I have head of Ventilated Disc,Carbon Ceramic disc. I do not know what are the different types of disc brakes available on the market.

Which one should I choose.

I would also like to know the advantages/disadvantages of each type possible with a image.

3 Answers 3


Different types of discs are designed to either improve the performance, or improve the heat dissipation (preventing 'brake fade' which can occur if they get too hot)

  • Plain solid discs - these are the most basic, as fitted to ordinary cars, they just have a solid block of steel. Perfectly functional for the vast majority of users.

  • Vented discs - these are in two layers, with vent spaces between them. This increases the surface area and airflow, allowing more heat to be dissipated, but needs more space as they are thicker than solid discs, and are heavier as they have more metal in them.

  • drilled/grooved discs - these have holes drilled through the disc, or grooves milled into the surface, with the intention of increasing the friction between the pads and discs (as they bite the edges) and again increasing the surface area and airflow. They do however weaken the disc, and their usefulness is questionable on a normal road car.

  • carbon ceramic discs - these are much lighter than steel discs, allowing bigger brakes with more stopping power and heat capacity, with less unsprung mass. They have different heat characteristics to steel discs however, and so need special pads. They're also very expensive!

For a normal road car, plain discs are fine. For a higher performance road car, or light track car, you'd probably be looking at vented discs on the front, standard on the back. Top end road cars, track cars and racing cars will use carbon brakes...

  • I thought the drilled ones were there to let the gases out when the asbestos pads rubbed against the disc, I am not 100% sure but I heard something like this somewhere.
    – Shobin P
    Commented Jul 28, 2015 at 9:22
  • I've heard that too, but I'm not convinced. If there's no gap, you wouldn't have gas trapped there to be let out... Also, they shouldn't be asbestos pads any more, they were banned pretty much everywhere about 20 years ago!
    – Nick C
    Commented Jul 28, 2015 at 9:24
  • I think originally they were to help with the gas expansion but not necessarily escape, however the newer materials used don't produce the same gases or gases in the same volume as old asbestos (illegal in uk)
    – Mauro
    Commented Jul 28, 2015 at 9:30
  • @Anarach Drilled disks: the holes are there just to reduce unsprung weight: less inertia in the wheels and other rotating parts means faster acceleration (and braking). They also help cool the disks a bit after intense braking, since they create a turbulent layer of air around them (increases heat exchange between the disk and surrounding air). There are no other gases around, I hope.
    Commented Jul 28, 2015 at 10:50
  • Does 'Brembo' brakes come under 'Carbon ceramic discs' category ? Commented Mar 23, 2016 at 4:40


  • Drilled - commonly seen on motorcycles, the holes assist in cooling, weight reduction and allows water to be moved from the braking surface
  • Grooved/slotted - aids in cooling and cleaning (allows air and dust to move from the inside of the disk to the outside)
  • Drilled and Grooved - as above
  • Vented - allow air in between the braking surfaces to aid in cooling
  • Drilled Vented and Grooved (as above)


  • Cast steel/Iron - standard on road cars / motorbikes.
  • Carbon Ceramic - common on race cars / high performance cars - these tend not to operate well at low temperatures and could actually perform worse on the road than normal road discs.
  • +1 It is good to point out that exotic materials (carbon) are not designed for common car usage, but for high performance motor sports. They need to get up to temperature to be really effective. Though if you need them in normal road use, you are probably already going quite a bit too fast.
    Commented Jul 28, 2015 at 10:53
  • Good point on motorcycle brakes too ..
    – Shobin P
    Commented Jul 28, 2015 at 11:01

This article says it better than I can.


There are three types of brake pads, asbestos free organic, semi-metallic, and ceramic They are a mixture of chemicals that is dense, but softer than the rotor. This is to help lengthen the life of the rotor so the pad is worn away and not the steel wheel rotor.
From what I know, Ceramic pads are supposed to last longer and make less of a grinding noise. They are a little more expensive and you usually see them installed on luxury vehicles.
Another reason for ceramic over traditional is that they are supposed to wear more evenly and not cause as much damage to the wheel rotor.

If you have the extra money, ceramic is the way to go. You get what you pay for there man. To play it safe, stick to the type specified by the manufacturer of your car, take the old pads in with you when buying the new ones to make sure they are the same!

  • I think he's asking what are the different types of brake disks, not pads. Commented Jul 27, 2015 at 23:37
  • 1
    Really informative answer mate unfortunately as paulster says, I am talking about disc brake types such as ventilated etc and not disc pad types.
    – Shobin P
    Commented Jul 28, 2015 at 7:54

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