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Author: spike78
Time: 07/01/03 15:23 PST
This is a reply to message no. 11530 by caroline7c
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aluminum vs. steel in brake disc
As far as Aluminium's heat capacity the term your looking for is specific heat capacity (how much energy is required to heat 1kg up by 1 C) Aluminium is lower and less dense than steel so an aluminiun rotor will heat up faster due to these two effects, app's like sprint cars where brakes are rarly used it is not a problem and the lower weight helps keep total mass down.

another factor which is very importrant is how to disipate that heat, for a go kart where the rotor are general exposed to free air they disipate a lot of heat to to convection (forced) so they can cool down quite quickly so Alumium rotor can be used on a go-kart where weight is very important, however on a passenger car where the rotors are encolsed by wheels and body structures heat transfer is much lower so aluminum rotors would heat up very quickly and not be ablre to be cooled down as quick leading to failure

Also as mentioned previoiusly alumium is very soft so life is much lower than a steel equivalent, but for racing app that's okay since they can afford to but new ones on after ever race, but for a passenger car thats a no no
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