A Complete Guide to Phenolic Laminates and Their Uses

Machine and equipment breakdowns cost businesses money. So it’s vital to choose durable parts to withstand heavy use over a long period. Phenolic laminate parts are the ideal solution for many industries.

The use of this composite material is growing rapidly across different sectors. Analysts predict that the phenolic resins market will grow to $12.6 billion by 2030.

Advances in technology have made these products more affordable and versatile. As a result, manufacturers are switching from metal or plastic to phenolic laminate. Keep reading to learn more about this composite material and its applications.

What are Phenolic Laminates?

A phenolic laminate is made by applying heat and pressure to layers of material. Makers impregnate layers with thermosetting resins for strength.

You can then use various phenolic materials to create different types of laminates. The most popular are linen, canvas, paper, or glass cloth.

The resulting product is a hard, durable component. And it’s this strength that makes it perfect for use in many industries.

What are the Benefits of Phenolic Laminates?

Yes, phenolic composites are strong, but this is not the only benefit. Phenolic laminates can also be molded into shapes and sizes to suit different needs. Standard forms are sheets, rods, or tubes which can be cut to size.

This composite laminate is also water-resistant and lightweight. Thus, it often makes an excellent replacement for metal parts.

Another benefit is that phenolic laminates are resistant to various chemicals and heat. Some phenolic composites are infused with epoxy resins that make them fire-resistant.

Also, this material does not conduct electricity, making it an excellent insulator. And lastly, phenolic laminate products can be self-lubricating. This helps machine parts last longer due to reduced friction.

Phenolic Laminates Uses

Phenolic laminates have many applications across diverse industries. This is thanks to their versatility and outstanding electrical properties.

For example, the electronics industry uses phenolic composites for insulation and switches. Another common use is for terminal boards since non-conductivity is of utmost importance.

Manufacturers also use this composite material to produce bushings for off-road agricultural equipment. Another application is for making bearings.

These bearings are often used for paper and aluminum mill machinery. High pressure and chemical tolerance allow them to last longer than metal bearing.

Phenolic composites also make for excellent railcar parts. Common uses are for vertical liners and wear pads on passenger and freight trains. These phenolic components perform better thanks to high impact resistance and sliding lubrication.

Another use is industrial brake and clutch parts for overhead crane linings. You can even use phenolic laminate to create parts, such as center plates for passenger cars.

A Versatile Solution for Industries

The applications for phenolic laminates are endless. They are suitable for everything from aerospace to marine to electrical industries.

Also, phenolic laminates are great for producing parts of nearly all sizes—for example, everything from small terminal boards to big gears.

This composite material often outperforms metal and plastics. The main reason is that it is more resistant to pressure and shock. Another significant benefit is that phenolic laminates are less prone to corrosion.

We offer a variety of phenolic laminate products for many industries. Contact us today to request a free quote.

Machining Rotors: A Guide to Replacing Brake Rotors

The brakes are one of the most important parts of industrial equipment.

When your equipment’s brake rotors get worn down, it puts the lives of your employees, customers, and those around them in danger. So when the time comes to replace a piece of equipment’s brake rotors, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Knowing what you will need to make the job as easy and efficient as possible is good. So read on to find out more about the process of replacing and machining rotors.

Replacing vs. Machining Rotors

If a brake rotor is warped, scored, or rusted, you can either replace or machine it.

Machining rotors can help increase stopping power, promote longevity, and reduce the runout of a brake rotor. However, it’s a time-consuming fix that is difficult to do correctly and can lead to poor quality rotors and safety issues.

Plus, even when done correctly, it can only add so much more lifespan to a rotor.

You replace a rotor if it wears below its minimum thickness or cracks or is too warped, scored, or rusted to be machined. In addition, you should also replace brake rotors if any scores or grooves are too deep or there are severe cracks. Further, replace blued rotors, as they are likely about to warp or crack.

How to Machine Rotors

Machining rotors is the process of removing metal from the surface of a rotor to make it flat or give it a more uniform layer of friction.

The process typically starts by sanding the rotors with 120 grit sandpaper. After removing any built-up deposits and dirt, it is time to cut, trim, and thin the rotor’s surface on a lathe.

After resurfacing the rotor, test the equipment to ensure the rotors have regained a sufficient level of friction.

Replacing Brake Rotors

If a rotor is too damaged, rusted, or warped to machine, you need to find a replacement.

The most common type of replacement rotor is the one-piece rotor. It has a solid body with a hat cast together with the outer ring. One-piece rotors are easy to make and most common for replacement rotors.

However, they are susceptible to warping. While some modern and high-end one-piece rotors may have heat dissipation, others are likely to distort when exposed to extreme heat.

Slotted and drilled rotors are also typical in heavy equipment. They are useful for environments that are wet and have increased temperatures or in applications that require consistent braking.

 Knowing When to Replace Brake Rotors

Brake rotors are an essential part of many modern braking and safety systems

Whether you are replacing or machining rotors, it is crucial to keep quality in mind to ensure the safety of your customers and employees. If a brake rotor is worn or broken, it can have a disastrous effect on those operating industrial machinery and your profits.

Contact us today to learn how our industrial brakes and clutches can benefit you.

3 Tips for Choosing an Industrial Braking System

Industrial braking systems are one of the most critical pieces of technology around. In essence, the job of a braking system is to absorb energy and bring whatever it is on to a halt.

Braking components can operate at temperatures up to 3500 degrees celsius on average! But, of course, what’s not so hot, is braking systems failing.

Read on below for three of the most practical tips for choosing the right industrial braking system to match all your needs.

1. Ensure a Warranty Is Included

Your braking system components are constantly exposed to varied types of pressure. So first, ensure all elements have a factory warranty to protect you from defects. Then, should something go wrong, you could quickly get the part replaced.

2. Get Braking System Parts from a Trusted Brand

With so many brands to choose from today, stick to the tried and tested brands known for braking components and have the backing to support their customers. 

Quality should never be compromised when choosing a brand, as the fallout could be catastrophic.

3. Know What Type of Braking System You Need 

Choosing the correct braking system will be a significant factor in whether it suits your needs or not. The following types of braking systems and tips will help you decide.

Spring Applied Brakes

Spring applied brakes act to decelerate a load in the event of a power failure or however you choose the release mechanism to be disengaged. This type of system is suitable for robotics and automation engineering solutions.

Fail-Safe Brakes

Fail-safe brakes are designed to kick in when there is an immediate power cut. Fail-safe brakes have one purpose, and that is to avoid catastrophic accidents. Such a brake system will be applicable for an elevator. 

Pneumatic Brakes

Pneumatic brakes are one of the older brake systems; they use compressed air to drive a piston and apply force to a braking pad. A straightforward system, you can use pneumatic brakes in almost every braking system.

Electromagnetic Brakes

As the name suggests, electromagnetic brakes use electromagnetic force to cause friction, which asserts the necessary stopping action. Therefore, this system is perfect for avoiding the heat dissipation that friction brakes cause.

Hydraulic Brakes

Hydraulic brakes use compressed brake fluid to generate the required braking force. They are known for being simplistic and very reliable and are the primary type of braking systems in industrial applications. From winches to cranes, hydraulic braking systems should be your number one system to turn to. 

Make the Right Choice Today

Choosing the right braking system doesn’t have to be a complicated affair. The right braking system coupled with a trusted manufacturer will not only keep your machine operator healthy, but your machine will stand the test of time.

Are you looking for the best industrial braking system parts on the market? Not sure where to look? Go to our manufacturer’s page and find the best components available on the market! 

What Are the Essential Parts of a Wind Turbine?

Last year, wind turbine generation accounted for around 9% of power in the United States. Wind turbines continue to provide a more significant portion of domestic energy as companies and customers seek new renewable energy sources. 

Have you ever wondered what parts a wind turbine technician must work on? Then, read on to learn what components make up a wind turbine.

Generator (Nacelle)

Generators use electromagnetic induction to create electrical voltage (electrical pressure) that is transferred to the power grid. 

You can have a simple generator with a coiled wire known as a conductor and a series of magnets that wrap around the conductor. Voltage is produced when the conductor and magnets begin rotating near one another. The wind is the force that turns the rotary blades. 

Voltage drives electrical current through what is known as an alternating current. This step powers lines for the distribution of power. The wind turbine slip ring transfers electrical power from the rotating unit through a stationary part of the turbine. 

The “nacelle” is the part considered to be the head of the turbine. The blade assembly attaches to the front of the unit, known as the nacelle. A standard nacelle weighs around 72 tons.

A nacelle typically houses a gearbox assembly, braking system, turbine generator, and electrical power transmission system. 

Rotor blades

Rotor blades act as barriers to the wind. When gusts hit the blade, which is typically turned toward the direction of the wind, the wind forces the blades to turn. This activates the generator and transfers the wind into electricity. 

Some turbines have built-in systems that automatically adjust the blades’ angle to control the energy output. This can be particularly important for accounting for high wind speeds.


The height of a tower is a critical component of wind tower design. Wind generally increases with height. Near the ground, the surface of the ground creates friction that slows low-level winds. 

This is why wind towers are typically designed to reach heights up to 150 meters tall. Up there, the wind gusts are more powerful even as turbulence rises.


The foundation structure bears the dynamic and static loads that are created by the wind turbine. Typically, the foundation is created from a mesh of steel and concrete that roots the generator to the ground for greater stability. 

Wind Turbine Parts

Wind turbine technology is both fascinating and essential to our economy. Although the units appear straightforward, many intricate moving parts must be maintained and repaired as needed.

If you operate wind turbines, Kor-Pak manufactures and supplies OEM and aftermarket parts that can meet your needs. To request a quote from one of our team members, leave us a message, and someone will reply promptly. 

How Does an Industrial Container Crane Work?

The city of Boston is home to one of the largest container cranes in the country. The two 205-foot cranes are expected to come online sometime this year. Container cranes are an indispensable part of the shipping industry. 

Have you always wondered how a container crane works? Read on to learn how a crane for shipping containers lifts heavy loads and more. 

How Does a Container Crane Work

Although many of us are familiar with how freight by rail works, shipping is the leading means of transporting goods between countries. A container crane is a large hoisting device that lifts shipping containers.

The cranes primarily unload or load containers from a ship. Or they move containers around a shipping yard. Container cranes are a type of gantry crane. This means that they rely on an overhead beam.

Unlike moveable cranes that move agricultural goods and other products, a container crane is generally stationary. These are large, powerful machines that require extensive training to operate. 

Design Profiles

A container crane may feature several design profiles depending on where it will be used. For example, a full-gantry unit straddles a body of water

Full-gantry units lift containers from below the ship. A half-gantry unit is very common in U.S. ports and extends over a port’s edge.

Some designs use high-profile arms that swing out to move containers. 

The operating system varies widely. For example, some rely on a hydraulic lifting mechanism.

Others use a hybrid-electric system. Either may rely on an electric or diesel fuel generator.

Cab Operator

Container cranes could not operate without the skilled guidance of a cab operator. The operator typically sits in an operating cap positioned above the hoist. This gives the operator a clear view of the operations below. 

Most container cabs can traverse the length of the beam. This allows the operator to position the spreader. They can then lift the containers as needed.

A container crane operator must undergo certification and training to ensure they know how to operate cranes. Safety is always a top concern.

Operators are often tasked with looking for defects before each use. This typically means an inspection before each workday. 

Learn More About Construction Cranes

Each container crane is customized to meet the needs of each port. Whether using a full-gantry or half-gantry crane, the system for lifting and moving shipping containers is incredibly efficient and powerful.

Whether you need commercial drum breaks, calipers, clamps, or something else for your business, we’re here to help. Give us a call, and we’ll help you find a free quote on whatever product you are looking for. 


3 Things To Know About Friction Material

The U.S. manufacturing industry accounted for more than 10 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product in 2020. With a number like that, it’s easy to see how important it is to keep this industry running smoothly. A lesser-known but essential part of the manufacturing sector is friction materials.

While you may not have heard of these, friction material is essential in many manufacturing industries. Read on to learn three important things about these materials. 

1. What Is a Friction Material?

Systems with multiple moving parts in contact with one another use friction material. These materials are many different substances, including ceramics, paper, sintered metal, and metal alloys. The type of substance selected for friction material depends on several factors. These include:

  • Performance requirements
  • Temperature
  • Speed of the moving parts 

2. What Are the Uses for Friction Materials? 

The parts that friction materials are made into have specific functions within certain systems. Some of them include:

Friction Disc

Friction discs, also called clutch or brake disks, are part of the braking systems on cars and other machinery. The friction disc material attaches to a metal plate.

Clutch Facing

Clutch facings reduce the noise a clutch makes and allow for smoother transitions. These materials need to function under extended periods of stress and high heat. 

Brake Pads

The material used in brake pad production includes semi-metallic, non-asbestos organic, and ceramic materials. Regardless of the material, the operation is the same as the pads apply friction to the rotor. 

Brake Blocks

Brake blocks are a simple mechanism for stopping the motion of a wheel. Typically made of hard material or rubber, their simplicity allows for production from cheap low friction materials, such as rubber or resin. 

3. How Are Friction Materials Produced?

The first step in the production of friction material is the selection of raw materials. There are several substeps to be taken when selecting these materials, including whether you are producing low or high friction materials and if you are using organic, inorganic, or metallic materials. 

Once raw materials are selected, they are bonded with phenolic resin. This binding agent is used because of its ability to withstand heat and resist combustion and conduction. 

The raw materials are then blended. This process will determine the grade and cost of the finished product. The final step is the performing process, which shapes the friction materials into the final shapes to be used in operation. 

Are You Ready to Purchase Friction Materials? 

The type of material that you will need depends on multiple factors and the end use. Both the blending and performing process will determine the final product.

If you’re ready to begin the process of finding the perfect friction materials, contact us for all your needs



Different Types of Railcar Parts and How They Work

Although passenger and freight railcars have different purposes (transporting people versus transporting goods), they tend to share a lot of the same railcar parts

Sourcing and maintaining those parts is essential to any successful railcar operation. 

Let’s take a look at the various railcar parts. 

Railcar Parts: Mover Parts 

The mover parts of a railcar ensure that everything’s running smoothly as passengers or freight goes along the tracks. A brief list of railcar mover parts includes the following:


Couplers connect the railway vehicles.

Rather than one standard kind of coupler, many different types of designs and materials are in use. These  range from mechanical couplers such as the buffer and chain or link and pin to semi-automatic couplers such as the Janney coupler.

Axles & Wheels

The rail axle and wheels work together to form a wheelset that keeps the railcar moving along the track. The wheels are typically made of steel and heat-treated to add extra strength. 

Most modern freight railcars have three or four wheelsets to support heavy freight loads. 


The cylinders help generate power for railcars. Made from steel, these are essential components for the diesel engine railcars that carry most of the world’s freight. 

Railcar Parts: Friction Wear Parts

Friction wear parts play a vital role in applying pressure to certain railcar parts to control speed. Some of the most common friction wear parts include:

Brake Shoes and Brake Pads

By pressing against the wheel tread, brake shoes and pads can slow or stop a wheel. Each railroad car has its own brakes to control its wheels. When working together, they bring the entire railcar to a stop. 

Typically, pads and shoes are made from cast iron and composite materials. 

Center Plates

Center plates are a kind of steel or forged steel plate that supports the car body on its trucks. Through this support, the center plates allow the trucks to turn. 

Railcar Parts: Rubber Parts 

Rubber parts have a variety of different functions for railcars. Let’s take a look at two common ones. 

Motor Mounts

Most railcars carry heavy loads that cause quite a lot of vibrations. Motor mounts help manage the effects of those vibrations by creating stability support. 

Rubber Seals & Gaskets 

Rubber seals are primarily used to prevent unwanted leaking from windows, doors, ceilings, engines, and more.

These work together with gaskets to prevent fuel, oil, and grease leakages. For example, nitrile gaskets help secure manway (or utility hole) nozzles on railroad tank cars. 

Railcar Parts With Kor-Pak

After correctly identifying the parts of a railcar, you can better hone in on the particular railcar parts that need adjustment or repair. You’ll want to find a railcar parts supplier with experience and expertise to ensure a quality job. 

Kor-Pak has provided rubber parts, friction wear parts, and other railcar parts to satisfy clients for many years. Contact us today to see how we can help.

3 Types of Industrial Brake Services

You know the importance of maintaining your equipment if you own or work with heavy machinery. Without your equipment, you can lose out on work and productivity. That’s why getting the best resources to maintain your heavy-duty vehicles is important.

One of the most critical parts of a vehicle is its brake system. You need it in the best shape possible to prevent any mishaps. Depending on your type of machine, it may be best served by using specific brake services.

Heavy-duty vehicles fall into specific categories. Here are the three types and how they differ. 

Utility Brake Services

Utility vehicles have electric brakes, which require a brake controller. Brake controllers control the electric current that transmits to the brake when pressed on vehicles. Brake controllers also connect to the stoplight switch and the vehicle battery. 

There are two types of brake controllers: Time delay and proportional. 

Time delay controllers have controls that the vehicle operator must adjust. The adjustment compensates for the trailer’s weight when the brakes are used. Therefore, the driver must consider the weight before they apply the brake. 

If the controller adjusts incorrectly, it can lead to the trailer assisting too much or too little when braking. 

Proportional controllers have a device that checks how quickly the vehicle is coming to a stop. It uses this information to regulate the power of the trailer brakes. Then, proportional controllers apply the trailer brakes in tandem with the vehicle’s brakes. 

A utility brake service should ensure that the electrical system and magnets are working to deploy the brakes.

Material Handling Brakes

Material handling brakes are sensitive and should undergo inspection before using one of these vehicles. In addition, forklifts and other material handling vehicles ‘ brakes are subject to damage due to the heavy loads these vehicles carry. 

If your vehicle’s brakes don’t pass muster, something is probably wrong with the brakes. 

If the brakes have more than 5,000 hours of use, it’s time to replace them. Dirt and debris will accumulate on the brake shoes over time, which will cause ridges. These ridges lead to a degradation of quality.

If the vehicle stops too quickly, that indicates something is wrong. If the vehicle isn’t slowing to a smooth stop, there’s an issue that needs correcting.

Since these vehicles carry so much weight, brake replacement and brake repair are quintessential in ensuring the vehicle’s and its passengers’ safety.

Agricultural Brakes

The brake systems in agricultural machines are split into numerous categories.

The first category is dry tractor brakes. This category includes the sub-categories of hydraulic drum brakes, hydraulic disc brakes, and air disc brakes. Each brake system uses different parts to get these machines to come to a stop.

The caliper and piston are quintessential to the hydraulic drum brakes and the hydraulic disc brakes, respectively. Air disc brakes use air pressure to get vehicles to stop instead of hydraulic fluid like the first two. 

The second category of brakes is wet tractor brakes. These brakes were made for demanding conditions. Dry brakes sit outside the machine and may not be enough to get a vehicle to stop under challenging conditions. 

The different types of wet brake systems are multiple discs, hydraulic pressure, internal braking, and low maintenance. 

Keep Your Industry Moving

Depending on your type of machine, it may require unique brake services to ensure its braking system works. For example, heavy machines have different braking systems, which require diverse expertise in braking systems. Seek out the right business for your vehicle’s needs.

At Kor-Pak, we help make sure industrial vehicles work at full capacity. We specialize in many industries, including agriculture, iron and steel, mining, and many others. Contact us to inquire about the products we have for your industry. 

Some Key Differences Between Iron and Steel

While some people may use the term iron and steel interchangeably, these metals couldn’t be more different. For one, steel is much more valuable. A ton of steel has a traded price of $4,600, while iron ore, on the same market index, sold at a mere $145. 

Also, the composition of the metals is different, and what products you’ll find in iron and steel are rarely interchangeable. 

In a historical sense, both metals have contributed to the evolution of civilization and culture. Without these materials and their development, people would be unable to create the significant modern edifices that grace our world.

In this article, we’ll discuss the difference between iron and steel and how the iron and steel industries have helped propel modern construction. 

What is Iron? 

First, it is important to emphasize that iron is an element and an essential mineral. It’s a ductile and lustrous metal with a silver appearance when unearthed. 

Iron’s symbol on the periodic table of elements is Fe, and the element has an atomic number of 26.

Although iron was used as one of humankind’s first tool materials, the element is relatively brittle in its raw form. Iron can be hammered into sheets or different forms.

Like many other mined metals, you can form iron into wire or sheets. However, one drawback to iron as a decorative or practical tool is that the element oxidizes when exposed to water or moist air. 

What is Steel?

Steel is an iron alloy, meaning that iron ore is smelted and mixed with other minerals to create different variations. Carbon steel and alloy steel are the two most common types.

Carbon steel is made up of nearly 1% carbon. It is the most common type of steel and represents about 80% of the steel manufactured today.

On the other hand, alloy steels include nickel, chromium, copper, silicon, and vanadium. The metal composition changes as the use of the steel differs, but all the alloys have some carbon and iron. 

What is Pig Iron?

Iron has other alloys besides steel. These include pig iron, wrought iron, and cast iron. These types of iron have carbon added to make them less soft and brittle.

Pig iron is a basic form of iron alloy used for simple structures. Cast iron has a high carbon infusion and is used for cookery or structural supports.

The last form of an iron alloy is wrought iron, which is softer than cast iron and easily molded when exposed to heat. 

Benefits of Steel 

With that stated, steel is still king in the products we make and buy. Because of this, you see steel alloys in everything from building materials to kitchenware.  

Because of steel’s flexibility, durability, and hardness, it is the perfect alloy for manufacturing and consumer goods. 

Iron and Steel Industrial Uses

Mining and manufacturing iron and steel are some of the longest-serving industrial professions. Yet, these industries continue to change and evolve.

To find out the latest techniques in iron and steel, talk to one of our experts on their expertise can help you. Contact us today to learn more.

How To Use an Incline Conveyor Properly

You need a streamlined system to maximize your production in whatever industry you work in. 

As your business grows, so will probably also the demand for your product, and if you can’t keep up with the requirements, your business will feel a financial loss. Fortunately, conveyors offer a solution to improve workplace performance. 

What if you don’t have much floor space, or your business is spread over multiple levels? This is where the incline conveyor comes in. With an incline conveyor, you meet demands with speed and efficiency, and at the same time, it takes up less space than a flat conveyor.

Do you know the proper handling techniques, though? Read on for advice on using an inclined belt conveyor. 

Which Inclined Conveyor?

It may seem obvious, but the first step is to ensure you opt for the conveyor you need. There are several considerations when making a large industrial purchase, like inclined belt conveyors.

Think about the space available to you and how steep you need your incline belt conveyor to be, which in turn impacts the type of belt you need. 

Incline Conveyor Safety

Incline conveyors have safety features, but you must be cautious when using one. Think of safety procedures regarding industrial machines. Don’t wear baggy clothing or hanging jewelry when using the belt. 

Also, it’s for inanimate materials only and should never be climbed on. Only qualified maintenance specialists should be on the incline belt even when the machine isn’t powered. 

Consider Product Load

Your product load determines what type of belt you need. Because your product will be on an incline, you need a sturdy belt with a strong grip. 

Incline conveyors operate between 0 and 45%, but your angle is another thing that depends on the product you are moving. 

Slippage Reductions

Product waste and reduced production are a consequence of slippage. Maybe your belt is soiled, maybe it’s the different spec of your product. Whatever the cause, you need to resolve it. 

If reducing your angle has no impact, you may need to look into buying a belt with a particular surface. 

Another option is to add a belt dressing. Then, spray it on to make the belt sticky.

Flights and Cleats

With a cleated belt, you can move materials 25% faster. In addition, your belt can be at a steeper angle while reducing rollback. A cleated conveyor is often used for fine materials.  

Reduce Carryback

When the material you’re transporting sticks to the conveyor belt, it can be costly, but carryback is an issue that occurs with all conveyors. It’s also a hazard when the product inevitably falls somewhere it shouldn’t be. 

The incline conveyor is no exception. This is where belt cleaners come in, scraping off large chunks and big portions of adhered material. 

Conveyor Belt Tracking

Conveyor belt tracking aligns your belt to follow the designed track. With belt slippage, you risk adding stress to the motor and wearing your belt, as well as reducing production. 

Quality Counts

Buying suitable parts for your incline conveyor belt saves you money in the long run. 

For example, clutch couplings are used in most forms of industry transmission equipment, so buying your clutch coupling at a low price and going for the cheapest will cause problems. Whether from system breakdown or reduced production, cheap parts cause a risk.  

Even seemingly small parts should be chosen with consideration. 

Your Inclined Belt Conveyor  

An inclined conveyor is beneficial and used in many industries. Food and beverage, mining, and agriculture are just a few. Ensure your incline conveyor works to the best of its ability with careful inspection and maintenance. 

Contact us if your company would benefit from buying quality parts for your industrial machines.