top of said ribs (50), and
wherein the width of said grooves or ribs (50) constituting the surface irregularities is substantially equal to their height (H).
 
2. A brake disc according to claim 1, characterized in that it comprises a single line defining a surface irregularity (50) on each of said faces (21) of the disc (2), each line (50) defining a triangular design with rounded vertices (51) which are adjacent to the radially outer edge (23) of the respective face (21) and three sides (52) substantially tangent to the radially inner edge (22) of the respective face (21).
 
3. A brake disc according to claim 1, characterized in that said grooves (50) are formed by means of laser cutting.
 
4. A brake disc according to claim 1, characterized in that said ribs (50) are formed by means of laser welding with weld material.
 
5. A brake disc according to claim 1, characterized in that the height (H) of said surface irregularities is less than 0.20 mm and is preferably between 0.02 mm and 0.15 mm.
 




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Search report




Cited references

REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

Patent documents cited in the description