Metallurgy - the composition, physical properties, and mechanical function of metals and alloys - is inarguably the most significant factor in the overall quality of high-performance brake discs. With the primary goal of converting kinetic energy into heat, the formulation must be such that it can produce high levels of friction while retaining the ability to efficiently dissipate the heat generated during repeated aggressive braking cycles - all the while balancing structural integrity in order to ensure reasonable wear rates and appropriately manage NVH (noise, vibrations, harshness).
Additional factors such as rotor construction (1-piece vs. 2-piece), connective hardware (fixed vs. floating), internal vane count and shape, final machining process and/or surface treatments are all notable factors which should be taken into consideration; but without a high quality metallurgical structure, the end result is not likely to meet the demands of high performance use.
Before choosing a suitable upgrade path to meet such demand, you should first identify your primary goal with regards to the balance of cost vs. longevity, performance vs. durability, as well as comfort vs. harshness.
The typical benchmark for a high-quality OEM/SAE automotive brake rotor is Grade G3000 gray cast iron. G3000 refers to the tensile strength (greater than 30,000 PSI) and a carbon content (approximately 3.25%) based on SAE J431 standards. What this offers in terms of performance is a very capable general purpose brake rotor with high strength and wear resistance, good thermal resilience, and low noise.
Our more advanced metallurgy is based on a high carbon cast iron which is further alloyed using chromium, copper, and other elements proven to further enhance strength and thermal dynamic properties. While the exact formulation is proprietary, this chemistry composition has proven through all our testing to produce a microstructure with the ideal graphite type and size that is highly suited for high performance use.
All Friction Evolution rotors are formulated and poured in the US allowing us to control all aspects of the sand-casting process from melting to pour temperature to cooling rates and time. Each rotor is then machined, balanced and zinc plated - before being attached to a billet aluminum rotor hat/bell with floating hardware. The result is a lightweight 2-piece floating rotor assembly which delivers an exceptional mix of dimensional stability at high temperatures with substantial durability for dramatically improved performance and rotor life.