Bendix explains brake shims and why they’re important

Brake shims are an important component in the braking system that help absorb vibration and reduce noise, leading to a quieter and more enjoyable driving experience.

Attached to the friction pad backing, brake shims provide a barrier between the brake pad and the caliper, helping to prevent small vibrations.

It’s important to recognise that some level of noise is inevitable when brakes are applied, given the friction that’s occurring between the pad and disc rotor. When the brake pad meets the rotor, coupling occurs and subsequently vibrations follow, building into noise.

A well-engineered braking system and accompanying hardware can minimise the noise, with high quality shims playing a part in this process.

Using a clever multi-layered design and composition that includes varying grades of metal, viscoelastic polymers, elastomeric rubbers, fiberglass and bonding materials, brake shims provide dampening qualities.

Bendix brake pad shims for passenger cars are fibre impregnated, rubber shims designed and engineered to meet OE standards and to work within manufacturers’ tolerances, ensuring they continue to meet the original engineering ‘tune’ of the vehicle. This tune which is honed during vehicle NVH (Noise, Vibration and Harshness) testing, aims to keep brake noise emissions to a range that falls outside human hearing, or at the very least
to minimise it so it’s not audible in the cabin.

In Bendix’s high performance brake pad, the ‘Street Road track’, the shim is made from carbon steel with nitrate rubber coating on both sides. This unique formulation delivers even quieter braking performance, while improving vibration installation and longevity.

Brake pad shims also help prevent heat transmission from the brake pad to the caliper and other components – braking performance is increased when heat is minimised and can’t impact system components such as fluid, lubricants and moving parts. Bendix’s coated shims minimise heat transmission much better than standard shims, while also lasting longer.

Given the important role that brake shims play in reducing braking vibration and noise, as well as assisting braking performance through their heat suppression, it’s recommended to replace brake shims at the same time as the brake pads.