Performance Friction, State of the Art Braking Systems

Performance Friction Brakes

Performance Friction, State of the Art Braking Systems

By Mike Kojima, photos by Jeff Naeyaert

Those in the know are very familiar with the Performance Friction company. Performance Friction brakes are found on most of the paddock at the highest levels of pro racing. IRL, NASCAR and ALMS teams go to Performance Friction as the brand of choice for their brake system and friction material needs.

Performance Friction is also a brand of choice in the tuner market. Many of the top Time Attack cars run Performance Friction pads and brake systems as well as a legion of club racers. Performance Friction pads are also a favorite among the staff at MotoIQ. We are enamored of the performance and consistency of the product.

Performance Friction Brakes
Performance Friction's large state of the art facility in South Carolina.

MotoIQ was recently privileged to visit Performance Friction's South Carolina production and engineering facilities and take a first hand look into the technology behind the products. The first thing that impressed us when first walking into Performance Friction's plant was how clean it was. After touring other makers of friction materials, we were used to seeing dusty and dirty operations, but not the Performance Friction plant. Everything was clean and dust free.

Performance Friction has an ISO9001 TS16949 certification. ISO9001 TS16949  is an international quality standard where all of a companies operational processes from design, to manufacturing to customer service are examined by an independent third party for compliance to the ISO9001 TS16949 standard. The standard is very tough and includes many sections on quality process tracking with feedback going toward continuous improvement. Only a company whose culture is focused on providing excellent quality can obtain an ISO9001 TS16949 certification and having a performance parts company that has earned their certification is very rare indeed. In fact we only know of one other performance parts company in the USA that has an ISO9001 TS16949 certification. Usually only world class OEM suppliers are capable of obtaining ISO9001 TS16949  certification and the fact that Performance Friction has earned their certification speaks volumes of their commitment towards putting out world class products.

Our first stop on our plant tour was the top secret pad manufacturing area. Performance Friction was understandably pretty secretive about exactly what is in their pads. We were not allowed to take any pictures but were able to poke around a bit when no one was looking to get an idea of what goes into their pads.

Performance Friction Brakes
Billy Johnson's FXMD Time Attack NSX uses a full Performance Friction Brake system.

Performance Friction blends many different friction material compounds from their quiet, low dusting and wide temperature street compounds to their 01 race compound that is much loved by MotoIQ's staff. What is consistent throughout the line is a wide range of operating temperature, a good balance of bite and release, a high and consistent coefficient of friction over a broad temperature range and good rotor wear.

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