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Int. J. Vehicle Noise and Vibration, Vol. 1, Nos.

3/4, 2005 207

Copyright 2005 Inderscience Enterprises Ltd.

Numerical analysis of automotive disc brake squeal:
a review
Huajiang Ouyang*
Department of Engineering, University of Liverpool,
Brownlow Street, Liverpool L69 3GH, UK
Fax: 0044 151 79 44848 E-mail: h.ouyang@liverpool.ac.uk
*Corresponding author
Wayne Nack
Technical Center, General Motor Corporation,
Warren, Michigan, USA
Yongbin Yuan
Technical Center, TRW Automotive,
Livonia, Michigan, USA
Frank Chen
Advanced Engineering Center, Ford Motor Company,
Dearborn, Michigan, USA
Abstract: This paper reviews numerical methods and analysis procedures used
in the study of automotive disc brake squeal. It covers two major approaches
used in the automotive industry, the complex eigenvalue analysis and the
transient analysis. The advantages and limitations of each approach are
examined. This review can help analysts to choose right methods and make
decisions on new areas of method development. It points out some outstanding
issues in modelling and analysis of disc brake squeal and proposes new
research topics. It is found that the complex eigenvalue analysis is still the
approach favoured by the automotive industry and the transient analysis is
gaining increasing popularity.
Keywords: automotive disc brake; friction; contact; vibration; noise; squeal;
modelling; numerical methods; the finite element method; complex eigenvalue
analysis; transient analysis.
Reference to this paper should be made as follows: Ouyang, H., Nack, W.,
Yuan, Y. and Chen, F. (2005) Numerical analysis of automotive disc brake
squeal: a review, Int. J. Vehicle Noise and Vibration, Vol. 1, Nos. 3/4,
Biographical notes: Huajiang Ouyang is a Senior Lecturer at the Department
of Engineering, University of Liverpool, UK. He was awarded a BE in
Engineering Mechanics in 1982, an ME in Solid Mechanics in 1985, and a PhD
in Structural Engineering in 1989, from Dalian University of Technology. He
has published over 70 conference and journal papers. His major research
interests are structural dynamics and computational mechanics.

208 H. Ouyang, W. Nack, Y. Yuan and F. Chen

Wayne V. Nack has published papers in brake squeal and moan as well as in
vehicle structural dynamics and optimisation. He received his BS in
Engineering at Rose Hulman Institute, and his PhD in Theoretical and Applied
Mechanics at the University of Illinois in Computational Mechanics. Wayne
has 30 years of experience in developing new methods for the automotive
industry and has published papers in the above areas.
Yongbin Yuan is Chief Engineer of TRW Automotive, Shanghai. He was a
Senior Manager and Fellow of TRW Automotive at Livonia, MI, before his
present post. He has a PhD in Material Science. He has published a number of
papers on disc brake noise and friction.
Frank Chen is a Technical Specialist at the Ford Motor Company. He has been
working in noise and vibration area for more than ten years. He has a PhD in
Mechanical System Engineering and has published a number of technical
papers on disc brake noise.

1 Introduction
Automotive disc brake squeal has been a challenging issue for many engineers and
researchers due to its immense complexity. Much progress and insight have been gained
in recent years and brakes have become quieter. However, squeal still occurs frequently
and therefore much still needs to be understood and done. CAE simulation and analysis
methods play an important role in understanding brake squeal mechanisms. It can also be
used to interpret test results, prepare for upfront DoE (design of experiment), simulate
structural modifications and explore innovative ideas. The methodology is still under
development. Some methods have matured and others are being refined. It is thought that
the time has come to review the established methods to date.
There is a wealth of literature on automotive disc brake squeal. Reviews
(North, 1976; Crolla and Lang, 1991; Nishiwaki, 1990; Yang and Gibson, 1997;
Kinkaid et al., 2003) conducted in the last 30 years provide a comprehensive
source of information. However, there has not been any paper that reviews the area of
numerical analysis work on disc brake squeal. A recent comprehensive review paper
(Kinkaid et al., 2003) has only lightly touched on finite element models of disc brakes.
Therefore, this paper serves to fill this apparent gap and complement the existing
According to the mechanism of generation, brake noise can be classified into three
types. The first type is called creep-groan, which is caused by the stick-slip motion
between the friction material and the rotor surface (Abdelhamid, 1995;
Brecht et al., 1997). Creep-groan occurs at near-zero vehicle speed. The second type of
noise is often called hot judder or rumble, which is caused by periodic features on the
rotor surface that result in cyclic brake torques (Abdelhamid, 1997; Swartzfager and
Seingo, 1998; Kubota et al., 1998). The salient feature of this type of noise is that its
frequency is a multiple of the rotor speed of rotation. The third type of noise is
characterised by:

Numerical analysis of automotive disc brake squeal: a review 209

the absence of apparent sticking at the rotor/pad sliding interface
in general, one dominant high frequency fairly independent of the rotor speed
occurrence of in-plane and/or out-of-plane flexible rotor modes.
This type of noise is usually called squeal. Noise with a dominant frequency over 1 kHz
(or above the first out-of-plane rotor frequency) generally belongs to this category. These
are meant as a description of disc brake squeal rather than a definition, for there is no
generally accepted precise definition (Kinkaid et al., 2003).
Squeal has been the primary subject of past studies on brake noise and is the focus of
this review.
Investigation into brake squeal has been conducted by various experimental and
analytic methods. Experimental methods, for all their advantages, are expensive mainly
due to hardware cost and long turnaround time for design iterations. Frequently
discoveries made on a particular type of brakes or on a particular type of vehicles are not
transferable to other types of brakes or vehicles. Product development is frequently
carried out on a trial-and-error basis. There is also a limitation on the feasibility of the
hardware implementation of ideas. A stability margin is usually not found
experimentally. Unfortunately, this produces designs that could be only marginally
Analytical or numerical modelling, on the other hand, can simulate different
structures, material compositions and operating conditions of a disc brake or of different
brakes or of even different vehicles, when used rightly. With these methods, noise
improvement measures can be examined conceptually before a prototype is made and
tested. Theoretical results can also provide guidance to an experimental set-up and
help interpret experimental findings. The authors intention is to offer a review of the
state-of-art of CAE simulation and analysis for disc brake squeal. The authors believe
that theoretical methods and experimental methods are equally important. Both are
needed to capture the underlying physics so that eventually a commercial code would be
developed to complement and partly replace expensive and time-consuming experimental
study. These methods will remain an indispensable tool for understanding brake squeal
and for achieving improvements on noise performance in the foreseeable future.
Simulation and analysis methods may be divided into two big categories: complex
eigenvalue analysis in the frequency domain and transient analysis in the time domain.
The transient results can be converted to the frequency domain by an FFT. Brake models
with a large number of degrees-of-freedom (DoFs) or with infinite number of DoFs
(continuous media) are of interest to the authors. Models composed of a small number of
degrees-of-freedom (lumped-parameter models) will not be covered in this review.
The papers being reviewed here have all been published in the public domain (except
Yuan, 1997). These exclude internal reports and private communications. This review
could not be all-inclusive even though the best possible effort has been attempted.
Brake squeal is the result of friction-induced vibration, which was reviewed
comprehensively by Oden and Martins (1985), and also by Ibrahim (1994).
Friction-generated sound and noise in general was reviewed recently by Akay (2002).
This review paper consists of five major sections: Introduction, Complex Eigenvalue
Analysis, Transient Analysis, Outstanding Issues and Conclusions. There is also an
appendix for notations used in the paper after references.

210 H. Ouyang, W. Nack, Y. Yuan and F. Chen

2 Complex eigenvalue analysis
The complex eigenvalue approach refers to what results are sought, not on how the
structural model is constructed. The model may be derived by analytical methods, the
assumed-modes method and the finite element method. There must be a means (known as
a squeal mechanism) of incorporating friction as a sort of nonconservative force in the
model. Squeal mechanisms were reviewed by North (1976), Crolla and Lang (1991),
Nishiwaki (1990), Yang and Gibson (1997) and Kinkaid et al. (2003).
2.1 Analytical methods
Most early works on instability analysis were performed with hand-derived equations for
mass-spring models that were used to represent real structures. Insight gained from such
simple models in the early days of research greatly enhanced the understanding of the
mechanisms of friction-induced noise and vibration. The analyses for more complicated
mass-spring models by Jarvis and Mills (19631964), Earles and Lee (1976),
North (1976), Millner (1978), and many others have revealed that even when the friction
coefficient is constant, the model can be unstable if the friction force couples two
degrees-of-freedom together. A large-scale finite element analysis of the stability of the
linearised brake system also confirms that instability arises when two modes coalesce
under the influence of friction.
2.2 The assumed-modes method
Brake components are continuous media of infinite number of DoFs. Because these
components are of complicated geometrical shape, the finite element method is most
appropriate. Among the brake components, the rotor is the only component that has
rather regular geometry. A solid rotor has a number of cyclic symmetry that equals the
number of mounting holes in the top-hat section. A vented rotor is also quite close to
having many degrees of cyclic symmetry. Both solid rotors and vented rotors possess
pairs of very close frequencies (an axially symmetric rotor possesses pairs of identical
Chan et al. (1994) considered a brake rotor as a thin, annular plate and thus expressed
the transverse vibration of the rotor as a linear sum of analytic component modes.
This approach has been followed by Mottershead and coworkers (Mottershead
et al., 1997; Ouyang et al., 1998). Hulten and Flint (1999), and Flint (2000) used the
assumed modes method for their beam model of the rotor. In the work of Chowdhary et
al. (2001), individual brake components (disc and pads both modelled as thin plates) were
modelled and solved separately for their modal characteristics. Then, these were coupled
together at the contact interface and the equations of motion were derived through the
Lagrangian approach. Chakraborty et al. (2002) also used thin plate model for the disc.
They introduced (cubic) nonlinear spring for the pads. von Wagner et al. (2003) further
demonstrated that the frequency of the limit-cycle vibration of the disc was very close to
that of the linear unstable vibration obtained through a complex eigenvalue analysis.
Wauver and Heilig (2003) considered both friction and heating at the contact points
between the pads (lumped masses with springs) and the disc (a rotating ring).
Like Chakraborty et al. (2002) and von Wagner et al. (2003), Galerkins approach was
used to discretise the equations of motion.

Numerical analysis of automotive disc brake squeal: a review 211

Recognising the importance of the in-plane modes of the disc, Tzou et al. (1998)
derived the analytical solution of 3-D elastodynamics for a cylinder of arbitrary thickness
using the Ritz method. They concluded in-plane loading of the disc, with concomitant
resonance of an in-plane mode, is expected to be one mechanism for the generation of
out-of-plane vibration. Tseng and Wickert (1998) obtained the analytic solution of the
in-plane stresses of a rotating disc and used it in the equation of motion of the disc. The
in-plane shear stresses due to the friction were considered as follower forces (distributed
load acting on a sector of the disc), instead of friction itself being the follower force.
Gyroscopic and centripetal effects were included so that the work can apply to discs
rotating at higher speeds.
Discs (rotors in the automotive industry) are basic mechanical elements that are
widely used in engineering industry, such as wood saws, computer disks, and turbine
discs and so on. Disc vibration was reviewed by Mottershead (1998).
Since the assumed-modes method normally applies to a model where an analytical
solution (closed-form or approximate) may be found, for example, a beam or a plate
model for the disc, it is not as widely used as the finite element method. It deserves
a place when testing a squeal mechanism, such as in Hulten and Flint (1999),
or when incorporating some special features, such as moving loads (Ouyang and
Mottershead, 2000), where a complicated system model should be avoided initially.
2.3 The finite element method
The complex eigenvalue approach linearises the brake squeal solution at static steady
sliding states. It is a good approximation if it is linearised properly in the vicinity of an
equilibrium point like the steady sliding position. This procedure is referred to as a
linearised stability analysis and it is discussed by Nack (1995, 2000). Currently, most
production work in industry uses this method. Nonlinear transient solutions in multibody
and crash codes have also emerged as an alternative.
Liless (1989) paper with the help of SDRC (Structural Dynamics Research
Corporation) appears to be the first published paper to present a large-scale FE analysis
of a real disc brake. He built a finite element model for each brake component using solid
elements. Crucially, he also carried out modal testing on these components and validated
his component finite element models using experimental results. Then, the less certain
connections between individual components were located by using engineering intuition
and an iterative testing procedure. Friction was incorporated into the model as a
geometric coupling. A complex eigenvalue formulation was derived for the system.
The real parts of the eigenvalues dictate the stability (or lack of it) of the system. If the
real part of an eigenvalue is positive, the corresponding imaginary part was thought to be
a possible squeal frequency. He constructed the friction stiffness matrix using relative
displacements between mating surfaces. However, many theoretical details were not
given. This lack of details is common in many papers.
Nack (1995, 2000) presented a detailed method on how to construct the friction
stiffness and clearly stated the meaning of using eigenvalue analysis, that is, to determine
the necessary condition for a system to become unstable and grow into a state of limit-
cycles. From sound signals of squealing events, he also observed that the amplitude
exponentially increased at the beginning (positive real part at work here) and then
somewhat stabilised (limit-cycle at work now), as shown in Figure 1. This phenomenon
can also be found in a simulation: the motion becomes divergent for a linear model but

212 H. Ouyang, W. Nack, Y. Yuan and F. Chen

grows up to a certain magnitude for the corresponding nonlinear model, as demonstrated
by Thompson and Stewart (2002) for a different nonlinear system. If a mode has a
negative real part in the eigenvalue, then the motion will not have a chance to grow into a
limit-cycle and thus cause sustained noise. Engineering design is often more concerned
with if a brake may squeal and less with how loud the brake may squeal. Therefore, for
engineering design at present, a complex eigenvalue analysis offers a pragmatic
approach. Limit-cycle vibration induced by dry friction was studied earlier by DSouza
and Dweib (1990).
Figure 1 An experimentally measured squeal signal

The most common way of incorporating friction into a finite element model is through a
geometric coupling. This can be illustrated by a spring that links a pair of nodes on the
surface of the rotor and the surface of the pad in contact, as shown in Figure 2.
Figure 2 Contact spring with friction loading

Reprinted with permission from SAE 2003-01-0684 2003 SAE International.
The element stiffness matrix for this friction-loaded spring is (Nack, 1995; Ripin, 1995)
c c 1 1
c c 1 1
c c 2 2
c c 2 2
0 0
0 0
0 0
0 0
mk mk f u
k k n v
mk mk f u
k k n v

` `

) )

which is asymmetric. The equation of motion for such a system is (Nack, 1995;
Murakami et al., 1984; Okamura and Nishiwaki, 1988; Yuan, 1996)
( ) 0 + + + = Mx Cx K K x

Numerical analysis of automotive disc brake squeal: a review 213

where K
is made of the element stiffness matrices of the friction-loaded springs. Some
assumptions made in this formulation are also discussed by Nack (1995, 2000).
Liles and Nacks method requires connection of coincident nodes on the interface
with massless springs. This is to enforce the condition that the friction interfaces do not
separate in the normal contact direction during squeal. Mathematically, the spring
connection is equivalent to applying a constraint with the penalty method. When the
spring stiffness k
is infinitely large, the contact conditions are exactly applied. However,
in the actual numerical analysis, k
has to be finite and thus leads to concerns on
accuracy. Otherwise, the eigenvalue solver will become numerically unstable because of
the singularly large terms in the matrix.
Yuans (1996) paper was written to tackle this issue. The paper presented a
general formulation for contact problems involving sliding friction. Constraints for
contact in the normal direction are mathematically imposed. For the same problem, the
formulation in Yuan (1996) results in a matrix smaller than Liless spring method and is
friendlier to eigenvalue solvers because the stiffness matrix does not contain very large
terms. Besides, the friction model incorporated in the formulation is a linear function of
relative sliding speed and normal contact pressure. This formulation was implemented in
NASTRAN and was used to conduct a parametric analysis for a small brake model.
The results presented by Yuan (1997) revealed that when k
was in the order of 10
results obtained with the formulation in Yuan (1997) and with Liles and Nacks method
are the same. This general formulation is applicable to any types of elements used at the
rotor/pads interface, not just limited to contact springs.
North first attributed disc brake squeal to flutter instability (North, 1976). All the FE
analyses by the complex eigenvalue approach indicate that when two modes coalesce
under the influence of friction, the system becomes unstable. This phenomenon was
noted by a number of researchers (Nack, 1995; Okamura and Nishiwaki, 1988;
Tworzydlo et al., 1997; Kung et al., 2000; Chan, 1995). The mode coalescence (or mode
coupling) in large structures is in essence the same phenomenon as the coupling of two
degrees-of-freedom by friction mentioned in the analytic methods earlier. Linear
aeroelastic flutter occurs due to mode coalescence too, but the loading comes from a
different source, airflow.
There are other ways of incorporating friction into a system model, for example,
as a follower force (North, 1976; Chan et al., 1994; Mottershead et al., 1997;
Ouyang et al., 1998), or as a friction couple (Hulten and Flint, 1999). Yuan (1995)
incorporated the negative friction-velocity gradient, geometric coupling and the follower
force into one finite element model and compared one against the other. In recognition
that massless springs might not be suitable for representing rotor/pads contact at high
squeal frequencies, Yuan (1996) proposed a new way of constructing K
Nishiwaki (1993) also put forward a general formulation to accommodate more than one
squeal mechanism.
Nishiwaki et al. (1989) studied the effects of slits cut into the rotor. They found that
squeal frequencies often occurred in the vicinity of the natural frequencies of the rotor
and they devised a method for eliminating squeal by modifying the frequencies and
modes of the rotor. It is noted here that Fieldhouse and Newcomb (1996) found from
their experiments a squeal frequency that was not close to any frequencies of the rotor.
Kido et al. (1996) studied the connection between the squeal propensity and the ratio
of the eigenvalues of the rotor and the caliper. They showed in the finite element results
and experimental results that a higher ratio increased the tendency to squeal.

214 H. Ouyang, W. Nack, Y. Yuan and F. Chen

Matsushima et al. (1998) concluded that squeal occurred within a region of piston line
pressures and this region widened with increasing friction coefficient.
Guan and Jiang (1998) constructed finite element models of individual disc brake
components and then built a reduced multibody system model. They calculated the
amplitude coefficients (modal participation factors) for a squealing mode and
experimented with adjustment of some frequencies of the component modes. In so doing,
the influential component modes on the squeal may be found. Kung et al. (2000) also
computed the modal participation factors of component modes. The information would
be useful in finding ways of suppressing certain unwanted modes and thus reducing the
likelihood of a particular squeal frequency. The above investigations revealed that there
was more than one dominant component mode at squealing and all the major components
of the disc brake could make comparable contributions. Zhang et al. (2003) focused on
one particular squeal frequency and established the contribution to the squeal mode from
individual component modes. The above investigations of the component contribution to
squeal modes suggest that those analytical models that have ignored some brake
components or have modelled some brake components as lumped masses would not
predict squeal events well.
Shi et al. (2001) performed structural design optimisation for suppressing squeal.
Forty-six 1-gram masses were evenly distributed on the back of both pads. They found
that the total mass after optimisation increased by 245 grams. All the roots
(complex eigenvalues) were shifted into the left half of the root locus plane and this was
impossible to achieve by trial-and-error runs.
Matsuzaki and Izumihara (1993) were the early researchers who realised that some
high squeal frequencies were the result of the in-plane vibration of the rotor. Their finite
element results were reported to be in good agreement with experimental results. Due to
lack of details on the FE model, it is unclear how friction was represented in their work.
Nevertheless, this was a groundbreaking piece of research.
The presence of the in-plane vibration at squeal led to the new classification of squeal
into two subclasses by Dunlap et al. (1999): the low frequency squeal in the range of
1 kHz up to the frequency of the mode whose deformation in the rotor is of its first
in-plane pattern, in which range the bending vibration of the rotor dominates; and the
high frequency squeal, which is above the frequency of the first in-plane rotor mode.
Chen et al. (2000, 2002) used laser Doppler to measure the rotors in-plane modes and
provided more cases in which the coupling of the in-plane rotor modes and out-of-plane
rotor modes may be responsible for the generation of high frequency squeal, especially at
the frequencies in the three zones of the first, second and third pairs of in-plane and
out-of-plane rotor modes.
The role of the in-plane motion of the rotor in generating squeal was gradually
recognised by the brake community. Baba et al. (2001) designed what they called a
nonrotational hat (by creating an asymmetry in the hat). Their experimental results and
finite element results found a favourable configuration of the modified hat structure.
Another very interesting piece of work was presented by Bae and Wickert (2000). They
built a very detailed finite element model of the top-hat rotor (alone) and discovered that
certain modes appearing on the annulus part of the rotor could be suppressed by
modifying the hat part of the rotor.
In a very recent study, Yang and Afeneh (2004) found that the lineup between the
in-plane circumferential frequencies and the out-of-plane diametric frequencies was not
correlated with vehicle squeal. This observation seemed to contradict the above findings

Numerical analysis of automotive disc brake squeal: a review 215

or the hypothesis that squeal was due to the coupling of the in-plane and the out-of-plane
Feld and Fehr (1995) published a paper on large-scale FE analysis of squeal in
aircraft disc brakes.
The latest version of ABAQUS (version 6.4) provides a new complex eigensolver
that is particularly useful for the complex eigenvalue analysis of the disc brake squeal
problem. This new capability was created in collaboration with industrial partners and
has produced very useful results (Kung et al., 2003; Bajer et al., 2003). It uses direct
contact coupling at the disc/pads interface described by Yuan (1996) and there is no need
to introduce contact springs at the interface. Predicted complex eigenvalues for a typical
disc brake using ABAQUS are shown in Figure 3.
Figure 3 Predicted unstable complex eigenvalues using ABAQUS 6.4

Source: Dr. Shih-Wei Kung of Delphi Corporation kindly provided this figure
In many applications involving discs, the (relative) rotational speed of the discs is very
high. It has been a tradition to model the force acting on these discs as moving loads
since the pioneering work of Mote (1970) on a stationary disc subjected to a point-wise
moving load and of Iwan and Moeller (1976) on a disc spinning past a point-wise
stationary load. It should be mentioned that friction is absent in these models.
Ono et al. (1991) introduced friction as a follower force to their model of a spinning
floppy disc. Chan et al. (1994) put in friction as a follower force to their model of a
stationary brake disc.
Historically, in the study of brake squeal, the moving load nature of the
problem normally has been ignored in the assumption that the low rotor speed range in
which squeal tends to occur does not warrant this complication. Chan et al. (1994)
introduced the element of moving loads into the modelling of brake discs. Ouyang et al.
formally proposed to treat the disc brake vibration and squeal as a moving load
problem (Ouyang and Mottershead, 2000; Ouyang et al., 2003b) and put forward an
analytical-numerical combined method (Ouyang et al., 2000). The numerical
simulation of a real brake indicated that as the rotational speed varies, some initially
stable modes become unstable while some stable modes may become even more
stable (Ouyang et al., 2003a). In Ouyang and Mottershead (2000) and Ouyang et al.
(2000, 2003a, 2003b), the disc brake was conceptually divided into two parts: the rotating
rotor and the nonrotating components. The former was solved by an analytic method
while the latter by the finite element method. Predicted complex eigenvalues for one
typical disc brake including the moving loads at one disc speed are shown in Figure 4.

216 H. Ouyang, W. Nack, Y. Yuan and F. Chen

Figure 4 Noise indices vs. unstable frequencies from a moving-load simulation

Wauver and Heilig (2003) also considered moving loads in their simplified analytical
model of a disc brake. Talbot et al. (2004) introduced a spectral method which could
model moving boundary conditions.
The notion of a moving load is to consider that a force moves to the circumferential
position of + t from its initial circumferential position of after time t elapses.
As such, moving loads act at different locations at different times, which can bring about
resonance even if the force itself is constant. Problems like this belong to a subject called
(self-excited) parametric vibration. One recent paper (Ouyang et al., 2004) showed good
agreement of predicted unstable frequencies with experimental squeal frequencies in the
low squeal frequency range, using the moving load approach. Whether it is crucial to
bring in the moving load concept into the study of disc brake squeal needs further
3 Transient analysis
For solutions close to steady sliding states, the linear complex eigenvalue approach may
be sufficient for a stability analysis. A nonlinear transient solution can analyse the effect
of time-dependent loads as well as perform a stability analysis. The solutions are
appropriate for situations that are far from the equilibrium position or when the effects of
nonlinearities are present. It is possible to run the nonlinear transient process from the
initial state to steady state. This would simulate the operating conditions. If large
amplitude limit-cycles form, then the associated frequencies are thought to represent
squeal frequencies (Tworzydlo et al., 1997). The time signal of an experimentally
measured squeal noise is displayed in Figure 1. The frequency content can be extracted
from the time series by applying an FFT procedure. If nonlinearity is present and not
weak, the only way to analyse properly the dynamic behaviour of such systems is to use a
transient analysis. In the time-domain integration, both explicit (Nagy et al., 1994) and
implicit (Chargin et al., 1997) methods may be used. If system parameters are
time-dependent (but not periodic), a transient analysis is necessary. A dynamic system
with time-periodic coefficients can be solved approximately using the Floquet theory, or
perturbation methods when there is at least one small system parameter (Nayfeh and
Mook, 1979).
Transient analyses of simple, lumped parameter models of disc brakes have been
performed in the past. Normally, sophisticated friction laws were used. In fact, that was

Numerical analysis of automotive disc brake squeal: a review 217

the main reason to adopt the transient analysis method in the past. Either the finite
element method or the assumed-modes method may be used in a transient analysis.
Nagy et al. (1994) pioneered the transient analysis of disc brakes using the finite
element method. The nonlinearity of the friction at the rotor/pads contact was considered.
They found that the stability of the system was mainly influenced by the friction coupling
the rotor and the pads. Hu and Nagy (1997) developed the method of Nagy et al. (1994)
and tackled large finite element models of disc brakes. Dynamic contact was considered
by incorporating a penalty function to model the contact surface in the virtual work
statement. Another merit of this work was the use of pressure-dependent friction
coefficient obtained from dynamometer tests. To speed up the explicit numerical
integration and yet maintain accuracy, they used a one-point-integration solid element
with stiffness hourglass control that they developed with Belytschko. The numerical
time-domain information was converted to power spectral density data through FFT.
Several predicted frequencies of high sound level compared well with squeal frequencies
found from experiments. Chargin et al. (1997) also performed a transient analysis for a
simple finite element model of a brake. They used implicit integration with tangent
matrices of the steady-state solution. This was the point to start the complex eigenvalue
analysis. Again, the contact constraint was imposed by the Lagrange multiplier. A stiff
equation solver was necessary to solve the resultant differential equations.
Hu et al. (1999) investigated the effects of friction characteristics and structural
modifications (such as pad chamfer or slot). An optimal design was found using Taguchi
method. Mahajan et al. (1999) used the same method of Nagy et al. (1994) and the
procedure of Hu et al. (1999) and compared the transient analysis, complex eigenvalue
analysis and normal mode analysis and found that they were useful at different stages of
Following Nagy and Hus approach, Chern et al. (2002) performed a nonlinear
transient analysis of a disc brake including rotor, pads, two pistons, sliding
pins, and anchor bracket using LS/DYNA with constant dynamic friction coefficient.
Figures 5 and 6 show the squeal frequency and the corresponding operational deflection
shape of the rotor, respectively.
Figure 5 Velocity frequency domain response at rotor with squeal frequency of 7.16 kHz

Reprinted with permission from SAE 2003-01-0684 2003 SAE International.

218 H. Ouyang, W. Nack, Y. Yuan and F. Chen

Figure 6 Operational deflection shape of a rotor at squeal of 7.16 kHz

Reprinted with permission from SAE 2003-01-0684 2003 SAE International.
Van der Auweraer et al. (2002) concentrated on the determination of the contact area in a
dynamic process in the transient analysis. Rook et al. (2001) used the ADAMS multibody
code with NASTRAN super elements. Travis (1995) carried out a nonlinear transient
analysis of aircraft brake squeal.
4 Pros and cons of analysis methods
4.1 Complex eigenvalue analysis
As Liles (1989) noted, the complex roots obtained from an eigenvalue analysis would
reveal which system modes of vibration were unstable. He pointed out that
knowing the unstable modes facilitates several courses of action; modal
frequencies could be moved by altering components or damping could be
added such that the mode in question becomes stable.
A complex eigenvalue analysis allows all unstable eigenvalues to be found in one run.
While in a transient analysis, many runs have to be executed until a limit-cycle motion is
found. So, the complex eigenvalue analysis has a clear advantage over the transient
analysis in the amount of computations involved. A complex eigenvalue analysis should
always be conducted before a transient analysis is attempted to estimate when an unstable
motion may occur.
The limitation of the complex eigenvalue analysis is that it includes the linearised
nonlinearities, which are only accurate near steady sliding states. The full effect of
nonlinearities away from steady sliding states is not present. Moreover, nonstationary
features, such as time-dependent material properties, cannot be included.
Another serious drawback is that while the magnitude of the positive real part of an
unstable eigenvalue describes the growth rate of an oscillation, it does not necessarily
indicate a higher noise level (Liles, 1989). A stability analysis only indicates the tendency
of divergence but not the real magnitude of a motion. In time, the growing motion
predicted by a stability analysis will be limited by the nonlinearities in the system and a
limit-cycle motion of finite amplitude will result (Crolla and Lang, 1991), which is
obtainable only through a transient analysis.

Numerical analysis of automotive disc brake squeal: a review 219

Despite the limitations of the complex eigenvalue approach, disc brake engineers
prefer it to the transient analysis approach because they think in terms of modes.
To them, unstable modes allow structural modifications to be made to prevent these
modes from occurring. Limit-cycle vibration, predicted from a transient analysis, evolves
from exponentially growing motion that can be predicted in theory by the positive real
parts of the system eigenvalues obtained through complex eigenvalue analysis. These
growing motions are unstable vibrations occurring in linear models. Therefore, the large
amplitude limit-cycle vibrations (squeal) can be avoided if the linear unstable motions are
avoided, as pointed out by a number of people (Nack, 1995; Yuan, 1996). Complex
eigenvalue analysis provides a conservative approach (Nack, 2000), for it predicts all
unstable modes that may grow into limit-cycle vibration. Which modes indeed grow into
limit-cycle vibration and the amplitudes of the resultant limit-cycles, found from a
transient analysis, depends on triggering mechanisms. The aim of complex eigenvalue
analysis is to attempt to shift those complex eigenvalues that appear in the right-hand side
half plane to the left-hand side plane in the root locus diagram (Nack, 2000).
DSouza and Dweib (1990) studied the stability of a linearised system through Rouths
criterion and the limit-cycle vibration from a transient analysis. They compared the
results from both approaches and found that the same parameter values led to a
non-negative real part of the complex eigenvalues of the linearised system and the onset
of limit-cycle oscillation of the nonlinear system. Although the system they studied is a
3-DoF pin-on-disc problem (of dynamic frictional contact), the methodology is valid and
has been adopted by a number of researchers working on disc brake squeal.
4.2 Transient analysis
The transient analysis in theory does not need to make some of the important assumptions
underlying the complex eigenvalue analysis. These assumptions include a constant
contact area between the rotor and the pads, linear friction laws and time-independence of
material properties. Moving loads can be handled in a better way in a transient analysis
than in a complex eigenvalue analysis because of the time-varying properties introduced
by moving loads.
A major shortcoming of the transient analysis is its formidable computing time, and
hence slow turnaround time for design iterations. Time-domain solutions require a lot of
disk storage and the data are hard to analyse for design changes. To make matters worse,
the importance of high frequencies means that the time steps must be very small for
explicit integration. The conventional criterion of choosing a time step for explicit
integration based on a linear system, for example, used in Hu and Nagy (1997), is
t l/c
To include the contributions from high frequencies, very small t and l must be used. For
example, if a frequency of 10 kHz is to have a contribution in the vibration, t should not
exceed 10
An implicit integration algorithm damps out the contributions from high frequency
modes and allows a much larger time step. But the systems equations must be solved at
each step. An unanswered question is what effect the neglected high frequencies in the
implicit algorithm has on the overall solution accuracy. Multibody and Crash codes can
find simplified nonlinear transient solutions. The linear part of the structure is normally
partitioned into substructures to improve efficiency. Generally, the friction degrees of

220 H. Ouyang, W. Nack, Y. Yuan and F. Chen

freedom at the interfaces determine the size of the substructure boundary set, how dense
the substructures are and thus the solution time.
It has been recognised by Mahajan et al. (1999), for example, that the analysis of
squeal cannot be met by one single method. These different methods all have a place at
different stages of the analysis and are useful for different purposes. It is expected that a
variety of analysis methods will coexist and the transient analysis will become more
popular in future.
5 Outstanding issues and recommendations
5.1 Squeal mechanisms
There are many ways to induce instability, such as by the effect of follower force, mode
coupling, dependence of friction coefficient on contact load, or negative v gradient. In
practice, it is important to know which of these is dominant. For example, if the follower
force effect is the primary cause of brake squeal, one should somehow increase the
bending resistance of the rotor; if mode coupling is dominant, then squeal prevention
should be focused on the design of caliper, caliper adapter, rotor or drum. On the other
hand, if the negative v gradient is most important, then one should concentrate on
developing friction materials less sensitive to speed and possibly add more damping to
the system.
So far, most of the published studies assume constant friction. This is most likely for
the convenience of analysis or due to the lack of adequate commercial FEA tools.
The work reported by Yuan (1996, 1997) indicates the influence of negative v
gradient should not be ignored. Kung and his coworkers recent results on the
complex eigenvalue analysis using the new ABAQUS complex eigensolver indicated
that the real parts increased with the negative gradient of the friction-velocity curve
(Kung et al., 2003).
5.2 The contact analysis
When a brake is applied, the piston line pressure acts on part of the pad back plate. As a
result, the interface pressure distribution at the friction interface is highly
nonuniform. Furthermore, surface asperities at the disc/pads interface bring about high
localised pressures. Manufacturing variations also produces a variation in stiffness at the
rotor/pads interface. The matter is further complicated by the relative sliding between the
rotor and the pads, leading to an interface pressure offset to the leading edge (Samie and
Sheridan, 1990; Tirovic and Day, 1991). Contact surfaces used in the finite element
analysis are discussed in Oden and Martins (1985), Kikuchi and Oden (1988),
Laursen (2002), Sextro (2002), Wriggers (2002) and Willner and Gaul (1995).
The interface pressure distribution is thought to be important since the dynamic
friction at the rotor/pads interface normally depends on the local pressure. Therefore, a
number of researchers have investigated the contact area and the contact pressure of disc
According to Tirovic and Day (1991), Harding and Wintel (1978) first published
results of interface pressure distribution in a brake using a 2-D finite element model.
So did Samie and Sheridan (1990). Tirovic and Day (1991), Day et al. (1991) studied the

Numerical analysis of automotive disc brake squeal: a review 221

interface pressure distribution and how it varied with the elasticity of the pads and other
parameters. They found that not only the pressure distribution was not uniform, but also a
partial gap (loss of contact) existed between the disc and the pads. To overcome this
difficulty, soft pads or stiff back plates were suggested to help achieve a more uniform
pressure distribution. Ghesquire and Castel (1992) considered the static contact area and
used the contact stiffness as a system parameter in their model. Their work also
demonstrated the need to include all the modes within the frequency range of the
instability (modal proximity alone is not enough to initiate squeal), as noted by
Ripin (1995). The piston line pressure was used to specify the contact stiffness of inserted
springs at the rotor/pads interface by Ripin (1995). Lee et al. (2003b) studied the interface
pressure distribution at different values of the contact spring constant and found the
stiffness value above that the interface pressure distribution would not vary. They used
ANSYS gap elements at the contact interface.
During vibration, the contact area and the interface pressure distribution of
a disc brake vary with time. This is a dynamic contact problem, which poses a
difficult modelling and computing issue. While in the complex eigenvalue procedure, the
roots are found at the steady sliding position. Normally, it is assumed that the contact
area determined by a nonlinear static contact analysis is maintained during vibration
(Ouyang and Mottershead, 2000; Ripin, 1995; Lee et al., 2003b; Blaschke et al., 2000).
The nonlinear transient analysis approach can use the fully nonlinear contact
conditions (Nagy et al., 1994). However, the dynamic constitutive friction law for a
rotating rotor/pads contact is still the subject of on-going research. A transient analysis
assuming a constant contact area was carried out by Moirot and Nguyen (2000). Rumold
and Swift (2002) recently studied the effects of the finger positions and piston locations
of a twin piston disc brake of a medium truck. They concluded that a shift of the fingers
or the pistons to the trailing side was beneficial since a more uniform interface pressure
distribution was achieved. They used a multibody analysis with flexible superelements
for efficiency in the transient analysis of the contact pressure. Multibody analyses were
also performed by Ltstedt (1982) and Van der Auweraer et al. (2002).
Regardless of the subsequent modal analysis methods, frictional contact may be
enforced in more than one way (Nack, 2000; Yuan, 1996; Van der Auweraer et al., 2002;
Blaschke et al., 2000; Moirot and Nguyen, 2000). It is worth mentioning that Moirot and
Nguyen (2000) and Moirot et al. (2000) imposed unilateral constraint at the contact
Once the static contact area is determined, the connection between the rotor and the
pads is known. In Nacks finite element model (Nack, 1995, 2000), contact springs
initially were distributed over the whole apparent contact area in the contact model.
Those springs found to be in tension after the static contact analysis were later removed
from the modal analysis model. This strategy has been adopted by many other
researchers, for example, Lee et al. (2003b). While in Ouyang and Mottershead (2000),
a single model was constructed for both the contact analysis and the modal analysis.
A layer of thin solid elements was inserted between the rotor and the pads and those
elements found to be in tension after the static contact analysis were given very small
Youngs modulus in the subsequent modal analysis. Direct contact between the disc and
the pads can be imposed in ABAQUS.
It is now a common practice to determine the interface pressure distribution and the
contact area at the rotor/pads interface prior to a complex eigenvalue analysis
(for example, Nack, 2000; Ouyang et al., 2003a; Lee et al., 2003b; Blaschke et al., 2000;

222 H. Ouyang, W. Nack, Y. Yuan and F. Chen

Ltstedt, 1982; Moirot et al., 2000; Lee et al., 2003c). Much less attention has been paid
to other contact interfaces. If the leading or trailing edge abutment is deemed a place for
noise performance improvement, the contact there needs to be considered properly as
well. The rotating rotor tends to push the back plate of the piston-pad against the trailing
side abutment, leaving a small gap or less tight contact at the leading side abutment
(for a pad with ears but no horns). The trailing side abutment obviously provides
resistance to a pad being compressed against it, but not to a pad moving away from it.
As such, it supplies only a one-sided constraint to the motion of the pad normal
to the contact plane. This kind of constraint was studied in other circumstances
(Ltstedt, 1982). It is not clear at the moment whether this would alter the vibration of the
pad to a significant extent.
The interface between the back plate of piston-pad and the piston head is another area
of great interest. A shim of various configurations/materials may be attached to the back
plate or to the piston head. Lubricants may be applied at the interface as a measure for
reducing squeal propensity. Linear elastic springs are not thought to be adequate to model
the shim or the presence of anti-squeal product (greases, for example). Therefore, there is
a nontrivial modelling issue there. The contact interface between the fingers and the
finger-pad back plate may need to be modelled too.
Stochastic analysis is used by Oden and Martins (1985), Tworzydlo et al. (1997),
Wriggers (2002) and Tworzydlo et al. (1999a) to evaluate the friction stiffness due to
random surface asperities.
5.3 Representation of damping
The complex eigenvalue approach normally finds more unstable frequencies than
experiment-established squeal frequencies, when damping is omitted. It is argued in
Nack (1995) that a conservative complex eigenvalue approach predicts modes that are
picked up in a dynamometer test with pressures and velocities varying slightly from the
baseline model. If damping is duly specified, there is a very good reason to believe that
the predicted unstable frequencies should be close to squeal frequencies. Unfortunately,
damping is very difficult to determine and model, in particular for a model of many
DoFs. The notion of viscous damping is a convenient one rather than an accurate one.
As Bathe and Wilson (1976) commented
in practice, it is difficult, if not impossible, to determine for general finite
element assemblages the element damping parameters, in particular the
damping properties are frequency dependent.
To incorporate damping into the complex eigenvalue procedure, modes could be found in
bands with damping evaluated at the central frequency.
If damping is assumed to be proportional, the damping matrix can be prescribed
from two so-called Rayleigh coefficients (Bathe and Wilson, 1976). It seems that
modal damping is not a good description of energy-dissipation mechanism for brakes
(Shi et al., 2001). When a system consists of materials of distinct damping features such
as in disc brakes, proportional damping is not a good model (Bathe and Wilson, 1976).
In that case, Bathe and Wilson thought that it may be reasonable to assign in the
construction of the damping matrix different Rayleigh coefficients to different parts of
the structure. Other types of damping analysed in Nashif et al. (1985) are also worth
looking at.

Numerical analysis of automotive disc brake squeal: a review 223

Interestingly, Hoffmaan and Gaul (2003) demonstrated that viscous damping could
promote mode-coupling instability in the friction-induced vibration of a 2-DoF system.
5.4 Structural modifications
Structural modifications include geometric and material modifications of a disc brake
system, removal of a part or the whole of an existing component or more often insertion
of a new component. They are widely used as a fix to a squealing brake and are also often
simulated numerically. The motivation behind the work is to attempt to prevent certain
unwanted modes from occurring or to shift some noisy frequencies. They have had a
limited success. The crux lies in the fact that the shift of some existing noisy
frequencies can create new noisy ones when a modification is made. Nevertheless,
these are effective ways of suppressing unwanted vibration. When combined with
optimisation or inverse methods, structural modifications can be a major effective tactic.
Work on structural modifications is reported in many papers (for example, Liles, 1989;
Nishiwaki et al., 1989; Kido et al., 1996; Guan and Jiang, 1998; Shi et al., 2001;
Matsuzaki and Izumihara, 1993; Dunlap et al., 1999; Baba et al., 2001; Bae and
Wickert, 2000; Hu et al., 1999; Tirovic and Day, 1991; Day et al., 1991; Ghesquire and
Castel, 1992; Rumold and Swift, 2002; Abu Bakar and Ouyang, 2004).
5.5 Friction laws and wear
Kinkaid et al. (2003) observed that sophisticated friction laws developed in tribology
have not been adopted by the brake research community. Given a very complicated
system like a disc brake, it is natural to use simple friction laws in analysis and
simulation. This should remain true in near future. As computing power and capacity
grows, it can be expected that sophisticated friction laws (for example, those reviewed by
Oden and Martins, 1985) will be used in CAE simulation and analysis. Wear, as a
by-product of friction, may be accommodated in refined friction laws. New friction
formulations are discussed by Tworzydlo et al. (1997), Sextro (2002), Willner and
Gaul (1995) and Tworzydlo et al. (1999b). Perssons (2000) monograph on sliding
friction is also a good source of information.
5.6 Uncertainties and stochastic study
It has been well known that brake components possess a large range of variations in
material properties and sizes. The influence of the variations can be clearly seen from
measured and simulated frequencies on system and component levels. Chen et al. (2003)
studied a number of parameter variations and their sources. The variations present great
difficulties in validating a numerical model or a physical design. A robust theoretical
model taking into consideration the uncertainties due to material and size variations is a
step forward. It is recommended here that theoretical uncertainty models should be
The repeatability of friction tests and squeal tests is notoriously poor. Squeal is a
largely elusive phenomenon. Surface roughness of the rotor and the pads is known to
affect wear and squeal behaviour and appears random. Wear itself is a random variable.
Environmental effects that cannot be accommodated well in friction laws also present a
degree of unpredictability. The variability and uncertainty abundant in disc brakes calls

224 H. Ouyang, W. Nack, Y. Yuan and F. Chen

for a stochastic model. Qiao and Ibrahim (1999) found in their experiments that the
interfacial friction force between a rotating disc and a pin was non-Gaussian and
nonstationary, and its power spectra density covered a wide frequency band.
Ibrahim et al. (2000) established a beam model for the friction element with random
friction force as an external load. As mentioned before, some researchers have studied the
random nature of friction stiffness (Oden and Martins, 1985; Tworzydlo et al., 1997;
Willner and Gaul, 1995; Tworzydlo et al., 1999a).
There are two possible approaches: the statistic approach and the deterministic
approach. Langley (1999) showed that the various probabilistic and possibilistic methods
can be expressed in terms of a common mathematical algorithm. The challenge here is to
incorporate the uncertainty model with the structural dynamics model. A large pool of
test data is needed. There is a serious issue of computing load. Elishakoff and
Rens (2003) timely monograph describes how to use the finite element method to deal
with structures with large stochastic variations.
Chen et al. (2003) reported a robust design of a disc brake through structural
optimisation using the complex eigenvalue approach, considering
friction coefficient range of 0.2 to 0.75.
major elastic constants having 30% variations.
pad resonant frequency change induced by worn-off using 50% thickness friction
Numerical results indicated that the brake system studied remained stable even at a
friction coefficient of 0.75.
5.7 Thermal effects
The change of material properties and deformation due to temperature change has been
largely omitted in squeal analysis. However, many published papers on low frequency
brake noise are available which consider both mechanical and thermal effects, and even
coupled thermo-mechanical effects. The work can be borrowed fairly easily. Again, the
complexity and the computing load involved are the main obstacle to any work involving
the thermal effects. Temperature variation, like wear, had better be accounted for in a
sophisticated friction law.
An important part of the brake to consider temperature influence should be the brake
fluid. It is well known that the compressibility of the brake fluid can change drastically
with rising temperature as a result of a long period of persistent braking application,
which may alter the dynamics of the system. Chen et al. (2003) recently presented test
results on the effects of temperature variation on a number of system parameters
(for example, friction coefficients, Youngs modulus). The variability in material
properties due to temperature variation may be tackled by stochastic methods.
Incidentally, Qi et al. (2004) simulated temperature distributions on the surface of a pad
from transient thermal analysis
5.8 Computational efficiency
With the complex eigenvalue approach, it is a standard practice to run complex
eigenvalues analysis repeatedly for different system parameters in order to locate

Numerical analysis of automotive disc brake squeal: a review 225

favourable parameter values. This is a very time-consuming process even with powerful
computers. Lee et al. (2003a) introduced the recently developed ABLE (Adaptive Block
Lanczos method for non-Hermitian Eigenvalue problems (Bai et al., 1999) algorithm to
the complex eigenvalue analysis of disc brake squeal problem and found that this
algorithm allowed this analysis to run even on a PC. Gaul and Wagner (2004) recently
put forward a new technique for the sensitivity study of eigenvalues and eigenvectors
with respect to parameter variations. This technique was shown to be suitable for the
complex eigenvalue analysis of the brake squeal problem.
There are sophisticated friction laws. Dynamic contact can be represented in a better
manner. The knowledge of where a brake model can be refined is largely available. But it
is nave to assume that it is in the end down to only the computing load that dictates
whether a very sophisticated analysis method and model should be used. Increasing
computing power will not replace further research into the physics of friction and contact.
Thermal and stress coupling is also a serious, poorly understood issue. Analysts and
designers should always be ready to embrace new knowledge and also watch out for new,
more efficient methods. Explicit and implicit integrations should be compared to
determine which is more efficient as well as more accurate. When using stochastic
methods, special efficient computational procedures must be established.
5.9 Pin-on-disc models
There is a large body of papers on the so-called pin-on-disc models. The idea is
believed to stem from early research work on computer disk systems, pioneered by
Iwan and Moeller (1976) and Bogy and his coworkers (Ono et al., 1991). Some of these
works attempt to address disc brake squeal (for example, Tuchinda et al., 2001). They are
not a topic of this review. Interested readers may consult the review paper by
Mottershead (1998).
6 Conclusions
There are numerous factors that influence the occurrence and level of squeal
noise in automotive disc brakes. Ideally, all effects should be included in an analysis or
simulation exercise. These should include linear super elements, complex eigenvalues,
nonlinear transient stage, contact surfaces with friction (Samie and Sheridan, 1990;
Tirovic and Day, 1991; Kikuchi and Oden, 1988; Laursen, 2002; Sextro, 2002), nonlinear
friction laws (Oden and Martins, 1985; Tworzydlo et al., 1997; Laursen, 2002;
Wriggers, 2002; Tworzydlo et al., 1999b) and the effect of relative rotation between the
rotor and the pads. The friction laws could be built in and/or read in by user subroutines.
Developers of commercial software packages are starting to put in some useful
capabilities. Nonlinear finite element crash codes and multibody codes are being
extended for studying brake squeal. Both implicit and explicit integrated codes are
needed. At present, there does not exist a complete system. Capabilities such as wear and
thermal-mechanical effects are needed as well. Stochastic methods for robust design
solutions will need further development. Exciting new development in the theoretical and
experimental investigation into automotive disc brake squeal can be expected in near

226 H. Ouyang, W. Nack, Y. Yuan and F. Chen

This review also finds that the complex eigenvalue analysis is still the
industry-favoured approach and the transient analysis is gaining popularity.
The authors are indebted to all their coauthors in the cited references. Professor
O.M. OReilly kindly allowed the authors to have a preview of his manuscript
(Kinkaid et al., 2003), which partly provided the inspiration for writing this review paper.
Dr. Y. Chern of Ford Motor Company has supplied two figures (Figures 5 and 6) in this
paper. A number of people have sent their papers on request. They include Professor
A.K. Bajaj of Purdue University, Professor D.C. Barton of University of Leeds,
Professor L Gaul of University of Stuttgart, Dr. S-W. Kung of Delphi Corporation,
Dr. M. Nishiwaki of Toyota Motor Corporation, Dr. M. Tirovic of Brunel University and
Dr. U. von Wagner of TU-Darmstadt, Dr. M. Yang of Bosch Automotive. Discussions
with Professor J.E. Mottershead of University of Liverpool, Dr. A. Wang and
Dr. S.E. Chen of Ford Motor Company were very useful. Several colleagues have read
different versions of this paper and suggested improvements.
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C Finite element damping matrix.
c The speed of sound.
1 2
, f f
Friction forces at nodes 1 and 2 of a contact spring.
Finite element stiffness matrix.
Spring constant of the contact spring at the rotor/pads interface.
Finite element mass matrix.
The characteristic element length in a finite element transient analysis.
1 2
, n n
Normal forces at nodes 1 and 2 of a contact spring.
1 2
, u u
Displacements at nodes 1 and 2 of a contact spring in the direction of the friction forces.
v Relative velocity between the rotor and the pads.
1 2
, v v
Displacements at nodes 1 and 2 of a contact spring in the direction of the normal forces.
x Finite element displacement vector.

Dry friction coefficient.
Time step length in a transient analysis.