Ceramic Brake Pads vs Semi-Metallic Brake Pads

Which Brake Pads Are Better for Half-Ton and Three-Quarter Ton Trucks?

You or your clients depend on your cars to securely transport you from point A to point B, and you also depend on your brake rotors and pads to consistently deliver reliable stops. So how does your heavy-duty truck braking system operate and what function do disc brake pads serve?

You can choose which kind of aftermarket brake pads are best for your vehicle and driving requirements once you have a better understanding of how brake pads function and which material is best suited for your needs.

Brake pads: what are they and what do they do?

The friction created by the brake pads, a crucial part of the vehicle’s braking system, ensures a safe and stable stop every time.

Wheel hubs, brake rotors (discs), brake pads, and disc brake calipers are the four main parts of a disc brake system, which is distinct from a drum brake system. During braking, all of these parts work together to slow or stop a moving vehicle. Based on the driver’s pedal pressure, the brake pads make contact with the braking rotor, creating friction. The friction or pressure used will slow down the brake rotor’s rotation, which will slow down the moving vehicle.

What materials have been used to make up brake pads?

Asbestos, a heat-absorbing substance that was both effective and exceedingly hazardous, was once used to make brake pads. Yeah, Asbestos was once used. We have come a long way since the day of fire resistant but toxic substances.

Brake pads today can be divided into three groups based on modern technological advancements: organic, semi-metallic (metallic), and ceramic.

Organic (NAO) Brake Pads

Organic brake pads are created by combining a variety of everyday elements, including resin and rubber, carbon, glass and fiber, and other materials. These brake pads don’t generate a lot of heat when stopping and are ideal for regular use in non-performance automobiles. These brake pads are frequently referred to as organic non-asbestos (NAO). These are typically the least expensive pads on the market but when it comes to heavy-duty trucks, like the half-ton and three-quarter-ton trucks we serve, we couldn’t recommend these because of their limited stopping power under heavy loads.

Metallic or Semi-Metallic Brake Pads for HD Pickup Trucks

Semi-metallic brake pads, often known as “metallic” brake pads, are made up of a large percentage of metal like Iron, copper, steel, and other composites. Graphite lubricant and other long-lasting filler materials are frequently added to finish the production process. Semi-metallic brake pads can be used for a variety of tasks, from daily driving and racing to hauling heavy loads. And they will do the job, but ceramic does it better.

The Environmental Protection Agency or EPA has called for the reduction of copper material in brake pads, mandating a reduction of copper content to 0.5 percent by weight, by 2025. Before 2015, copper threads were frequently used in ceramic brake pads for heat management and increased friction for higher performance output.

Ceramic Brake Pads for Half-Ton and Three-Quarter Ton Trucks

The ceramic brake pads produced today for HD Trucks are constructed from a tough ceramic compound that is frequently strengthened with additional materials to aid in the application of friction and to help control the heat. Ceramic brake pads are often more expensive than semi-metallic brake pads, but they are also quieter, produce less dust as they wear, and work reliably in a wider range of temperatures and driving conditions, giving you a much shorter braking distance than metallic pads especially when your truck is loaded. Not to mention, ceramic brake pads often last twice as long as semi-metallic pads and provide less wear to your rotors without losing braking power. So, yes, they are more expensive on the initial purchase but often pay for themselves because you don’t have to replace your pads or rotors as often.

Which Brake Pads Do I Need for a Heavy-Duty Truck?

Lugnut4x4 carries both ceramic and semi-metallic brake pads for heavy-duty trucks because they are both good products and we want to provide a variety of parts for different needs; budgetary and otherwise. If you ask us “Which brake pad is best for my truck?” Our answer will always be ceramic. If you want to know, “Is there a good brake pad that’s less expensive?” Yes, the semi-metallic brake pads will get the job done. They are very good pads and less expensive than ceramic brake pads. On heavy-duty trucks, we do not recommend organic brake pads, at all.

What Else Should I Know About Truck Brakes and Axles?

If you have any questions about our products please take a look at our Disc Brake Conversion Kit and Axle FAQ page. It’s broken out into categories to make it easier to navigate. You can also check out more of our blogs that focus on brakes and axles from a range of heavy-duty trucks from modern and classic Fords (F250s, F350s) to Chevy and Ram 2500, 3500, and more.

Where Can I Find Ceramic Brake Pads for My Truck?

While you’re checking out the brake pads for heavy-duty pickups, why don’t you check out our disc brake conversion kits for heavy-duty truck rear axles? We have 14-Bolt conversion kits for GM, Dana kits that cover a large variety of HD trucks from Ford and GM to Mopar and beyond, as well as Sterling 10.25 for Ford F250 and F350. All of these conversion kits come with either semi-metallic or ceramic brake pads and options to upgrade pads, calipers, rotors, and more, We even provide packages that come with emergency brake calipers and e-brake cables.