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Brake rotor design and comparison using finite element analysis : an investigation in topology optimization


Disc brake technology used for mountain bikes, and mountain bike technology in general, has improved significantly as the sport of mountain biking has evolved. Disc brakes on bicycles are relatively new compared to their use on other vehicles. Rotor design is varied for rotors of the same intended use for many companies; some still use the same initial rotor designs that were introduced over a decade ago. Through the finite element analysis and optimization process, understanding the difficulties of designing disc brake rotors and the validity of certain design trends in current disc brake rotors is pursued. Additionally, this investigation uses finite element methods to design and optimize a mountain bike disc brake rotor using topology optimization. More specifically, the goal is to design a lighter rotor that maintains similar structural performance as rotors that are currently commercially available. The new rotor design was compared to two existing rotor geometries. The strength of the new rotor is comparable to existing rotors A and B. Weight improvements of 14.3% and 12.4% over rotor A and Rotor B, respectively, are realized

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