The First Line Group, under its highly regarded Borg & Beck brand, continues to lead the market when it comes to new to range introductions, with an impressive 116 new references in May alone. Within this total, 21 of the additions come in the braking programme and several of these, such as the front discs for the Honda Civic between 2007 and 2011 and for the Ford Mondeo 2014 onward and the front pads for the Opel Vivaro 2014 onward, are worthy of particular attention.
The majority of the brake discs in the Borg & Beck range now feature its specialist ‘Becktec’ coating as standard. This exciting breakthrough is a major braking evolution because in addition to its great looks, the high quality coating provides several significant benefits over a standard uncoated disc.
Among these include improved braking performance and a greater resistance to corrosion, but of particular importance from an installation perspective, is the fact that they do not require cleaning or degreasing prior to fitment, which saves precious time and therefore delivers a genuine cost saving to the workshop. As a result, Becktec discs enable workshops to achieve a faster, more profitable disc replacement service.
Incorporating the latest innovative technology, Becktec utilises a water-based zinc and aluminium flake to increase the corrosion protection of the entire brake disc, including the braking surface and the inner vein structure. As well as its excellent corrosion resistance, the coating also improves the efficiency of the thermal exchange properties within the braking cycle, which optimises braking performance.
Unlike oil-based ‘painted’ discs, the water-based Becktec coating does not use a solvent element in its manufacture and is therefore kinder to the environment and poses far less risk to those involved in the manufacturing process. The coating is also solvent resistant and offers protection against petrol, oil, brake fluid, anti-freeze, power steering fluid and alloy wheel cleaner, so the discs always look at their very best.
In fact, the extent to which Becktec protects the discs from scratching, corrosion and oxidation also differentiates the coating from those partially coated oil-based alternatives that offer only aesthetic appearance, not genuine full disc protection. Once the Becktec disc is fitted, excellent braking performance is guaranteed from the first brake application, the braking surface merely becomes ‘polished’, which has no detrimental impact to the life of the existing brake pads.
However, it must be noted that if installing Borg & Beck Becktec discs at the same time as a new set of pads, which Borg & Beck recommend as industry best practice, then it is important for technicians to remember that care needs to be taken during the bedding in process of both discs and pads.
It is imperative that installers apply subtle braking for the initial 5-8 cycles to clean the disc surface. Aggressive braking during the first few cycles may lead to potential hotspots transferring onto the discs, which is where the pad is forced against the cold disc with excessive pressure, causing extreme heat generation. This heat build-up causes the resin in the new pads to deposit unevenly on the surface of the brake disc, consequently causing brake judder.