AP headquarters in Coventry, England. Groupon trip here anyone?
Pressure testing -
"In case of new parts, plastic mock-ups are made to check actual fitment on the vehicle. Next up the prototype parts get fabricated and tested. To test calipers they are connected to a brake line to simulate braking. The test cycle of such a test is 500,000 with a specified line pressure applied plus end load applied to simulate brake torque. This test is carried out on three separate calipers, after which they are burst tested to destruction."
"Calipers and discs are also tested on a dyno where the caliper stops a spinning disc instead of clamping an aluminium block like in the pressure test. This way the actual braking force under different (brake) temperatures can be measured. Pictured below is the spectacular test of a carbon/carbon brake setup using a single piece racing caliper"
"If all tests turn out ok, the parts are taken into production. The production process of all brake parts takes place within the AP Racing complex. After the 'AP Racing' or car manufacturer's logo and other information is machined into the caliper parts they get coated and painted in the final colours. In the main workshop calipers are being built, inspected and stored. Brake discs and bells are bolted together and all parts are packed for shipment in another part of the workshop. While walking along the heart of the plant I was amazed by the number of parts everywhere.."
"Overhauling various special parts like huge Bugatti Veyron calipers and tiny (97 mm diameter) Formula 1 carbon clutches also takes place here and that shows the many motorsport parts AP Racing offers. It's not brakes alone that are impressive to see. WRC pedal boxes and clutches, it's all functional art really. What I wasn't aware of is that besides upgraded units, AP Racing also produces quite a lot of OEM clutches for various road going cars; interesting!
After seeing and feeling the various motorsport parts our guided tour ended. It was very interesting to see the passion involved in being one of the leading and most successful manufacturers in motorsport brake and clutch parts*. AP Racing stickers everywhere, lots of interest for the installation of my setup, it's just cool to see really."