NASA-Developed Brakes Give Supercar Performance At Affordable Prices

Technology / 5 Comments

Orbis Brakes could be onto something special here.

Brakes have come a long way since the early days of the automotive revolution, but in the time since the arrival of carbon-ceramic brakes two decades ago, not many advances have been made in the field. But that's all changing thanks to a company called Orbis Brakes, which has just launched its Periodic Wave disc brake line, which it developed in partnership with NASA. Orbis had already been pioneering a new design for brakes when a NASA engineer offered his assistance, ultimately leading to a collaboration between Orbis and the space agency. This partnership resulted in the Periodic Wave disc, which Orbis says "uses advanced aerodynamics to provide superior surface cooling, reduce dangerous brake fade, and extend vehicle range and fuel efficiency."

Orbis Brakes Inc.
Orbis Brakes Inc.
Orbis Brakes Inc.

The company promises brakes that are lighter, cooler, and vastly more efficient. Best of all, these brakes are slated to enter the market with the kind of performance you expect from carbon-ceramics but without the exorbitant cost. The first product from the company is called the NextWave, an "innovative superlight disc brake rotor and pad expected to retail at a fraction of comparable performance brakes."

Then there's the EcoWave, "an environmentally-driven high-performance replacement brake rotor and pad priced to compete with entry-level brakes." Also coming is the LightWave, which will be a lighter, cooler, high-performance replacement rotor with a monoblock caliper and vented pad. Finally, Orbis will launch the CarbonWave, "the world's first integral wheel and brake, delivering the lowest unsprung weight in the industry."

Orbis Brakes Inc.
Orbis Brakes Inc.
7 Massive Engines In Tiny Cars
7 Massive Engines In Tiny Cars
7 Greatest V12-Powered Sports Cars
7 Greatest V12-Powered Sports Cars

Orbis is launching brakes that will perform as well as those on a supercar for a fraction of the cost, but there's another benefit: "The Orbis brake weighs 50% less on average than conventional cast iron brakes, reducing the energy needed to manufacture them by half and lowering carbon consumption across the supply chain. A global upgrade to Periodic Wave brakes could remove billions of pounds of Co2 from the atmosphere."

These brakes are made from 100% recyclable iron, with a unique design that dramatically reduces brown emissions, which come from brakes, tires, and road surfaces. These brown emissions are considered vastly more toxic than the emissions from the engine, which is why Europe is adding brake pad pollution to its upcoming Euro 7 mandates.

Orbis Brakes Inc.
Orbis Brakes Inc.
Orbis Brakes Inc.

The company notes that these brakes would be ideal for something like a Tesla Model S Plaid. We've seen this high-performance EV set its brakes on fire and suffer serious crashes as a result of poor braking performance. Tesla offers carbon-ceramic brakes for the car, but at a price of $20,000, it's tough to justify the upgrade unless you're a regular at your local track. Hopefully, Orbis will soon become a mainstream name in the industry, and we can all have the kind of stopping power that you get in a McLaren.

Orbis plans to launch the NextWave sometime this quarter, with the EcoWave to follow in Q1 of 2023. Preorders are currently open on its website.

2021-2022 Tesla Model S Plaid Rear View Driving Tesla
Side View Driving Tesla

Join The Discussion

Gallery

10
Photos

Related Cars

Back
To Top