GM has tried to create a new chemical trick for the components of their brakes, in order to solve the problems related to the rusty brake rotors. These problems should soon become a thing of the past with this new technology that could perhaps double the life of the typical brake rotor, effectively saving customers a lot of money over the life of their vehicles.
The new technology in question has been developed by GM engineers in recent years and has helped with the process that corrodes the brakes, which normally requires the replacement of the rotors of the vehicle. This new technology is actually a process by which the brakes can be made resistant to corrosion by overheating the rotors. The furnace on which the rotors are positioned is large and full of nitrogen which causes nitrogen atoms to stick to the rotors which harden and reinforce them.
The GM engineers have called this new Nitro-Carburizing Ferritic technology that they abbreviated with the letters FNC. This new process will soon be used as a standard treatment for parts of the vehicle’s powertrain, and has already been used on many parts of the powertrain on the market today.
GM has studied the effectiveness of this process since 2008. In the tested cars, the warranty claims on the brakes have decreased by 70%! Recently, GM has also asked consumers what worries them most about their cars. 40% of vehicle owners in the study listed corrosion as one of their first three problems. Even the parts of the brakes were listed as a major concern for many vehicle owners.
The technical expert on this project, Jim Webster, saw that oxidation caused by environmental factors was a big problem for many vehicle owners, which is why he and his team decided to work on this project. GM has found that most vehicles in the United States are regularly exposed to many oxidizing elements such as acid rain, intense sunlight, snow, ice and salt.
The FNC also does not affect the braking performance of the vehicles on which it is positioned. In fact, the FNC actually improves the performance of most vehicle brakes because it ensures that there is no rust accumulated on the brakes which reduces friction on the brakes. The FNC rotors also make it possible to reduce brake dust in the rotors.
GM predicts that the FNC will be a key component for most of its vehicles by the 2016 model year. It is currently available in both Buick LaCrosse and Buick Regal.
“Rotors are not a cheap thing to replace,” said Jim Webster. “So doubling the average life expectancy of brake rotors from 40,000 to 80,000 miles is something we think our customers will appreciate.”
GM is the leader of the new FNC technology. He is the only automaker at the moment who has designed the right way to use FNC on brake rotors and has several patents on the process being processed. This is just another technology on the growing list that sets GM apart as a leader in automotive innovations according to the US Patent.
“GM engineers are pursuing innovative technologies that meet the demanding needs of our customers,” said John Calabrese, vice president of Global Vehicle Engineering.