The Basics of Industrial Wet Brakes: A Complete Guide

When you’re running heavy equipment, you need brakes that can be relied on. You need brakes that will continue working when you need them most, and stop whenever you hit the brakes.

The modern heavy machine operator has come to trust wet braking systems for the difficult task of stopping their equipment. But how do wet brakes work?

Continue reading to find out the answer to this question and much more.

What Are Wet Brakes?

Wet brakes are a modern alternative to the traditional dry braking systems for varying types of machines.

In a dry braking system, the brakes are mounted on the outside of the vehicle. They use friction to stop. While this works well for light braking applications (like traditional road vehicles), it isn’t the best option for most heavy braking applications.

A wet braking system is mounted on the inside of a vehicle, directly in the differential. They run inside oil or transmission fluid, which is how they got their name.

Wet brakes use hydraulic pressure to stop a vehicle. There are multiple brake discs inside these systems, versus a single disc in dry brake systems. You may hear these brakes called “oil-cooled brakes,” because the oil around them helps keep them cool under high pressure.

What Applications Use Wet Brakes?

You’ll find wet brakes used in a lot of heavy machinery. A few examples include tractors, forklifts, dozers, and wheel loaders.

What Are the Benefits of Using Wet Brakes vs. Dry?

As mentioned earlier, dry brakes work fine for road vehicles like cars, trucks, or SUVs. Heavy machinery is placed under a lot of additional pressure, however. This is where the benefits of wet brakes come into play.

Wet brakes offer better stopping power, even for heavy machines working in wet conditions. Since the brakes are mounted internally, they can even stop a vehicle when rolling through the water.

With multiple discs, there is less pressure placed on each one individually. In applications requiring difficult or constant stopping, this is essential to decrease the frequency of adjustments and repairs.

As their alternative name suggests, “oil-cooled brakes” are kept cooler than dry braking systems. Too much heat in the braking system can cause issues not only in the brakes themselves but in nearby engine parts.

A final (but vital) benefit is that wet brakes last longer than dry ones. Although wet braking systems cost more initially, they end up saving a lot of money after you factor in the number of years they’ll last. The return on investment is much higher with wet brakes versus dry.

Do You Have More Questions About How Wet Brakes Work?

At their core, wet brakes are defined as those that work when encased in a fluid. When it comes to heavy machinery, they’re usually the better option.

Do you have more questions about how wet brakes work? Or would you like to inquire about wet brakes for your machine?

Contact us today, and one of our associates will be more than happy to answer any questions you still have.

Posted in Industrial Brakes and Clutches.