DC vs. AC Motor: What’s the Difference?

You need an industrial motor, but what kind should you get: AC or DC?

That depends on what you’re trying to accomplish with the motor. There’s no clear winner in the DC vs. AC motor debate, but learning more about how each motor works can help you decide.

First, let’s answer the question, “What is the difference between AC and DC motors?”

How AC Motors are Built

An AC motor uses alternating current. That’s where the “AC” part enters the picture.

There are two types of AC motors. The first is an induction motor, also known as an asynchronous motor. It works like this: A part called the stator winds and produces electromagnetic induction, which is then turned into the electric current that propels the rotor.

Then there’s the synchronous motor. If you’ve noticed that synchronous sounds like “synchronized,” then you’re onto something. The shaft rotates in sync with the supply current’s frequency.

The Edison Tech Center in Schenectady, New York, calls induction motors “the most popular electric motor in the world.” It credits the motor’s longevity to its simplicity of design.

Synchronous motors aren’t as simple, but they’re still popular.

How DC Motors are Built

In DC motors, the “DC” stands for “direct current.” That’s what these motors use for power; it has nothing to do with the District of Columbia.

Their power often comes via batteries. If you took a close look at a DC motor, the parts you’d find would include a rotor and an axle. They come in brushed and brushless models.

Both models also use magnets, but the magnets work in different ways. The brushless models are newer, and they’re generally considered more efficient than the brushed models, due in large part to how the magnets are placed.

Now that we’ve covered the difference between AC and DC motors let’s look at the different applications for them.

DC vs. AC Motors: How We Use Them

Did you have a piece of toast for breakfast this morning? Maybe a bagel instead? In either case, you used an AC motor to warm up the bread before you ate it.

When you take the toaster cord and plug it into an electrical outlet, you probably aren’t thinking, “I’m connecting to the AC power supply,” but that’s what’s happening.

Maybe you prefer to stick with coffee from the drive-thru in the mornings. If so, guess what? The friendly barista brewed your espresso with an AC motor.

If you had an electric car 20 years ago, it would have been powered by a DC brushless drive. In the induction motor vs. DC motor debate, the latter is winning handily. Only a few electric vehicles have used an induction drive, including the Tesla Roadster.

If you’ve gone off-roading in an ATV, though, you can thank a DC motor. They’re also used for things like electric wheelchairs, chemical pumps, and sprayers.

Some types of motors come in both AC and DC versions. For instance, if you wanted to, you could switch between an AC and DC crane motor.

More About Motors

Want to know more? There’s no need to wring your hands as you ponder a DC vs. AC motor.

If you’ve got additional questions, we can answer them. We provide all sorts of motors for all kinds of industrial uses, so contact us today.

How to Choose the Right Brake Pad Material for Your Equipment

Remember asbestos? The now-maligned heat resisting, sound absorbing, load withstanding miracle mineral used to be the standard brake pad material. Blow out the brakes, inhale the dust, repeat.

And now 3,000 mostly senior men are diagnosed with mesothelioma yearly.

Asbestos use peaked in 1973, and the industries that relied on it have since adapted. This includes the manufacture of brake pads. Let’s see what the options are now so you can decide what’s best for you.

Necessary Qualities of Brake Pad Material

When brakes are employed, kinetic energy is converted into thermal energy. The brake pads create friction which creates heat.

Regular use can drive the temperature up to 392 degrees Fahrenheit, which is hot enough to bake chicken wings. It’s also hot enough to lead to brake pad decomposition eventually. Heavy use can send the temperature over 1000 degrees!

As such, brake pads need to be able to withstand friction and dissipate heat.

Non-Asbestos Organic

Non-asbestos organic brake pads were the immediate replacement for asbestos brake pads, hence the name. They are made by combining resin with a variety of materials, including coconut shell fibers, glass, carbon, rubber, and Kevlar.

  • The good: Non-asbestos organic brake pads are quiet, can generate friction without too much heat or dust and are affordable.
  • The bad: Their use is limited to lower temperatures, and they compact and wear out quickly.
  • Best use: Every day driving

Semi-Metallic

Semi-Metallic brake pads are made of roughly half metal frictional material and half filler and lubricant. They provide consistent friction and are hardwearing. Their adeptness at conducting heat gives them better-stopping power, but it can also diminish the life of the disc brake rotor.

  • The good: Semi-metallic brake pads are highly responsive and provide good cold bite. They don’t compress and are effective over a wide range of temperatures.
  • The bad: They’re noisy, dusty, and more abrasive.
  • Best use: Everyday driving, heavy duty, track racing

Sintered

Sintered brake material is made when metallic particles are fused together under high heat and pressure.

  • The good: Sintered brake pads are long-lasting and perform well under high heat. They excel in inclement weather.
  • The bad: They’re very noisy and require breaking-in. They can be very expensive.
  • Best use: Motorcycles, heavy duty, track racing

Ceramic

The use of ceramic in brake linings material is relatively new. They’re the brake babies. They combine the softness of copper with the density of ceramic to reduce noise, dust, and rotor wear.

  • The good: Ceramic brake pads are consistent and long-lasting. They produce a fine dust that won’t stick to wheels.
  • The bad: They do not perform well in cold temperatures, and they aren’t as good at absorbing heat. They’re expensive.
  • Best use: Every day driving

What Suits Your Use?

Braking is a balancing act, and it’s not one size fits all. You can go for high performance, but you’ll pay for it with dust and wear. You can go for tidiness and longevity, but you’ll pay for it with performance.

Whatever brake pad material you need, we’ve got it all. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, let us know, and we’ll get it sorted out.

What is the Best Clutch Material for Friction?

When a clutch engages with an engine, a pressure plate pushes a clutch disc onto the flywheel. This allows for the power of an engine to transfer to the rest of the machine.

This vital clutch disc makes sure that this engagement and disengagement of the flywheel happens smoothly every time. Early clutches were made with weak clutch discs that would wear out after just a minimal amount of usage. But today we have clutch material that can withstand high friction, high heat, and the force of the pressure plate.

In this article, we’ll run you through the best modern clutch lining material.

Organic Material

Organic clutch discs are made with a combination of friction materials. Most commonly, they’re made with phenolic resins, metallic powders, and compounded rubber. This type of material comes in two forms: woven and molded.

In woven organic clutch discs, fiberglass is woven into the discs, increasing their durability and longevity. This makes them superior to their molded counterparts even though molded discs are much more affordable.

Heavy-Duty Organic Material

Heavy-duty organic clutch materials are the same except they’re with a more significant percentage of metallic components. This means they’re more heat resistant. They can withstand temperatures as high as 700 degrees Fahrenheit.

However, when it comes to engagement smoothness, these clutch discs are identical to organic clutch discs.

Ceramic Material

Ceramic clutch plates are, ironically, made with a combination of copper, iron, bronze, and silicon and graphite. Because of their metallic content, these discs can withstand a lot of friction and heat. This makes them ideal for race cars and other high-speed vehicles that need to engage and disengage from fast-moving flywheels.

However, these discs are high-friction. This means that the engagement and disengagement of the clutch won’t always be very smooth.

Kevlar Material

Kevlar clutch discs have two key benefits: they’re incredibly durable, and they always engage the flywheel smoothly. They last 2-3 times longer than clutch discs made of organic materials.

These are the ideal choice for machines that require smooth, precise movement. Their only downside is that they have a long break-in period before they feel right.

Feramic Material

Feramic is essentially a heavy-duty version of ceramic clutch discs. Made of similar materials – steel, silicon, graphite, etc. – feramic has an extremely high amount of friction, so they’re best used for machines that require quick lock-up like racing or heavy-duty trucking.

A subgroup of feramic clutch discs, carbotic clutch discs, are very commonly used in trucking because they have smoother engagement while retaining strong heat resistance.

Now That You Know About Different Clutch Materials…

You can make an informed decision the next time you buy a clutch for your car, truck, or any other type of machine that requires one. Just remember that there’s really no right answer when it comes to determining which clutch material is the best. It all depends on your financial situation and what type of machinery you need it for.

Contact us today, and one of our associates will be more than happy to answer any questions you still have. Be sure to check out our offerings of industrial brakes and clutches to see if anything suits your needs.

Electric vs. Hydraulic Linear Actuator: Which is Best for Your Needs?

You’ll find actuators in everything from cell phones to the Mars Rover. Linear hydraulic actuators operate the wheel brakes and landing gear in aircraft.

NASA built the Mars Rover with 31 electric actuators to move its legs and arms. Without them, the Curiosity rover couldn’t perform the functions NASA scientists designed it to do.

While their functions sound similar, electric and hydraulic linear actuators perform their functions by different means. If you’re unsure which one you need for your application, we discuss the differences between them in this guide.

What is an Actuator?

An actuator converts energy into torque to control the movement of a mechanism. Actuators get powered by hydraulic fluid, electric current, or pneumatic pressure.

The two basic types of actuators are linear and rotary.

What’s a Hydraulic Linear Actuator?

A linear hydraulic actuator gets powered by hydraulic fluid. Typically, this fluid is oil made from different oils. The fluid creates pressure which moves cylinders in a straight line or linear motion.

The Pros to hydraulic actuators are:

  • High load capacity
  • Constant pressure
  • Initial cost is affordable
  • Durable
  • Simple Design

Hydraulic actuators are very powerful and can handle applications that need high force. They can also handle heavy weight and constant pressure. The initial cost of hydraulic actuators are usually low, and they have a simple, yet rugged construction.

There are some cons as well:

  • Leakages
  • Speed
  • Operating cost
  • Limited motion control
  • Low operating efficiency
  • High maintenance

Hydraulic linear actuators are durable and rugged, but this gives way to some disadvantages. The actuator itself costs less than other types, but it needs extensive maintenance to run at its max capability. This leads to higher operating costs.

Because of the sheer nature of which it works, leaks do occur. In higher temperature environments, this can lead to damage if it’s not monitored on a consistent basis.

It performs at slower speeds that aren’t as efficient. Hydraulic systems operate at 25-44% efficiency, much lower than it’s electric counterpart.

What’s an Electric Actuator?

Electric linear actuators convert energy into motion with electricity. The electric motors turn a lead screw that’s fitted with a nut on a thread. The nut moves on the thread depending on which direction the screw rotates.

This converts into linear movement. The advantages of electric actuators are:

  • Precision
  • Speed
  • Efficiency
  • Low maintenance

Electric actuators are designed for speed and accuracy. As such, it operates at up to 80% efficiency. They’re also able to stop at any position, and the screw units are self-locking in the event of a power failure for safety.

Unlike hydraulic actuators, electric actuators are self-contained and don’t have external components. This allows them to be smaller in size with little maintenance.

There are disadvantages to electric actuators:

  • Cost
  • Sensitive to certain operating environments
  • Can overheat
  • Complicated design

The initial cost and installation are higher than a hydraulic actuator due to its design and construction. But they don’t need a lot of maintenance, so they’re operating cost is lower than hydraulic.

While they operate in most environments, electric actuators aren’t suitable for hazardous or flammable areas. If an electric actuator runs for a continuous period, it’s vulnerable to overheating.

Keeping Industry Productive

Now that you know the differences between an electric and hydraulic linear actuator, you can choose the right one for your application. We can help.

Kor-Pak Corporation’s journey began more than 40 years ago. Our philosophy of providing quality products at low prices with exceptional customer service keeps us going strong today.

Check out our extensive product line and distinguished services. Contact us today to request a quote or for any questions.

Crane Repair vs Crane Replacement: Which Do You Need?

Cranes can last decades if you buy them from a reputable brand and maintain them properly. But, no matter how much preventative maintenance you undertake, all machinery gives up eventually.

The key is to know whether you can replace some parts or if you have to buy a new one altogether. Read this to find out more about crane repair vs. crane replacement and which is best for you.

Top 3 Signs You Need to Hire a Crane Repair Service or Replace Your Crane Altogether

Here are the top 3 reasons you may need to replace or repair your crane:

1. Your Production Needs Have Changed

As your company grows, it’s normal for your production needs to change. These are some of the key reasons your production needs may have changed:

  • You’re lifting heavier materials
  • You need to be faster
  • You need more precision

You may also find that you’re lifting more during each shift. If this is the case, it may be worth buying an extra crane.

2. There are Signs of Excessive Wear

Over time, your crane components will need more regular repairs. If this is the case, you may find that these repairs are becoming more expensive than the cost of a new crane.

If you’re in this situation, you need to consider the cost of each service and replacement. You also have to think about the value of closing down or slowing your production line when you can’t use your crane.

3. You No Longer Meet Health and Safety Guidelines

In the US, there are specific health and safety guidelines you must adhere to. If you don’t meet these, the ASME, OSHA, or CMAA may shut down your operation.

With this in mind, it’s essential that you create a regular inspection schedule.

Signs You Should Replace Your Crane

One of the main reasons you use a crane in your business is to increase efficiency. It’s also to make your workspace safer. If these two factors aren’t met, it’s time to upgrade. Also, you should replace your crane if:

  • Your operations aren’t performing as they once were
  • You’re investing too much in repairs
  • There have been many malfunctions, injuries, or equipment issues

Aside from increasing your efficiency, new equipment could put you ahead of your competition.

Signs You Can Repair Your Crane

You may think that the only reason you need a crane repair service is when your crane stops working. But, you can also hire these services to modernize your crane.

These upgrades can be more affordable than replacements. Some of the most common ones include:

  • Hoist improvement
  • Speed alterations
  • Radio installation
  • Capacity expansion

You can also change the power source from DC to AC.

Contact Kor Pak for All Your Crane Modernizations and Upgrades

As you can see, there are various reasons you can hire a crane repair service rather than replacing your equipment altogether. That said, before you make a final decision, it’s essential you weigh the pros and cons. If a repair service costs you more in the long run, it may be worth buying a new crane.

If you want to find out more about crane repairs, including modernizations and upgrades, contact Kor Pak. We can help you with all your crane maintenance and tell you which option is best for your individual needs.

5 Mistakes That Will Ruin Your Electric Clutch

An Englishman named Herbert Frood first invented the clutch. In Frood’s time, the only clutches that existed could only last a short amount of time before failing due to overheating from friction and wear and tear.

These days, we have clutches that can last a very long time. However, there are still things you can do to ruin your electric clutch. In this article, we’ll be discussing five common mistakes that frequently lead to their early demise.

1. Failure to Read Specs and Instructions

It’s a rote suggestion at this point, but it’s vital that you read the specifications and user instructions of any piece of machinery you buy. This is especially true for electric clutches because they are precision instruments that undergo a lot of stress when being used.

For this reason, manufacturers often include special assembly, installation, or tuning instructions so that you can use their product without any headaches. To avoid any problems, read your electric clutch’s instructions and follow them carefully.

2. Misassembly

This also ties into simply reading the instructions. But it’s also important to be wary of misassembly when you’re repairing or replacing a portion of a clutch as well. One missing bolt or nut could throw the whole device out of whack.

To avoid this, try taking pictures of the intricacies of the clutch as your disassembling it. This way, you can put everything back in the right place when you’ve finished repairing it.

3. Misalignment

As we’ve mentioned, clutches are precision devices, so everything needs to be placed exactly right. If some aspects of your clutch are not aligned, such as the bearings and shafts, your clutch might work less effectively or break down.

There are often specifications for how clutches fit onto motors and gearboxes that, if followed, can nip any misalignment problems in the bud.

4. Poor Storage

If you want to ruin a clutch before you even use it, storing it poorly in unsafe, damaging conditions is the best way to do it. If you’ve got spare clutches that you want to keep in case your current ones fail, make sure to keep them in the manufacturers’ packaging.

This will keep them safe from environmental hazards like moisture for several months. But if you want to hang on to them indefinitely, you should seal them in an airtight container.

5. You Picked the Wrong Size

To preserve your clutches (and the equipment you’re using them with), you’re best off not trying to use clutches that are supposed to have different applications. Many maintenance specialists try to fit a too-small or too-large clutch onto equipment that those clutches weren’t meant for. This is a great way to ruin your clutches immediately.

Need a New Electric Clutch?

If you avoid these common mistakes, there’s no reason why you won’t be able to get a ton of mileage out of your electric clutch.

But, these things do break down, even with optimal care. So if you need new clutches or brakes, check out our products to find a replacement.

 

 

 

5 Steps to a Thorough Overhead Crane Inspection

A whopping 2.9 million injuries and illnesses in private U.S. workplaces occurred in 2016. Granted, this was almost 50,000 fewer than the previous year, but it’s still a considerable number.

What’s more, many of these were preventable, if only employers made sure they conducted proper workplace safety policies.

This is especially true for organizations relying on heavy machinery, such as cranes. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that from 2011 to 2015, 220 crane-related fatal injuries occurred. After all, there are over 250,000 crane operators throughout the country.

It’s for this reason; complete overhead crane inspection programs are a must in your business. Failure to can cause serious repercussions extending beyond legal liabilities. It’s the safety and lives of your people (and the general public), after all.

So, read on to make sure your inspections are complete and thorough!

1. Make Sure You Have a Qualified Inspector to Do the Job

First, make sure the person who’ll carry out the job has adequate experience in conducting OSHA crane inspection services. That means a complete understanding of the appropriate crane-related Occupational Safety and Health Administration standards.

For instance, there’s the OSHA 1910.179, ASME B30.2. It consists of regulations for the inspections for overhead cranes. It also covers general and maintenance requirements, as well as proper operating procedures for such equipment.

In any case, it’s essential that your overhead inspector meets all the required qualifications.

2. The Daily Inspections

To comply with all regulations surrounding crane safety, you need to ensure your inspector conducts the necessary daily inspections. These include a thorough checking of the following components:

  • Possible incorrect adjustments or excessive wearing of functional operating mechanisms
  • Damages, such as leaks, in the equipment’s air/hydraulic components (including drain pumps, lines, tanks, and valves)
  • Visible cracks or damages of hooks
  • Excessive wearing or deformation (twisting or distortion) of hoist chains

Again, the inspector should perform these checks on a day to day basis.

3. The Monthly Inspections

At the end of the month, your crane inspector should take a closer look at any deformed or cracked crane hook. The inspector should have a written, signed, and dated record of the findings.

The same is true for the hoist chains, and end connections found to have excessive wearing (during the daily inspections).

Finally, there’s the once-a-month wire rope inspection. Again, the inspector should note and sign all details of wearing and damages, such as broken strands, for each identified rope.

4. The Periodic Inspections

How “often” depends on how much use your cranes receive. You may have to carry out these inspections once a month, every quarter, or twice a year.

  • For load inaccuracies, the inspector needs to perform a crane load test
  • Any type of damage (deformation or cracking) on members
  • Unsecured (too loose) bolts or rivets
  • Worn parts of the braking system
  • Excessive wearing of pins, gears, lock and clamp systems, etc.

Periodic inspections also include checking for any deterioration of electrical components (limit switches, pushbuttons, etc.).

5. Proper Maintenance

No matter how serious your inspectors are in doing their jobs, it’s all to no avail without preventive maintenance. Proper inspections and crane maintenance always go hand in hand.

In other words, if the inspector finds damages on any components, they should undergo the needed maintenance or repairs ASAP.

Keep the Jobsite Safe and Injury-Free with an OSHA-Complying Crane Inspection Program

Workplaces that depend on heavy machines are some of the most dangerous job sites in the U.S. With a complete crane inspection program, along with proper equipment maintenance, you can bring down the safety hazards your workers are at risk of.

Ready to create a safer, healthier place for all your hardworking people? Then please feel free to connect with us! We can help you reach OSHA compliance with all your crane-related inspections.

What Are Drum Brakes and How They Work?

Every industry aims for maximum efficiency and safety. One minute of unplanned downtime costs companies thousands of dollars. In fact, 98% of industrial organizations say one hour of downtime costs them at least $100,000.

Regular equipment maintenance reduces potential downtime, thus reducing the chance of losing money. But having the right equipment and knowing how it works is also important.

In this guide, we answer the question, “What are drum brakes?” and explain how they work.

What are Drum Brakes?

The average person may immediately think of automobiles when they hear the term “drum brake.” But for more than half a century, the marine, mining, and energy industries all used drum brakes. Since then, drum brakes have evolved to fit the needs of dozens of industries.

Industrial brakes get subjected to much harsher applications than auto brakes. In most cases, industrial brakes operate in harsh conditions and in remote locations. Safe and efficient drum brakes meet AISE or DIN standards.

How do They Work?

In drum brakes, the brake lining attaches to a shoe. The most common drum brake design has two shoes mounted on either side of a drum.

How drum brakes work is air or hydraulic pressure presses the shoes onto the drum which causes friction. The friction causes deceleration.

When choosing a brake for your application, you must consider the braking torque. Drum brakes come in many sizes, so you have to select the right model that dissipates the energy during stopping without overheating.

In general, you determine torque by the drive motor. For cranes, this should be 75-100% of drive motor torque. For crane hoists and other similar applications, the factor is 150-200% of the motor torque.

Size and weight are important in mechanical brakes. Common size considerations for friction brakes include:

  • Drum thickness
  • Drum diameter
  • Total pad area
  • Wearable friction area (the surface area of the brake lining)
  • Running clearance (distance between the brake lining and surface area when brakes aren’t engaged)
  • Lining thickness

Reputable drum brake manufactures can also machine drum brakes to your specifications.

Drum Brake Components

Drum brakes consist of 12 components:

  • Wheel cylinder
  • Upper return spring
  • Push rod
  • Adjuster wedge
  • Adjuster spring
  • Parking brake cable
  • Lower return spring
  • Parking brake arm
  • Hold down spring
  • Shoe
  • Spindle
  • Locating spring

All these components work to slow the machine. You should also know how to install and replace drum brakes to reduce the amount of machinery downtime. Simple troubleshooting can save you time and money if your machine isn’t working as efficiently as it should.

What is Their Application?

Drum brakes get used in many different industries. The industries with the most common applications for drum brakes are:

  • Material handling
  • Marine
  • Mining
  • Oil and gas rigging
  • Military
  • Agriculture
  • Forestry
  • Construction

While the auto industry has switched to disc brakes, other vehicles like cranes and heavy machinery still use drum brakes. Drum brakes allow heavier workloads that need increased torque.

Keep Your Heavy Machinery Operating

Your machinery makes you money, and when it’s not operating at peak efficiency, it’ll cost you money too. Now that the questions, “What are drum brakes and how do they work” have answers, you’ll understand the engineering of your machinery better.

You should also have a better understanding of the importance of quality drum brakes. That’s where Kor-Pak comes in.

Kor-Pak Industries provides parts to some of the biggest names in manufacturing. We sell quality products and build special orders. Visit our product page for more info or contact us with any questions.

The Different Types of Brake Linings Material

Is it time for new brake linings?

With all the options out there, how do you decide which brake linings material to choose from?

Don’t worry. We’ll explain the different types of brake linings materials and help you discover which will best suit your needs.

Non-Asbestos

Once upon a time, brake linings were made out of asbestos. Asbestos is a natural substance made of silicate minerals. It is heat resistant and provides excellent insulation. However, it is very harmful to humans.

Asbestos fibers cannot break down. So, if asbestos is inhaled or consumed, it damages the body over time leading to inflammation, scarring, diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and cancer.

Luckily, today we have safe alternatives.

Non-asbestos, also called organic, brake linings on today’s market are made of various safe and natural materials including rubber, resin, Kevlar, and glass. There is little metal in non-asbestos brake linings which makes them less durable but quieter than metallic linings. Plus, they are not harmful to the environment.

Semi-metallic

Semi-metallic brake linings are made of up to 65% metals. They contain a mixture of metals, usually including brass, copper, iron, or steel. They also contain fillers and graphite lubricant.

Semi-metallic linings are the most durable. They will last longer than non-asbestos and can be more efficient than other types of brake materials. This is because the metallic composition helps remove heat from the rotor.

While they’re highly affordable, the downside to semi-metallic brake linings is they are noisier and create dust.

Ceramic

Ceramic brake linings are just as the name entails. They are made of ceramic, similar to pottery, and added copper fibers. They are the newest type of brake pads and used in most new high-performance vehicles.

Ceramic brake linings are lightweight and prevent metal-to-metal wear. They are the longest lasting, quietest (you can’t hear a thing), and the dust does not stick to the wheels or vehicle. They are easy on the rotor, too.

All of the benefits and novelty of ceramic brake linings make them the most expensive option on the market.

Which Brake Linings Material Should you Choose?

Deciding which type of brake linings materials is best for you will depend on your machinery needs and budget. Each variety of brake linings has its pros and cons. Think about your environment, machine, use, and longevity to help you decide.

Clean and quiet brake linings may not have as much bite in cold temperatures. More powerful brake linings may mean cleaning the brake dust every week.

Do you need brake linings that will hold up under a wide range of temperatures or have a high thermal threshold? If so, then semi-metallic may be the way to go.

Or does heat not matter and you’re looking for the most extended life-span? Then perhaps ceramic linings.

We’ve got you Covered

At Kor-Pak, we have all your industrial brake and clutch accessory needs, including brake linings materials. We also offer equipment installation and repair services.

Check out our brake products and contact us today to get started on your order.

How Friction Modifiers Are Helping the Railroad Industry

Since its conception in the late 19th century, the railroad industry has changed the American way of life. We owe the development of several early cities and towns to our railroads.

And here’s something else we owe them: a little maintenance.

The last century has been hard on those railroads. So finding ways to update and repair them is imperative. Fortunately, some industry experts are already revitalizing our railroad systems via friction modifiers.

What, though, is a friction modifier? And how are friction modifiers helping the railroad industry thrive?

Continue reading to find out how friction modifiers are benefiting the railroad industry.

What Is a Friction Modifier?

A friction modifier is a polar molecule you can find in commercial lubricants. Manufacturers add these modifiers to lubricants to minimize light surface contacts.

They’re essential in the railroad industry because trains continuously roll and slide atop rails. This contact causes friction which leads to less effective journeys for freight trains.

That said, let’s take a look at how friction modifiers benefit the railroad industry.

Lengthening Rails’ Lifespans

Friction wears down rails. And worn down rails increase maintenance costs for companies.

But friction modifiers reduce these costs by reducing surface contacts because fewer surface contact means less friction.

Of course, modifiers can only prevent so much friction. As a result, they don’t negate the need for regular preventative maintenance.

Improving Trains’ Fuel Economy

There’s another unfortunate truth about friction:

It slows down trains while they’re traveling from one destination to another. And slower journeys have two major effects on the railroad industry:

  1. Goods aren’t delivered as quickly as they could be.
  2. Extra fuel is used to combat the friction.

The first point is relevant to both manufacturers and consumers. When goods don’t arrive in a timely fashion, manufacturers can’t ship them off to retailers or customers as quickly as they’d like.

The loss of fuel is a significant problem for anyone who has a stake in the railroad industry because lost fuel is lost money for investors.

Reducing Noise

As of 2015, approximately 48 million Americans were suffering from some degree of hearing loss. And why are we telling you this?

It is because friction modifiers can significantly reduce the noise trains emit. This noise reduction is a boon to train engineers and workers who are subjected to loud noises at work.

Noise reduction can also be beneficial to residents who live near railroads. This noise is an inconvenience and can lower the property value.

Providing Green Solutions

Railroads pass through several different types of terrains on each journey. They pass by rivers, valleys, and canyons.

Which is why you want the chemicals used on them to be as eco-friendly as possible.

Luckily, there are several green friction modifiers on the market. These modifiers are making our railroad systems better for our environment.

Interested in Learning More About Friction Modifiers?

The benefits of friction modifiers listed here have only scratched the surface of modifiers’ utility to the industry. There’s much more to learn about how they’re benefiting the industry.

That said, don’t hesitate to contact us if you’re still curious about friction modifiers. We’ll help you figure out if they’re a practical solution for you.