Check out GM’s new FNR brake rotors

  • A Better Rotor | GM FastLane – Jim Webster Brake Rotor Technical Expert for General Motors. There are few automotive annoyances greater than splurging on a set of shiny, happy wheels, only to see them sitting atop rusty rotors – but the annoyance isn’t …

Look at that!  The factory is finally offering a performance option with their stock rotors.  Some Corvettes came with slotted and drilled rotors, however this is a game changer!   By heat treating the rotors in a controlled fashion, they are doing something similar to aftermarket brake companies.

Many aftermarket brake companies offer Cryogenic treatment for their rotors.  By lowering the temperature to a very low level and controlling the thaw rate, this aligns the molecules in the steel and increases the tensile strength of the rotor.  This improves the durability and life of the rotor.     The scientific explanation is that inside the metal are potentially brittle deposits called “austenites” that create the potential for cracking.   Deep freezing metal changes theses areas into harder, more uniform “martensites.”   Cryogenics also create a vast distribution of very fine carbide particles throughout the metal.  This is what helps align the molecules and improves the wear characteristics, by making the molecular structure denser.  When you cryo-treat a part, any internal flaws will be found!  This means that sometimes what you thought was a good part turns out to not be and instead of having the part break on the road, it gets broken by the stress relieving process of cryogenics.     This is a one time permanent process and changes the entire metal structure internally and will cure a rotor’s tendency to warp.  The tensile strength and ductile strength is improved.

It looks like GM has done the same thing, however in reverse!  This is their way of improving the strength and life of the rotor.   I wonder how well their heat treated rotors will compare vs. aftermarket cryogenic stress relieved equivalent.

Both processes have the same goal.  To make the metal stronger and more stable and to reduce the potential for cracking, breakage and warpage!

Hopefully GM will roll this out to all their older vehicles including third gen Camaro’s, Firebird’s and Trans Ams!  Can you imagine having a genuine GM Brake that is treated similarly or better than a cryogenic aftermarket rotor?  That would be awesome!

But if they don’t, here’s a company that I think may be able to point you in the right direction.




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