Noise and vibration have become key issues in the design of automotive braking systems. Efforts to improve present day braking systems must take noise and vibration behaviour into account. Good knowledge of the mechanisms involved in the generation of brake noise has thus become an important competitive factor in the design of automotive brake systems. The present paper summarizes some facts and hypotheses concerning the generation of brake noise.

First the different brake noise phenomena are classified. Then several approaches, including models of various levels of detail which have been suggested to explain the root causes of brake noise generation are discussed in detail.

It will be pointed out that friction and wear processes at the interface of brake pad and rotor play an important role in the understanding of brake noise generation. Unfortunately, our present day knowledge on these processes is quite limited. Further research of basic processes is still needed to improve the quality of analytical and numerical models of friction and wear processes, before reliable predictions of brake noise generation become possible. Based on a discussion of simple models frequently used in engineering practice, guidelines for further research in tribological modelling of the interface processes in pad/rotor interaction will be formulated.

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