Watch A Brake Disc Explode Under The Power Of Friction

gif: Beyond the press/YouTube (screengrab)

Brake rotors are basically big heavy chunks of cast iron that friction pads clamp onto to stop a car. They’re super beefy, able to resist really high temperatures and loads, and very rarely fail catastrophically. But when they do, it is not pretty—just look at what these crazy folks did to blast one to smithereens.

The Finns over at Beyond the press decided to see if they could put an end to a brake disc by holding one foot on the wide pedal and the other on the gas. So they jacked up one side of their Ford Fiesta, removed the wheel to get a closer look at the shiny plate, and shoved a wedge into the other wheel to stop it from moving. Because of the nature of the car’s open differential, this sent the exposed axle with the “least traction” spinning very quickly.

Here’s a look at what happened when the Finns tried using the brake pads to stop that high-rpm rotor:

That thing had no chance against all that heat. I wonder how long a carbon ceramic rotor would have lasted.

Sr. Tech Editor, Jalopnik. Always interested in hearing from engineers—email me. Cars: Jeep J10 ('85), Jeep Cherokee ('79, '91, '92, '00), Jeep Grand Cherokee 5spd ('94), Chrysler Voyager Diesel ('94)

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Friction is a drag.