| A Performance Friction rotor is machined on all sides to tight tolerances to the ultimate in balance and control of runout. The rotor will stay truer for life. You can see the rotor drive lugs on the inner diameter of the rotor.|
| You can see how the drive lugs engage the hat and the retaining ring keeps it together while everything can fully float. Look at the machining of the rotor ID, even the vanes.|
Performance Friction’s racing rotors besides being manufactured to extremely close tolerances have a few other unique features. The rotors are two piece and fully floated to reduce stress on the hats and the rotors themselves when hot. One piece rotors tend to want to warp into a cone shape under thermal stress due to the unequal thermal mass caused by the hub area. Making the rotor in two pieces with a friction ring free floating on a mounting hat eliminates this. Floating the rotors also reduces caliper piston knock back under spindle and hub bearing system flex which helps ensure a firm and consistent pedal. Since the mounting hat is made of lightweight aluminum alloy, the two piece floating rotor is significantly lighter as well.
| Here is the retaining ring.|
A unique and innovative feature of the rotors is that the rotor to hat interface uses a lug system that takes the shear load off of the hat bolts and increases the bearing area so that the rotor float is freer from bind under brake torque load. The rotors are also dimpled instead of cross drilled. This gives the firebrand venting of a drilled rotor without the stress cracking that drilled rotors are plagued by.
| A look at the rotor and the hat where you can see the drive lugs and the slots on the hat for them. The hat is made of hard anodized aircraft aluminum.|
| The rotor and full floating drive lug system.|
Our next stop was the caliper machining area. The calipers have some very interesting design innovations that provide an unheard of level of performance. These innovations are not just applied to their racing line of calipers but carry over to their street kits as well.
| A complete assembled Performance Friction rotor.|
The Performance Friction calipers are shape optimized though Finite Element Analysis or FEA, enabling the best combination of light weight and the all important for pedal feel, stiffness. Careful design also enables the calipers to have the lowest possible profile both radially and axially for wheel clearance flexibility.
| Caliper body being CNC machined.|
Performance Friction calipers are CNC machined from forged blanks that are near net shape. Forging is a superior method of forming aluminum when an aluminum billet is heated and basically smashed into shape using many tons of force into a die. Forging produces a part with compressive stress for increased strength and fatigue resistance. It also orients the metal’s grain in alignment to the parts shape. Putting the grain in the right direction increases strength and dimensional stability, much like how putting the grain of a piece of wood in the direction of stress makes for a stronger wood part. The pressure and stress of working the metal during forging also refines the aluminum’s grain making it finer and eliminating voids and other internal flaws that can weaken the structure. This makes for a much stronger part.
| Machined caliper half’s awaiting the next step.|
A 5 axis CNC machine is used to shape the calipers, 5 axis means that the cutting head has 5 degrees of freedom which allows it to cut out complicated shapes. The 5 axis machine means that all excess material can be removed from the blank for the lightest possible weight without sacrificing stiffness. Like we saw in the rotor machining areas the caliper machining centers all have Performance Friction’s SPC driven process control to maintain the tightest tolerances and upmost consistence from part to part. After machining the calipers are hard anodized for wear and corrosion resistance then powdercoated or plated as a final finish.