A brake disc rotor or stator is manufactured with slots in the interior face of the disc. A paste comprised of a fine powder of a carbide-forming metal along with fine carbon powder, suspended in an organic binder, is applied to the force-bearing areas in the rotor slot faces or the stator slot faces. The disc is then placed into a furnace in a nitrogen atmosphere and heated to the ignition temperature. When the furnace reaches the ignition temperature, a combustion reaction begins that creates a molten liquid ceramic material on the slot face. Upon cooling, the resulting brake disc has a tough, hard, abrasion-resistant ceramic surface on the portion of the brake disc slot that bears pressure.