Ceramic vs Semi-Metallic Brake Pads?

Brunt Dana
4 min readMar 8, 2021

You have a vehicle that goes zero to seventy in no time and handles a dangerous curve like a boss, or a truck with the horsepower to tow a rail wagon on the pavement, or maybe an SUV that climbs steep off-road terrain like a mountain goat. Well, the fast you drive and the heavy or lightweight your load is means nothing if you are not able to stop when you need.

It’s all up to the brakes you have whether you’re able to come back home in one piece or not. At anytime, anywhere, your brakes must work. It doesn’t matter if you’re taking sand and bricks to a building work or your children to a piano lesson, your brakes must offer the strength to stop at any time you need.

Nowadays most cars and trucks have a brake disk in each wheel. The system of a disk brake consists in a hydraulic liquid that goes through a pipe and presses the clamps when you put your foot on the pedal. The pressure generates friction between the pads, surrounded by the clamps, and the disc, bound to the wheel. The friction inhibits the movement of the wheels.

Brake pads lose effectiveness with use. You can purchase new pads of the brand your manufacturer advises you to. But you can take a look at the options brands offer, and each product has different features to display. Every pad has its good and bad sides. Each feature is a crossroad between cost, effectiveness, noise, and lifespan of the braking mechanism.

What types of brake pads are out there?

Long time ago, the friction element of the pads was asbestos based due to the resistance it offered, heatproof, and affordable. You know, when asbestos turned to be a menace to health and ecosystem, other kinds of alloys were designed. No brake pad is equal to another. Every kind of pad uses a different kind of friction alloy, everyone with different features and qualities.

Non-asbestos organic (aka NAO) brake pads came to substitute asbestos pads. Made out of several rubbery, fibrous and crystal elements including Kevlar, all blended with a resinous fluid. This is most likely what your manufacturer will recommend you at least f you live in the US. NAO’s are actually the most affordable choice. These pads are smooth, silent, and go together well with the brake mechanism. A proper choice for an average driver’s performance.

The problem is that organic pads wear out faster than more expensive kinds of pads. Besides, you need to depress the pedal harder to stop. They also generate some dust during friction. Even though organic brake pads are a cheaper and adequate option for the down town regular driving, they are not your ultimate choice in terms of performance.

Most popular options to organic brake pads are made of these components: ceramic and semi-metallic.

Ceramic Brake Pads

The most costly type of brake pads you can buy is ceramic pads. These are quiet and have an important lifetime. A mix of tough ceramic elements blended with copper filaments, they stay uniform through drastic changes of temperature and they generate very little dust for frication. They conform a stable brake clamp and are at the same time soft to the braking mechanism. On the other hand, they are not only expensive but also won’t reduce heat quickly in severe braking situations, which will produce overheating and cause damage to the whole system. Also, cold reduces its effectiveness. Ceramic brake pads can be your perfect option, if you can afford them, for a smooth and easy driving.

Semi-Metallic Brake Pads

For a fast car or an impetuous driver, the best option is semi-metallic pads. Mainly made of steel, iron, copper, and more metals, semi-metallic is tough, inflexible to temperature, and has the most effective breaking capability. It also endures extreme heat and cold and reduces heat quickly, avoiding overheating in the breaking mechanism. Semi-metallic pads have a longer lifespan and are more expensive than their organic counterparts, but they’re not as “everlasting” and costly as the ceramic ones.

The superior braking power of semi-metallic brake pads has a downside. They stop more violently and cause more damage to the breaking rotors than organics and ceramics. You will also hear a louder stopping and have to clean some dust. They are your best choice if you give a damn about noise and dirt. Your perfect option if you live to the limit, circumstances force you to stop all of a sudden, or you work hauling heavy loads.

So, when you have to replace your braking pads, contact Hogan & Sons Tire and Auto in South Riding to give you an advice about the braking pads type that fits your style: the daily regular user organics, the easy and stable ceramics, or the high-speed level semi-metallic pads.

ceramic vs semi metallic brake pads

semi metallic brake pad

ceramic vs metallic brake pads

semi metallic brake pads

metallic vs ceramic brake pads

semi metallic vs ceramic

semi metallic vs ceramic brake pads

ceramic or semi metallic brake pads

semi-metallic vs ceramic brake pads

ceramic brake pads vs semi metallic

semi metallic versus ceramic brake pads