All you need to know about what pads you should use with your DBA rotors.
DBA is renowned for its unique performance disc rotor design and development for many decades.
One of the most frequent questions directed to their technical support team is “What pads should I use with your DBA rotors”.
Achieving the best braking performance goes a little deeper than buying the cheapest or even the most expensive products on the market. Just as there are many different driving applications for road and competitive vehicles, there are many different material recipes used in disc rotors and brake pads. There are currently more than 200 different friction compounds on the global market. Some are good, others are absolute rubbish, including everything in between.
While it would be very easy to jump on the “me too” wagon and buy an inexpensive friction compound to sell at a high profit margin, DBA’s engineers started from a clean slate, firstly defining how their customers are using their DBA disc rotors and what issues are they experiencing with friction.
Australia is a very unique and diverse country with a harsh climate, steep mountains and long desert roads. There is little to compare it too. So how do you decide on the ideal friction material? You test, test and test again!
The DBA testing regime started with Dynamometer testing using a strict globally recognised test procedure. Unlike many of their competitors, DBA used axle weights that matched Australian vehicle applications to best simulate Aussie conditions on the dynamometer.
They are not ashamed to say that many brake pad material compounds ended up in the trash can. Products that may be great in overseas conditions failed the Aussie test. The best of the best in the friction dyno tests progressed on to road testing where the driver is in control as opposed to a computer. Dragging and snubbing brakes down steep hills, towing loads, intentionally overheating to measure recovery and giving the ABS a workout was course for the second stage of testing. The track pads went to the circuits on various vehicle types and were pushed equally as hard.
If the product was going to fail, they wanted it to happen now. The three friction materials left standing after these gruelling tests are the DBA Performance Brake Pad range.
DBA’s brake pad range arrives in three classes, Street Performance, Xtreme Performance and Race Performance.
Each class is engineered to compliment DBA’s disc rotors and provide the best stopping power in their designed applications. To make the decision process even easier they have colour coded the products to match the thermal paint coding on the DBA performance rotors. If the thermal paint on the discs rotors change colour, then the pads need to step up to match the next temperature class too.
Are DBA Performance pads ECE R90 compliant? Simple answer, No!
The ECE R90 standard requires performance characteristics within 15 per cent of the OE Manufacturer’s brake pad. DBA performance pads are a high-performance product for applications above and beyond the standard expectation.
These brake pads are for drivers seeking improved braking performance over traditional O.E brake pads. DBA Street Performance is the next step up for all vehicles.
Made from semi-metallic friction material, they have a F-F class friction with an average of 0.35 mu from low to high operating temperatures. Their efficiency remains constant up to 438°C.
DBA recommends Street Performance brake pads for daily driver and performance vehicles, 4WDs and SUVs. They are also compatible with light commercial and trade vehicles. DBA recommends using these brake pads with their T2 or T3 slotted rotors for optimum braking power.
These brake pads are for drivers seeking high initial bite and friction consistency from low to high temperatures. Ideal for performance track days, 4x4s towing heavy loads including high GVM and Armoured vehicles.
They have excellent high temperature performance with optimal friction performance up to 550°C. Made from semi-metallic, carbon fibre friction material, they have a G-G classes friction with an average of 0.45 mu from low to high temperature applications.
DBA recommends Xtreme Performance brake pads for street performance and police pursuit vehicles, as well as club track days, heavy towing and upgraded 4x4s. DBA recommends T3 slotted rotors in the 4000 and 5000 series for best stopping performance.
These brake pads are designed for track/ circuit use, where temperatures are above 350°C (662°F). This pad formula is enhanced with carbon fibre for high strength and stable friction at temperatures above 630°C.
Race Performance brake pads are made specifically for extreme temperature racing and super sprints. They have an optimal braking consistency of up to 630°C and have a G-G class friction with 0.45 mu average from low to high temperatures. Made from carbon metallic friction material, Race Performance brake pads are made exclusively for race orientated applications.
DBA recommends using these brake pads with their T3 slotted, 4000 and5000 series rotors for maximum braking performance and consistency.
All DBA Performance brake pads are scorched on the friction surface to improve the bedding in process and minimise the onset of green fade typically experienced with new pads. Thermal Stability Profiling (TSP), a process unique to DBA, increases cold friction effectiveness and reduces bedding-in time.
The pads include chamfers where required to reduce unwanted noise, vibration and harshness under braking. The centre slot facilitates temperature stability. DBA’s brake pad’s backing plate are made from high quality steel that are resistant to wear.
DBA uses high quality European made, triple layer shims to enhance the pad noise dampening characteristics (included in all products).
Of course, these pads are asbestos free with no other nasty materials. Dust is minimal and gentle on wheels with no sticky goo to scrub off.
As with all DBA products, the performance pad range is backed up with full technical support both online and in the field.