A new design parameter, friction-instability, is defined in this paper. Friction-instability is a variation in the coefficient of friction which may occur at any time during the life of a brake lining. A friction-index is defined which measures this variation. A lining which has a high friction index may tend to cause an automobile to swerve either to the right or to the left. A unique experimental facility is described by means of which the friction-instability characteristics of brake linings can be measured. Test results using this facility are presented and interpreted. The friction-index is proposed as a new parameter which should be taken into consideration when brakes are designed and, developed. This index should be particularly useful as a quality control device to insure that machines which use mass-produced braking systems will perform in a safe and effective manner.

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