Recycling of worn out brake pads ‒ impact on tribology and environment

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Disc brake systems are widely used on commercial vehicles for braking. The brake pads are usually replaced by new ones before being totally worn out. Current methods to deal with the replaced brake pads include landfill and combustion, resulting in a huge waste of resources and increase of CO2 footprint. From a sustainable point of view, this study aims to evaluate the feasibility of recycling replaced brake pads by addressing a protocol recycling procedure. The results show that the recycled brake pads yield similar friction, wear and airborne particle emission to virgin brake pads. A streamlined life cycle assessment is conducted to compare the environmental impacts between producing virgin brake pads and recycling replaced brake pads. Energy consumption and CO2 footprint of the recycled brake pads are 36% and 34% less than virgin brake pads, indicating that recycling could be a promising method of handling replaced brake pads.


External organisations
  • KTH Royal Institute of Technology
  • Zhejiang Normal University
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Tribology
Original languageEnglish
Article number8369
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Dec 1
Publication categoryResearch