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Brake-pad nanoparticle emissions under the microscope

​Automotive equipment manufacturers recently took advantage of CEA Tech institute Liten’s testing know-how to study the nanoparticle emissions of different types of brake pads.

Published on 11 June 2019

The regulations governing nanoparticle emissions from vehicle exhaust are becoming stricter. However, the relative proportion of pollution from brake pads is on its way to becoming the major source of nanoparticle emissions. There has been much research on the emission of nanoparticles during vehicle braking. Automotive equipment manufacturers recently turned to the Nanosafety Platform (PNS) at Liten to dig deeper.

Liten developed an in-situ particle measurement process that can be used during brake pad performance testing. The particles emitted during braking simulations are collected using a single collection rod for the five pieces of testing equipment used to determine the quantity, size, shape, and chemical makeup of the particles.

The airborne particles collected were mainly made up of particles whose chemical composition mainly reflected that of the brake pad being tested. This information can now be used to select the best materials to limit nanoparticle emissions. The researchers were able to identify correlations between the brake pads’ chemical composition and braking conditions and the amount of particles emitted.

These testing capabilities will ultimately help to develop brake pad materials with lower emissions and come up with effective nanoparticle capture solutions for a cleaner environment.

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