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 Ti Brake Shield

Brake Fade And Ti Brake Shields

Using Ti Brake Shields to Reduce Brake Fluid Fade
Seine Systems' Solution to Brake Fade

During braking, brake fluid is heated by the transfer of heat from the brake pad backing plate directly to the caliper piston(s). The opposite end of the caliper piston is in direct contact with the brake fluid inside the brake caliper. Thus, heat generated by the frictional material of the pad transfers directly to the caliper piston which heats the brake fluid. Excessive heat can also destroy the piston seals.

Download Heavy Duty Brake Fluid Chart (PDF)

Download Brake Fade Fact Sheet
(8 psges, PDF format, about 2.5Mb)

What the engineers say

MPC: The next step after Ti Brake Shields

Notice the relatively small fluid chamber in a caliper (Figure 1, Item 4. yellow area below). This small volume of fluid must absorb and withstand tremendous temperatures and still remain stable.

Figure 1. Typical brake caliper parts o1.kkSealing ring
o3.kkRubber dust cover
o5.kkUpper bleed nipple
o6.kkOuter half
o7.kkInner half
o9.kkGuide pin
kiInner bleeder nipple
kiDamping spring
kiBrake pad

Do you find it necessary to bleed your brakes after a day at the track? Your brake fluid has boiled. One solution to prevent fluid fade is to use larger brake components (caliper, rotor and pad) so the increased mass can absorb more heat. However, this option is expensive and may be limited by race rules. Wheel dimensions may limit the caliper size, and the additional weight also adds unsprung weight which can affect vehicle handling.

Another solution is to use brake materials that inhibit heat transfer to the fluid. Most OEM caliper pistons are made of steel. However, stainless steel is better than steel in this regard and pistons made from this material can sometimes be added to certain brake calipers. Some aftermarket brake calipers are equipped with stainless steel pistons. Some install a stainless steel shield on the caliper surfaces facing the very hot rotor surfaces (Fig. 2).

The thermal conductivity of titanium (Ti) is much lower than steel or stainless steel (see chart below). Taking advantage of this semi-exotic material (high strength-to-weight ratio and expensive), some brake manufacturers go to great lengths to shield the brake fluid from high brake temperatures; using elaborate piston configurations as well as pistons made from titanium or coating the caliper pistons with titanium oxide.

Ti Brake Shields are cut to the same shape as the brake pad (fig. 3) and are installed between each brake pad and the caliper piston Figure 4 shows a Ti Brake Shield being installed.

Figure 2
Stainless steel-lined caliper halves helps reduce heat absorption in this 6-piston race caliper. (Wilwood Brakes)

Figure 4 - Installing a Ti Brake Shield behind each
brake pad

Figure 3
Ti Brake Shields
come in a set of 4 for an "axle" set.

With the Ti Brake Shields installed, heat transfer to the brake fluid is reduced by as much as 50ºF. This can often provide the margin needed to prevent fluid boiling and a loss of brakes.

In addition to its low thermal conductivity, titanium is also lightweight and possesses high tensile strength. Total added weight is only 4-6 oz./wheel (depending on application). Titanium also has excellent corrosion resistance to salt water and is resistant to a broad range of acids, alkalis and chemicals for long life.

The following chart compares the thermal conductivity of various materials.

All titanium is not the same. Ti Brake Shields are precisely fabricated from
aircraft-quality, Grade 5 titanium alloy. Lesser grades do not have the same thermal conductivity characteristics.

Figure 5
Caliper Cross Section. Ti Brake Shields shown in




Thermal conductivity
(lower numbers best)



7075-T6 alloy







Steel Alloy




Stainless steel








CP, commercially pure, Grade 2



3.2Al-4V alloy




6Al-4V alloy, Grade 5*



*Seine Systems Ti Brake Shields are made from Grade 5, aircraft grade titanium alloy

To help prevent brake loss due to fluid fade, install a low thermal conductive material between hot brake system parts and the brake fluid. Grade 5 titanium has superior (low) heat conductivity characteristics.

While installing larger brake calipers and rotors is always an option, this upgrade can be costly and require other modifications. In addition, many race organizations may limit the type of brake modification in order to participate or to remain in class.

For these reasons, Ti Brake Shields provide the next logical step to increase braking efficiency.

What the engineers say:
MPC: The next step after Ti Brake Shields

Ti Brake Shields, $89.95/set
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