By: Tycho de Feijter for 6th Gear Automotive Solutions.
Beijing, June 2018

Bosch iDisc
Bosch iDisc

Braking is a dirty business. Every time a cars comes to a stop, tiny particles of brake dust get into the air, creating pollution. A full 32% of a car’s particulate emissions is related to brakes and tires, and almost half of that amount is directly attributable to brake dust.

Buderus Guss, a subsidiary of Bosch, claims is has found a solution. The company has developed a new brake disc, called the iDisc. The iDisc produces 90% less brake dust than a conventional cast iron brake disc, according to Bosh. The iDisc’s party trick is a tungsten-carbide coating, baked into the disc. The coating’s hardness prevents the release of dust.

The iDisc has other advantages as well, says the company. The new coating also makes for a stronger brake, with the same stopping power as a far more expensive ceramic brake. The iDisc strength makes it more durable too, almost doubling the disc’s service life. And last, but not least, the shiny surface of the coating adds a bit of bling to the wheel.

All these benefits come with a steep price. Bosh says that the iDisc is three times as expensive as a conventional disc, but that price will come down quickly when production volume increases. When that will happen is unclear, because there is just one customer for now; a yet unnamed German car maker that says it will use the iDisc on a production vehicle this year. Bosch will need more takers to bring prices, and the air pollution, further down.