Federal-Mogul Corporation has opened a technical centre in Plymouth Township, Michigan, devoted to researching, developing and testing advanced automotive brake pads and linings.

The new Friction Products Technical Centre, equipped with sophisticated analytical and test equipment, becomes Federal-Mogul’s North American “centre of excellence” for analysing and preventing brake noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) — historically a leading source of vehicle warranty issues for vehicle manufacturers.

The 35,000-square-foot facility in the Plymouth Oaks Business Park initially employs about 25 engineers, technicians, test drivers and managers, who develop and test products for passenger car and truck brake applications.

Approximately two-thirds of the centre is devoted to test and measurement laboratories housing several brake inertia dynamometers equipped with noise and environmental chambers.

The dynamometers simulate vehicle braking under various conditions to measure brake pad performance, wear and noise while the special chambers eliminate background noise and are climate-controlled to mirror braking conditions in dry desert or high-humidity, low-temperature conditions.

Other equipment includes a laser vibrometer, used in conjunction with the dynamometers, which isolates and measures non-observable vibrations that could lead to noise issues.

The new Plymouth centre complements a Federal-Mogul technical facility in Smithville, Tennessee, which formulates new brake friction materials and produces prototype parts.