Brake Torque

Brake torque in lbs. (for each wheel) is the effective rotor radius in inches times clamping force times the coefficient of friction of the pad against the rotor. Brake torque is the force that actually decelerates the wheel and tire. There are two components – how hard the pads clamp the rotor (clamping force) and how far that clamping takes place from the center of the wheel hub. The larger the effective rotor radius, the further the clamping takes place from the wheel center, and the more torque generated by this longer “lever effect”. This is very similar to the manner in which a longer handle on a ratchet generates more torque than a short handle (for the same input). To increase brake torque it is necessary to increase the hydraulic pressure, the caliper piston area, the coefficient of friction between pad & rotor, or the effective rotor diameter.