General Motors has recently announced that it has patented new technology that could potentially eliminate the problem of squealing brakes.
The new breakthrough is named the Coulomb damped brake, as the design for a friction-based noise-damping mechanism was originally associated with 18th century physicist Charles-Augustin de Coulomb. The technology uses a thin ring of metal embedded on the brake rotor to absorb vibrations and stop the noise, according to a GM press release.
On older cars, the noise typically means that the brake pads have worn thin, but this is not always the case on newer cars, where the unpleasant sound may be annoying but doesn't necessarily indicate a problem.
"When we design brakes, our goal is to make them an extension of the driver," said Jim Webster, GM's technical expert for rotors. "When the brake pedal is applied, the customer shouldn't have to worry about unwanted noises. The car should just stop or slow down within the distance that’s expected. The Coulomb damped brake allows the brake to perform quietly as a seamless part of the automobile."
If you've noticed your brakes squealing lately, it's likely time to take them in to an auto maintenance expert. Regular brake service & repair can take care of any nagging issues before they become a big problem, which could be a danger to drivers on the road.