Develop - what's new from the Alpkit Design Team
Ceramic Disc Plates
By alpjim | 30, Mar, 2011
The inherent thermal properties of ceramics make them an ideal material for braking applications. Advancements in material technology saw a new era of ceramic braking, first seen on the Formula 1 cars of the 90's. These new ceramic brake components have started their progression into road going production cars. We knew if they wanted to make the biggest advancement in mountain bike braking technology since disc brakes, the answer lay with ceramics. Based in Derbyshire with 300 years of ceramic develop to its name it wasn't long before we found staff with the knowledge to help us develop this technology further.
Once we had found the right composition of fine grained minerals we needed to invest in the machinery to produce the discs and pads. Alpkit Disc Plates® are all made by hand on a rotational adhesion bed using Hydroaqua to manipulate the specially prepared ceramic dough. Once shaped the Disc Plates® move onto a two-stage drying process. During stage one surface liquids evaporate leaving Discs Plates® strong enough to be handled. Then a unique coating is applied before they are thermally cured allowing the coating to be permanently bonded.
Fig 1: Finite element analysis
The Real Benefits
- Improved Brake Response : The ceramic disc plates offer unrivaled brake response providing consistent & gradual retardation.
- Reduced Brake Fade : The heat resistant properties of the ceramic plates mean there is almost no brake fade, even on those long steep alpine descents.
- Zero Hot Judder : The working temperature range of the ceramic plates means you'll get the same perfect braking performance at -15ºC to 400ºC
- Excellent Lever Feel : The ceramic plates keep dissipate their heat energy to the surrounding air not into the brake chassis and fluid, this provides clean, consistent braking.
- 100% UK Production
Made in our own advanced facility in Derbyshire the plates are coated with Nano particles providing a surface so smooth it is impossible for dirt, grease and grime to adhere to, making the final Ceramic Disc Plates® clean enough to eat your dinner off. We found a side effect of the nano coating was the ability to add stunning graphics and colours allowing riders to truly customise this most visual part of their bike.
Fig 2: From workshop to finished product
Fig 3. Hardcore promo film, Fig 4. The complete range
Under pinning the research of Disc Plates® was a ceramic technology developed in the 70's, oven to tableware. Oven to Tableware allows the treated ceramics to withstand the massive temperature fluctuations generated whilst braking. This integral thermal stability gives improve brake response, reduce brake fade, zero hot judder, excellent lever feel and improved steering and tracking.
Designed around the simple 6 bolt system, Ceramic Disc Plates® can be fitted to 98% of production mountain bike wheels. For XC riders we offer a 140mm Ceramic Disc Plate® called the Caucer. For the all mountain freeriders we have a 180mm Cide Dish and if the uphill is taken care of by a lift and you need the best braking available then we offer a 200mm Clatter Platter.
There are 3 designs in the collection: Will & Kate Commemorative Disc Desert Island Disc, Willow Disc