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Centric Premium versus Centric Standards

asdfWe often get asked "Hey, What is the difference between Centric Premium brake rotors and Centric Standard or other generic rotors? It surely cannot just be the fancy black paint can it?" Whereupon we generally launch into a hastily written explanation of the primary features and benefits of the Centric Premium brake rotors which likely leave our customers puzzled and even more unsure of what to purchase.

So we wish to set the record straight and lend some insight into this very common question. Centric has a link to precisely explain (and sell) so we will clear up and further elabortate on what they are explaining.

Link to Centric Page

 

Centric lists 5 primary features

  • E-Coating
  • Double Disc Ground
  • Fully machined finish
  • Center Split Casting
  • Mill Balanced

These features are not unique to Centric Premium Rotors. Other companies make rotors with these features but Centric does do a pretty nice job of it. The primary goal of the product is to make it AS CLOSE TO OEM as possible.

 

Electro- Coating:

 

Electro Coating is a paint process that lends itself quite well to parts like rotors where a uniform coating including interior surfaces is desired. The part is charged and submerged in a solution which contains the coating. In this case it is paint and it is attracted to the rotor until the paint becomes thick enough to insulate the part and overcome the voltage. So while the speed of coating buildup may change at some point, if controlled correctly the process will create a uniform paint layer both on exterior and interior surfaces. This is why in some ways it is better than conventional metallic coatings which can apply a thicker coating to exposed surfaces and little or no coating on interior surfaces (like rotor vanes). Furthermore with the type of paint used Ecoating is highly salt spray resistant and can take heat up into the 400 deg F range.

Benefit - Better looks and longer life than standard uncoated rotors. Very good corrosion resistance and environmentally safe.
Non-benefit - The portion which is ground away for the pad may not be exactly the correct width so a slight 'rust ring' may occur.

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Centric Premium

 

 

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Others

Centric Premium brake rotors utilize an Electrocoating finish that provides long lasting corrosion protection. E-coating is a superior electro-statically applied finish designed to withstand 400 hours of salt spray exposure without rusting
 
Black painted finishes do not offer the same corrosion resistance as Centric E-Coated brake rotors. Painted finishes are easily removed with brake cleaner and provide minimal protection from the elements.

 

Double Disc Ground:

Centric premium rotors feature a double disc ground, taper free finish. Double disc grinding ensures parallelism, eliminates run out and provides near perfect disc thickness variation (DTV). Most rotors from Taiwan and China are made this way. Just picture large grinding wheels straddling the rotor. Interestingly - almost all OEM rotors are NOT made this way. I am not certain but I would assume this is a less costly process.

 

Fully Machined Finish:

 

Centric premium rotors feature 100% fully machined finishes including rotor hats. This extra process provides better rotor balance and creates a cleaner, more finished looking component. Clearly reducing casting flash and rough surfaces will improve balance.

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Centric Premium

 

 

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Others

Centric Premium brake rotors are double disc ground to a maximum spec of Ra=1.6 micro-meters (63 micro-inches). Typical spec is actually much lower. Double disc grinding ensures parallelism and reduces noise related issues. Correct friction surface preparation during manufacturing promotes pad and rotor bed-in increasing stopping power and reliability.
 
Competitor “Premium” brake rotor sample is finished to a spec of Ra= 1.883 micro-meters (74 micro-inches)This roughness of the rotor surface creates the potential for noise related issues. Poorly finished rotor friction surfaces prevent proper pad and rotor bed-in, greatly reducing stopping power and reliability.

 

Center Split Castings:

 

Centric premium brake rotors are cast with the correct center split vane design. This is how the OEM and all quality replacement brake rotors are made. Cast parts with a cavity and core require parting lines and draft angles which are the small angles you see on vertical surfaces such as on the vanes in the rotor. In order to maximize thermal efficiancy we will place that parting line in the center of the vane where the least heat transfer occurs and it's FARTHEST from the heat source.

If you look carefully at the picture the cross section of the Centric Premium rotor vane is hourglass shaped whereas the generic rotor has a tapered from bottom to top. The reason that the center split geometry is there is such that heat transfer from the friction plates into the vanes is as even as possible from one side of the rotor to the other and not choked on one side like the generic rotor. Also, we want the thickness of the friction plates to be the same side to side.

In the case of the other rotor - the thinnest part of the vane is right where it connects to the upper friction plate. This thinner section will let less heat past it into the cooling vane than the other side with the thicker connection. Additionally, while not readily visible in this photo many generic rotors have thinner plates on one side than the other. These issues can only lead to unbalanced temperatures across the rotor. This can unbalance pad wear, increase rotor or pad wear or create other heat related issues. It may take time to manifest itself but you'll likely be doing your next brake job sooner.

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Centric Premium

 

 

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Others

Centric Premium brake rotors feature O.E. style symmetric split core castings and maintain O.E. vane structure and count. Symmetric split core castings dissipate heat more efficiently than side cast rotor designs providing more reliable stopping performance. High quality resin core castings help to reduce rotor balance issues and eliminate brake system vibrations.
 
Side cast brake rotors do not dissipate heat as effectively as symmetric split core castings causing reduced braking power due to heat retention. Competitor “Premium” brake rotors do not match O.E. vane count or structure limiting brake performance and safety. Lesser quality oil sand castings can cause rotor balance issues leading to brake system vibrations.

 

Mill Balanced:

Centric Premium rotors are mill balanced which means material is removed rather than adding balance clips.

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