Frequently Asked Questions
1. ARE CERTAIN BRAKE PADS FOR SPECIFIC USE ONLY? YES Carbotech 1521™ compound products are for STREET USE ONLY
2. WHO IS CARBOTECH PERFORMANCE BRAKES?
Carbotech Performance Brakes™ began almost 15 years ago. In the beginning we thought like everybody else and made brake compounds out of carbon & iron. The problem with carbon & iron is that when it heats up it forms carbide. Carbide is used in cutting tools, so imagine what that does to your rotors. Along with the fact that those compounds tear up rotors, they also produce very corrosive brake dust. While our competition stills uses carbon & iron as the main ingredients in their compounds, Carbotech started an entire new philosophy almost seven years ago. Carbotech Performance Brakes™, the world leader in Ceramic friction materials™. It was almost seven years ago that Carbotech started building brake pads out of Ceramic, Kevlar, and Carbon for street, autocross and racing applications. Carbotech is the only brake pad manufacturer in the world with a complete line of Ceramic compounds for street, autocross, and track use. Carbotech-Ceramic™ compounds are known for their unsurpassed release & modulation, while maintaining very consistent torque control characteristics. Carbotech brake pads are extremely rotor friendly and contain 100% non-corrosive brake dust, that’s something that has been unmatched by any other brake pad in the industry. Our competitor’s brake pads perform like an “on/off” switch. Brake pads that perform like an "on/off" switch are upsetting the balance of the car by violently throwing all that weight forward (not to mention that you don't get any modulation with an "on/off" type of brake pad). You don't realize how much it upsets your car until you have tried Carbotech Performance Brake pads. Carbotech has almost a seven year head start on the competition when it comes to our great philosophy on release & modulation, rotor friendliness, non-corrosive dust, and an unmatched consistent bite. Carbotech uses advanced friction technology to perfect all of our compounds for the street & track. Research & Development (R&D) is not just a company philosophy; it’s a way of life for Carbotech. In fact, R&D at Carbotech is a 365 days a year job. Continuous improvement is a cornerstone in Carbotech’s solid reputation it has built, because great compounds are not engineered overnight. You’ll find that no one else in the industry releases new compound formulations like Carbotech consistently does. We don’t believe in finding a good compound and trying to ride it as long as possible. We have a saying around here that is imbedded into every employee’s thought process; it’s called “continuous improvement, with no end in sight”. We strive in constantly improving our existing compounds as new technologies and materials come to market. In fact, the Bobcat 1521™ compound is arguably our most successful compound, and it continues to gain enormous popularity among the performance industry. But, we didn’t rest on its success. We have just improved the Bobcat 1521™ compound to be even quieter and smoother when applying and releasing the brake pedal while keeping its outstanding performance right on target. We have just developed another race compound that will exceed the XP12™. This new compound is called XP16™. XP16™ was released in the fall of 2007. Also in the works are a few different endurance compounds that will be suitable for all endurance applications. You will most likely find a Carbotech employee at many Pro, Grassroots, and Track-Day/HPDE events providing customer support and troubleshooting any brake issues (even if it’s not pad related or even if they aren’t Carbotech brake pads). We don’t just sell you a set of brake pads; we deliver unmatched customer support and technical help. Carbotech Performance Brakes™ are also leading the way with Pro, Grassroots and Track-Day/HPDE groups and drivers. We can help you find the perfect set up for your vehicle by having an entire line up of street and track compounds for your application. Carbotech Performance Brakes™ allows drives to Go Deep™ into the corners and out brake the competition. Carbotech have won multiple national championships, pro races, and rally races all over the world. Our race compounds start with the letters "XP™" then they are followed by a number. The first number is 8 (XP8™), and as you go up in numbers the initial bite gets much stronger, higher fade resistance, higher torque, better wear rate, and an increase in the temperature range. On that same note, as you go up in our compound numbers you will get more aggressive on the rotors. Even our XP12™ compound is still very rotor friendly compared to the competition. With all Carbotech compounds you will have to apply a little bit more pedal pressure to get the maximum amount of bite from the brake pads. That's because you have the ability to modulate your pedal with our ceramic/kevlar compounds. That's a huge advantage to any driver, especially a driver who has a good feel for their car. The more you can modulate your brakes the more car control you have under braking. The more control a driver has under braking gives the driver an edge in the braking zone and the first part of a corner. Control which in the end helps you attain faster and more consistent lap times. Go Deep™ Back to Top
3. WHY CERAMIC?
Friction materials have evolved significantly over the years. Brake pads were originally made with organic ingredients such as asbestos and carbon, held together by a strong resin. Asbestos brake linings were used because it was heat-resistant to the intense friction and heat produced in braking. They've gone from asbestos to organic to semi-metallic formulations. Each of these materials has proven to have advantages and disadvantages. Some of those advantages and disadvantages are noise, wear, stopping capability and environmental friendliness. The use of asbestos was eventually banned by the US government. There are still some non-metallic or organic brake pads sold today. Asbestos pads caused health issues and organic compounds can't always meet a wide range of braking requirements, such as high performance driving. Unfortunately the steel strands used in semi-metallic pads to provide strength and conduct heat away from rotors also generate noise and tend to cut up rotors as well. At Carbotech, we felt this kind of friction materials were not the best solution, and we decided to develop something that was better in performance and better for the entire braking system. That’s when Carbotech decided 14 years ago to take a path not taken by any other brake pad manufacturer. Friction materials that contain ceramic formulations have become recognized for their desirable blend of traits. Ceramic compounds use copper fibers (amongst other materials) in place of the semi-metallic pad's steel fibers. This allows the ceramic pads to handle higher brake temperatures with less heat fade, and provide faster recovery after the heavy braking. Another characteristic that makes Carbotech-Ceramic™ materials attractive is the absence of noticeable dust. All brake pads produce dust as they wear. Carbotech-Ceramic™ compound ingredients produce a light colored dust that is much less noticeable and less likely to stick to the wheels. On that same note, all Carbotech compounds produce a 100% non-corrosive dust that can usually be rinsed off with a hose. Ceramic compounds extend brake life compared to most other semi-metallic and organic materials, and at the same time they outlast other premium pad materials by a significant margin, without compromising in noise control, pad life, and all around braking performance. Most brake pads sold today are considered semi-metallic, semi-metallic brake pads use brass, copper, and steel wool shavings held together by a resin. Unfortunately the main drawback about the use of steel strands, iron, graphite, and small amounts of filer and friction modifiers (used to provide strength and conduct heat away from the rotors) is that the metal shavings and iron must rub against steel rotors every time the brakes are applied. This can also generates a lot more noise and are a lot more abrasive on the rotors. It also creates corrosive dust that can damage your braking system as well as the paint on your wheels and car. 4. WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT BRAKE COMPOUNDS YOU OFFER?
Carbotech™ Bobcat 1521™ The Carbotech Bobcat 1521™ is our high performance street compound that is our most successful compound. The Bobcat compound is known for its awesome release and modulation, along with unmatched rotor friendliness. Like our AX™ & XP™ line of compounds, Bobcat 1521™ is a Ceramic based friction material offering minimal rotor damage and non corrosive dust. Bobcat 1521™ offers outstanding performance, even when cold, low dusting and low noise with an excellent initial bite. This compound’s virtually perfect linear torque production provides incredible braking force without ABS intervention. Bobcat 1521™ operating range starts out at ambient and goes up to 900°F. Bobcat 1521™ is suitable for ALL street cars, perfect for your tow vehicle, police cruiser, and has won multiple SCCA Solo 2 and Prosolo National Championships. The Bobcat 1521™ compound has been found to last two-three times longer than OE pads you can purchase at a dealership or national retailer. Bobcat 1521™ compound has also been found to extend the life of your rotors 2-3 times. That’s one of the beauties of Carbotech Ceramic brake compounds. Bobcat 1521™ is NOT recommended for any track use.
Carbotech™ AX6™ (1106™) The AX6™ takes the place of the Panther Plus™ compound that was so successful. AX6™ was specifically engineered for Autocross applications. A high torque brake compound delivering reliable and consistent performance over a very wide operating temperature range (150°F to 1250°F +). Advanced compound matrix provides an excellent initial “bite”, high coefficient of friction, and very progressive brake modulation and release characteristics. AX6™ offers high fade resistance, rotor friendliness at all temperatures, excellent cold stopping power, and non corrosive dust. As a result, AX6™ is an excellent choice for Autocross & novice track day drivers and beginner high performance driver education (HPDE) drivers on street driven cars using street tires eliminating the need to change brake pads at the track. AX6™ has gained tremendous popularity with SCCA Prosolo/Solo2 competitors for its fantastic bite, release & modulation. Many drivers use the AX6™ for street driving as well, even though Carbotech doesn’t recommend street driving with AX6™ due to possible elevated levels of dust and noise. AX6™ is NOT a race compound, and should not be used as such. AX6™ shouldn’t be used by any intermediate or advanced track day drivers, and should not be used with “R” compound tires (racing tires). Cars in excess of 300hp and/or 3,000lbs should not use AX6™ for any track use.
Carbotech XP8™ (1108™) A high torque brake compound with a wide operating temperature range (200°F-1350°F+). Carbotech XP8™ is the first of our racing compounds. Outstanding initial bite at race temperatures, high coefficient of friction, excellent modulation and release characteristics. Extremely high fade resistance, very rotor friendly with 100% non-corrosive dust. Excellent as a front brake pad for lighter ITA, ITB, ITC, SRF, H4, H5, and other cars that weigh less than 2,400lbs. Perfect for novice, intermediate and advanced track day (HPDE) use with any tire, and can still be driven safely to and from the track. There are several vehicles that use XP8™ on the street, autocross, and at track day (HPDE) events. Carbotech does NOT recommended XP8™ as a daily driven street pad due to elevated levels of dust and noise. XP8™ is also a great rear brake pad for almost any race car (Spec Miata-T1/T2/CMC). XP8™ is a great compound on the front & rear of most open wheel and sports racers.
Carbotech™ XP10™ (1110™) When Carbotech unleashed the XP10™ to the general public, and it was an instant success, gathering multiple regional, divisional, and national championships. The XP10™ is a very high initial bite friction material, with a coefficient of friction and rotor friendliness unmatched in the industry. Fade resistance is in excess of 1650°F. Due to the high level of friction and bite, this material is recommended for cars weighing around 2,000lbs or more, not including formula cars and cars with brake bias bars weighing less than 2,000lbs. This is the preferred compound for the front of Spec Miata racers, SSC,SSB, T3, SRF, ITS, ITE, H1,H2, H3, H4, 944 Cup, ST, GS, Factory Five Cobra’s and many more Grand-Am/ALMS/SCCA/NASA classes. XP10™ is also ideal for advanced/instructor level HPDE drivers. XP10™ still maintains the highly praised release and excellent modulation, rotor friendliness, and 100% non-corrosive dust that have made all Carbotech compounds so successful. XP10™ is not recommended as a daily-driven street pad due to possible elevated levels of dust and noise.
Carbotech™ XP12™ (1112™) The latest iteration of the highly successful XP™ series of compounds with an extremely high initial bite, torque and fade resistance than compound XP10™. XP12™ is a world leading friction compound that is unmatched as a Ceramic racing compound, with a temperature range of 250°F to 2000°F+. The XP12™ still has that excellent Carbotech release and modulation that has made all other Carbotech compounds so successful. The XP12™ is the most rotor aggressive compound Carbotech offers, but compared to the competition the XP12™ is still very rotor friendly and contains 100% non-corrosive dust. XP12™ is recommended only for expert/very advanced drivers. XP12™ is found to be most affective on race cars weighing 2,400lbs or more using R-Compound tires; or street cars weighing 3,200lbs or more for track use only. Ideal for LMP1, LMP2, DP, T1, T2, T3, H1, H2, GT1, GT2, GT3, TC, GT, ST, GS, MX-5 Cup, etc… XP12™ is NOT recommended for use as a daily driven street pad due to possible elevated levels of dust and noise.
Carbotech™ XP16™ (1601™) The second compound to be released this year from Carbotech. It is a step up from the highly successful XP12 compound. The XP16™ leads the highly touted XP™ series line of compounds from Carbotech. With an extremely, and we mean extremely high initial bite, torque and fade resistance than compound XP12™. XP16™ is a world leading friction compound that is unmatched as a Ceramic racing compound, with a temperature range of 250°F to 2000°F+. Carbotech XP16™ still has outstanding release and modulation that has made all other Carbotech compounds so successful. The XP16™ is the most rotor aggressive compound Carbotech makes, but compared to it's competition the XP16™ is still very rotor friendly and contains 100% non-corrosive dust. XP16™ is recommended only for expert/very advanced drivers. XP16™ is found to be most affective on race cars weighing 3,000lbs or more using R-Compound tires only. Ideal for sprint use only in classes such as T1, T2, H1, GT1, GT2, GT3, GT, GS, DP, P1, P2, etc… Not recommended for use as a daily driven street pad due to possible elevated levels of dust and noise