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Brake pads and asbestos

Nosheruk

CCCUK Member
Just a thought.

When was asbestos last used in brake pads?

I have a 1978 C3 with a genuine 47000 miles on and I have no idea when the pads were changed last.
Just wondering about any potential asbestos content in the pads?
What is the best way to identify if the pads may have asbestos in them?
Any advice would be great

Thanks
 

Norm

CCCUK Member
When was asbestos banned in brakes UK?
The use of asbestos in these components was prohibited from 1999, with the exception that pre 1973 vehicles could continue to be fitted with asbestos containing brake shoes until 2004. Therefore, it is possible that some older and 'classic' vehicles could still contain these asbestos containing products.Oct 10, 2014
 

Norm

CCCUK Member
If you need new pads, just change them out to what is currently available for your vehicle. Go for a spirited ride with plenty of breaking, you may have some dust floating around in the garage after putting away.
I really wouldn't want to breath in any asbestos products anyhow, no matter how little.
 

Stingray

CCCUK Member
If only we'd known back then the things we know now.....

My first car had drum brakes and when I changed the shoes I would take a deep breath and blow the dust out of the drums.

Then in the 1980s I worked for a brake and clutch manufacturer at their main factory. Asbestos risk was certainly known about at that time and great care was taken to control dust in the factory. It was a phase where the industry was changing over to non-asbestos products - known as "metallic pads". They're typically made of iron, copper, steel and graphite mixed together and bonded to form the pad material. Our company cars were used as a test bed for products under development, not least because although effective the new materials had a greater tendency to squeal. It was at that time, and related to the factory environment, that I learnt about the use of a Tyndall Beam to see small particles of asbestos dust in the air which would normally be invisible. Essentially like seeing dust indoors in a beam of sunlight or seeing dust in the beam of a cinema projector. Some info on this link Expert Witnessing and Scientific Testimony

Back in the day people would talk about their brakes being noisy because they were worn "down to the rivets". That's because asbestos linings were fixed mechanically with rivets to the brake shoe/pad or clutch plate. With more modern linings and bonding techniques the rivets are no longer required. This is part of the reason modern cars tend to have some form of brake wear indicator - whether a mechanical squeal device bonded into the pad or an electrical circuit which gets broken when the pad wears past a certain thickness. They are not fool-proof because a jammed caliper can cause very uneven pad wear such that one side of the pad still has plenty of "meat" but the other is "down to the metal". Clearly there will be some nasty noises to alert the driver once the backing plate touches the disc!

Separately, we were starting to make carbon brakes and clutches for F1 cars under the AP Racing brand. They were called carbon-carbon brakes because both disc and pad were made from the same carbon material. It was fascinating because nobody really knew how the material was going to behave in a race car. The carbon material was made by Hitco in USA and had previously been used in aircraft applications where braking events are one off and pretty much standardised. Carbon-carbon brakes were very tricky in race cars because braking was feeble at low temperatures and savagely effective at higher temperatures - so difficult for a driver to know how his brakes were going to react from corner to corner. For this reason carbon-carbon was no good for road cars. Carbon ceramic compounds were developed later and are used on some road cars today.

More stuff about metallic brake pads on this link How Brake Pads Work
 

Roscobbc

CCCUK Chairman
Problem with asbestos is that it can take 50 or 50 years from early exposure to cancer being diagnosed. Someone retiring right now after being in the H & V and building renovation trade for all their working life might barely make it in to retirement. In Barking a whole community was effected by this in the 50's and 60's - from the husbands working in the asbestos factory, to the wifes washing contaminated clothing indoors to the kids playing with the stuff looking like snow out in the streets - all gone.......
 

Nosheruk

CCCUK Member
I work in the chemical industry and have been on numerous courses and seen some awful videos over the years related to asbestos.
It is quite sacary stuff.
The story of the woman beating her husbands overalls on the washing line to get the asbestos off before washing is very saddening.
Hence my post.
 

Roscobbc

CCCUK Chairman
My late mother worked for less than two weeks in the early 1950's at what was then Barking Asbestos Works (late to become Cape Asbestos/Insulation/Construction) packing asbestos rope - when my father learnt the conditions staff worked under he made her leave. 50 years later in her early 80's and in generally great health she was diagnosed with mesothelioma - coincidence or what?. Try looking for evidence that Barking Asbestos Works ever existed.......streets, families totally eradicated....
 

PAZ9556

CCCUK Member
I work in the chemical industry and have been on numerous courses and seen some awful videos over the years related to asbestos.
It is quite sacary stuff.
The story of the woman beating her husbands overalls on the washing line to get the asbestos off before washing is very saddening.
Hence my post.
Yes I’ve been on one of those courses and watched those videos .
The videos of the effects of asbestos are horrific
 

Roscobbc

CCCUK Chairman
During my apprenticeship years as a toolmaker (and when at day release college) I recall going to a industrial safety exhibition or museum and seeing image of the effects of various chemicals on the human body. Lead poisoning and its effect to one teeth and mouth were horrifying - and that not from actually eating or drinking lead in the water or food - it was from 'ingesting' either in liquid form though the skin - or breathing in from lead based paints........
 
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