Choosing the best material for brake backing plates.
Titanium Brake Heat Shields (TS-T-DXXXX - Titanium Alloy 6AL-4V)
The standard thickness for our titanium brake heat shields is 0.5mm, or 0.020". This thickness usually allows the shim to be installed even with new brake pads and rotors, although you may need to bed the pads through a few hard stops first and/or use caliper spreaders to make room for the new shims. The standard 0.5mm thickness works well in most cases, as it provides a good balance of low price, ease of installation with new brake components and effective thermal protection.
We also stock thicker versions of our titanium backing plates for many of our models (1.0mm or 0.040" or thicker). Oftentimes (but not always) this will also fit in your calipers with new pads, particularly if you use a caliper piston spreader. If you typically run your brake pads after significant wear in then you will find that this provides significant additional thermal protection. In general, for extreme track applications with a combination of heavy car, high speeds, and/or hard braking the more thickness of titanium heat shield you can insert the better off you will be. Please be aware however that the thicker version may be impossible to install with new pads. As a workaround to this dilemma, most of our heat shield designs allow for stacking of multiple shims, which lets you install a single standard shim when your brake pads are new, and add additional shims as your pads wear down.
Stainless Steel Brake Heat Shields (TS-S-DXXXX - Type 304 Stainless Steel)
We also offer some of our models in 304 Stainless Steel. 304 SS is roughly twice as heat conductive as our Ti alloy, however it is still a good heat insulator compared to standard steel or aluminum components. The 304 stainless steel version can provide you with significant heat protection. We offer this option to our customers for two reasons: 1) we can offer it at a much lower price that is not subject to the swings in pricing that occur when market titanium prices shift, and 2) some racing classes prohibit the use of titanium components. Our standard stainless steel version is 0.036" or almost 1.0mm thick. Thus a standard 1.0mm stainless steel heat has about the same thermal protection as a 0.5mm titanium heat shield, at a lower cost, but with a thicker material.
We also provide a much thicker steel spacer for some of our racing calipers, such as 1/8" or 3.2mm. These are designed to help deal with issues of significant piston travel as brake pads wear down, and will also provide very large improvements in brake heat management. These thicker brake backing plates can only be used when there is a fair bit of room for piston travel, such as when the pads are worn down significantly.
We list our stainless steel and titanium products as separate models. Each model has the available thicknesses listed as options at the bottom of the product page. We can also custom order shims to any thickness you want, from 0.1mm to 10 cm. If you don't see the thickness you need on our website, please contact us and we will get you the thickness you need, usually within a week or two. Unfortunately our site software does not allow us to track inventory for the different thicknesses. While we usually have all listed thicknesses in stock, sometimes one of the thicknesses will be on back order (1-2 weeks). We will notify you ASAP if this is the case and give you the option of waiting or switching to a different thickness.
All thickness listed are nominal. Due to variations in our materials supply and finishing there may be a variation of +/- 10% in the actual thickness of the material.
Please note that we do not recommend shaving down your brake pads to make our titanium shims fit with your new pads and rotors. Shaving of the pad surface can result in significant scarring, and damage to your brake pads and rotors.
WARNING: Motorsports are inherently dangerous. No warranty or representation is made as to product suitability for use or ability to protect the user from any injury or death. The user assumes that risk. Hard Brakes shall not be liable to purchaser or to any third party for any damages arising out of the purchase, installation or use of any item.