How Brakes Work, What Types of Industrial Brakes Exist, and How to Get the Most Life Out of Them

Brakes play an essential role in most machines whether they are personal or commercial. They stop you from slamming into other cars and prevent injuries if your industrial equipment breaks down.

Check out this quick guide to how brakes work below along with common types of industrial brakes and some tips on how to keep them in good shape.

A Quick Guide on How Brakes Work

Many different types of brakes exist, but they all provide the same function: to slow down or stop movement. Brakes use friction to halt rotating inertia loads and to hold movable parts in place when required. They convert the kinetic energy, produced through the friction between two surfaces, into heat to slow something down.

You find brakes on wheels in vehicles, industrial machines, and carts. The two main brake types are holding brakes and dynamic brakes. Dynamic brakes slow down a rotating inertia load while holding brakes secure components into a stopped position.

Dynamic brakes generally need more power than holding brakes because they must slow down the heavy, rotating components. Holding brakes must only keep an already stopped part in the same position, which requires much less power.

Common Types of Brakes

The two main types of brakes you find in the United States include disc brakes and drum brakes. A metal disc located inside the front wheels, disc brakes cause a hard pad to press down on the brake disc to make it slow down.

So how do drum brakes work?

Drum brakes have a shoe in the hollow wheel hub that presses outward when you activate the brakes. The shoe pushes into the wheel and friction slows down the rotation.

What Types of Industrial Brakes Exist?

Oversized machinery and industrial equipment require particular kinds of brakes. Here are five types of industrial brakes on the market.

Spring Applied Brakes

Brakes that decelerate moving loads and hold static loads still if the release mechanism turns off for any reason. Used in many different machines including overhead cranes and trollies.

A spring-applied drum brake uses electromagnetic solenoids as its release mechanisms. Most useful for overhead crane or winch holding, general industrial machines, and emergency stops.

Fail Safe Brakes

Used to stop motion in case of power loss or an issue with the PLC or variable frequency drive. Commonly used in downhill and overland conveyor belt systems, oil and mining winches, crane hoists, steel mill coiling and rolling systems, drawbridges, and elevators.

Hydraulic Release Brakes

Another type of spring-applied drum brake that uses hydraulic power for adjustable braking torque. Most useful for winch holding, stage productions, and emergency stops.

Sibre Brakes

Made specifically by Siegerland Bremsen, they come in both drum and disc designs with fail-safe features and various power sources. Usually used with wind turbines, rotor stopping, holding, and emergency stops.

How to Get the Most Life Out of Your Brake System Components

Getting the most life out of your industrial brakes takes consistent effort, but if you pay attention, they will last much longer.

Always make sure the industrial machine sits level on the floor. This applies especially to machines with side frames featuring parallel gibways. Uneven gibways can result in the gibways preventing the return of the ram to the stroke top as well as affecting the correct alignment of the tools.

Brakes relying on hydraulics for actuation need their hydraulic oil cleaned regularly. The oil gets contaminated with dust, condensed water, heat, dust, or grit. Be sure you change the filter at least once a year and check the oil even more often.

Finally, do not overfill the machine, because putting too much weight without even distribution strains and damages both the bed and the ram. Choose air bending rather than bottom bending to avoid these issues.

The Best Prices on High-Quality Industrial Brakes

Now you should understand how brakes work and how to maintain your machine’s brakes to keep you and others safe. Just realizing how badly you need new brakes for your industrial machines?

Check out Kor-Pak Corporation’s massive inventory of high-quality industrial brakes and clutches. Find everything you need from DIN or AISE certified drum brakes to storm and rail brakes. Our experts will track down what you need.

What Are the Best Friction Materials for Brake Lining?

No matter the industry, brake lining is essential to assure workers and products are kept safe. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration aims to identify workplace hazards and ensure safety is upheld.

It’s not difficult to see why maintaining your industrial brakes is essential. You want your brakes to do what they need to do: apply friction and slow down.

But what are the best materials for brake lining?

Keep reading for everything you need to know to choose the best friction material for your brakes.

What Is Brake Lining?

Brake lining is a layer of asbestos or a similarly-functioning material attached to a brake shoe which creates friction against the brake drum.

This friction eventually slows a machine down, allowing it to stop.

Different Types of Brake Lining

Generally, there are three different categories of friction materials used in brake lining. We’ll explain the three types and the different subcategories below.

1. Organic Brake Linings

Organic brake linings are constructed from organic fibers, pressurized, and held together by glue. For example, coconut shells or other plant-derived fibers may be used to build organic brake linings.

Within the category of organic brake linings are asbestos and non-asbestos materials. Passenger cars no longer use asbestos brake linings because of their correlation to cancer. However, some industries may still use this lining today.

Asbestos brake linings were popular because they’re heat resistant while providing insulation.

Non-asbestos linings are more popular today, containing brass fillings to help dissipate heat. Within the non-asbestos category are three other linings:

  • Semi-metallic: Containing up to 65% metallic content of brass, copper, iron, or steel. They are typically durable and inexpensive but can be loud.
  • Low-steel: Containing 10-20% steel content
  • Non-steel: Made of pulps, metallic fibers, or ceramic fibers. Ceramic brake linings are lightweight, durable, and silent, making them more coveted and expensive.

2. Metallic Brake Linings

These linings are made from sintered alloy, typically copper, brass, or steel. Sintered linings are created by fusing metallic particles using heat and pressure. This generates a product very resistant to friction.

3. Inorganic Brake Linings

These linings are C/C composites, made from carbon fiber. These linings are very thermally stable and lightweight, making them a popular choice for aircraft and race-cars.

Which Brake Pad Linings Are Right for my Company?

The right brake pad linings for your machine will depend on machine type, type of braking system, budget, wear and tear, and environmental conditions.

Clean, quiet, and expensive brake linings may not work best in harsh environmental conditions.

Powerful friction material may mean more brake dust is being generated, requiring more frequent cleanings to ensure longevity.

Final Thoughts

Choosing the best friction material for industrial brake linings will depend on your budget, daily machine habits, and environmental conditions.

Be sure to take these factors into account when choosing the best brake lining for your machine.

For more articles on brakes and even industrial engineering materials, visit our blog today.

What to Expect from an Industrial Brake Shoe Relining and Repair

Failing to inspect and maintain the braking system on industrial machinery properly can unnecessarily cost you thousands of dollars.

Catastrophic failure could even result in injury or death to your employees.

Replacing major parts can get very expensive, in many cases, a brake shoe relining provides the same results at a fraction of the cost.

Use this easy-to-follow guide to learn more about the benefits of relined brake shoes.

What is Brake Shoe Relining?

Brake shoe liners are a significant component of industrial drum brakes. They’re used in a wide range of industries, including:

  • Marine
  • Heavy Machinery
  • Mining
  • Construction
  • Agriculture

Relining a brake shoe replaces the friction pads that cause a mechanism to come to a halt. Drum brake liners are considered a consumable part and need to be replaced as part of routine maintenance.

There are many different materials used as brake linings. Some of the most common are rubber, Kevlar, ceramic, and semi-metallic linings. It’s important to consider the intended use of your equipment when deciding on the brake lining material to use.

How the Process Works

Brake relining works by opening up the sealed drum of your brake and removing the spent lining. There are specific steps that must be followed depending on the type and manufacturer of your brakes.

Industrial drum brakes deal with significantly more kinetic energy than something like a car brake. Depending on the location of the brake within your machinery it will be more or less difficult to access.

Once you’ve opened up your drum, it’s a simple matter of removing the spent lining and replacing it with a new made one. You can use either OEM linings or have ones custom fabricated for your needs.

It’s a good idea to inspect the other components of your brake whenever you have your brake shoes relined. The most important part to look at is the brake shoe itself. If you notice significant gouges or scratches in the material it’s probably a good idea to have it machined or replaced.

What to Expect from Relined Brake Shoes

If you need brake relining services, make sure to check out the service provider thoroughly. Industrial brakes have much higher maintenance requirements than car or truck brakes.

A good servicer will perform a full disassembly and cleaning of your entire brake apparatus. They will inspect each part individually and provide you with a detailed report on their status and recommendations on replacements parts.

Once they have replaced all consumable or damaged components, they should apply a coating of high-quality paint as well. This helps you to identify issues or increased friction damage down the road and prevents damage from corrosion.

Any reputable shop will also offer a full warranty for its work. It’s a very bad sign if it does not.

Save With Brake Relining

Industrial brake shoe relining can save you a significant amount of money over a replacement. Always compare the cost of a repair vs. replacement when considering your maintenance schedule.

To learn more about industrial brake services or to request a free quote, contact us here.

What Maintenance Do Drum Brakes Need?

Postponing the maintenance of your drum brakes is a disaster waiting to happen.

By caring for your breaks with regular maintenance, you are caring for your machinery and the safety of those operating it.

It’s important to keep in mind that brakes simply don’t fail on their own. Brake failure is a direct result of negligence and improper maintenance.

So to ensure your drum brake are operating at their optimum, here’s what you need to know about their maintenance.

A Simple Guide to Drum Brake Maintenance

Drum brakes are comprised of a number of moving parts, so it’s essential to ensure all these parts are well-maintained.

Just some of these include hydraulic or magnetic actuators, brake drums, brake shoes, thrusters, coils, controllers and other spare parts.

To add to this, there are a number of drum brake varieties on the market, so depending on the variety, the maintenance may differ:

  • DC magnetic drum brakes
  • Thruster drum brakes
  • DC solenoid magnetic drum brakes
  • Three phase magnetic AC drum brakes
  • Hydraulic drum/shoe brakes
  • Handwheel drum brakes

When undergoing maintenance, you may notice that brakes require complete replacing.

In this case, remember to consider the required braking torque and correct size and model for adequate stopping power.

Wondering how to determine the torque factor of the drum brakes you need?

The drive-factor usually determines torque. Crane travel usually requires 75-100%, while 150-200% for crane hoists and overhauling loads is the norm.

The Importance of Regular Maintenance

Even if the brakes on your machinery show no visible signs of wear and tear or failure, routine maintenance every 6-months is a must.

As mentioned, waiting for brakes to fail is a disaster in the making and can put lives at risk and cost you unnecessary time and money.

Preventative maintenance is a smart move because in the long-term you will be saving yourself money while extending the life cycle of your machinery.

For these above reasons, it’s 100% necessary to incorporate drum brake maintenance into your standard operating procedures (SOP).

This way, you can educate both engineers and machine operators on the signs to look for when it comes to wear and tear and when maintenance is required.

How to Safely Replace Drum Brakes

When it comes time for drum brake maintenance, ensure your employees wear the necessary protective equipment, including an asbestos respirator.

You’ll need to ensure they are aware of all the potential hazards and how to avoid them before they begin. This is where SOP training comes in!

A simple step-by-step guide on how to replace drum brakes is as follows:

  1. Follow the directions to remove the machinery’s tires – this must be done before replacing drum brakes
  2. Make sure to double-check the brake adjuster and its screws- remove or replace as needs be
  3. Pull the drum brake off by holding firmly with two hands and slowly wiggling it off
  4. Do a thorough inspection of the drum brake before replacing with a new one
  5. Make sure to take a photo of the drum brake for its disassembled
  6. If brake shoes need replacing, make sure a comparable pair is used, i.e., they must be the same width as the previous pair
  7. After this, dismantle and inspect all brake components
  8. Replace brake pads and any faulty springs, then reassemble everything

It’s important to note that if you had to replace brake cylinders, make sure to bleed the system before the machine is used in full function again.

Looking for Specialized Industrial Parts?

Kor-Pak is a well-renowned OEM and distributor of industrial products.

We supply a range of products including heavy duty drum brakes, industrial braking systems, customized machine parts and more.

No matter the part, Kor-Pak is sure to supply it! Get in touch today to learn more about our services.

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 materials modern clutches are made with.

Organic

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

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

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

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

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.

Be sure to check out our offerings of industrial brakes and clutches to see if anything suits your 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.

 

 

 

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.

What Are Industrial Brake Pads Made of?

When brake pads slam against high-speed disc rotors, it’s a marvel to think they don’t wear or tear much at all.

Really, it’s not the brake pad itself doing the work, but the brake lining, invented by auto genius Bertha Benz, that converts the kinetic energy to thermal.

This leads to the question: what are brake pads made of? What material can sustain this kind of heat?

The answer isn’t as simple as you might think.

In this article, we break down all the different materials that go into halting your vehicle (no pun intended).

The Early Days

In 1897, Herbert Frood was said to have created a sustainable kind of brake lining. This, of course, came after Bertha’s initial invention.

His innovation, however, was the asbestos brake pad.

The fibrous nature of the material gave it a heat-resistant property.

All following renovations of the brake pad followed suit: heat-resistant, water-resistant, and durable.

What Are Brake Pads Made Of? Purpose Matters

Apparently, for different kinds of jobs, you’re going to need different resources.

Some materials can sustain moisture better and live longer, whereas others don’t live as long, but provide gentle, smooth contact with a rotor.

Most racing brake pads are made out of full metal, being strong frictional material. Pretty much all of it is steel, fresh out the sintering process.

On the other hand, you’ll occasionally see some fully synthetic brake pads. Such linings are made out of high-boiling-point compounds, like:

  • cellulose
  • aramid
  • sintered glass

These aren’t typically the kind you want to buy, but they don’t fade quickly.

The commercial question, then, is between ceramic and semi-metallic brake pads.

Ceramic brake pads are usually made out of clay and porcelain which are attached to metal alloys with a binding agent.

The more aggressive brother, semi-metallic brake pads are usually compiled of flaky metals, interspersed with different alloys here and there.

The Why

Metallic and ceramic are the two kinds of brake pads you’ll most often see on the market.

Metallic brake pads are mostly used because they’re more aggressive, less expensive, and heavier duty.

The drawback to using mostly metal in your brake pads is that they’re often really loud and produce a lot of dust.

Not only that, they tend to wear a lot faster. That’s why it’s essential for racing vehicles to get new brake linings continually.

On the other hand, ceramic brake pads are usually better at taking the heat. They don’t wear down as quickly, and they won’t pack a punch on your rotors.

While ceramic pads do produce quite a bit of dust, it’s not as visible since the material itself is lighter.

Not to mention, they’re quiet as a mouse compared to entirely metallic brake pads.

Coming to a Complete Stop

Being informed about the what and why behind brake pads is extremely important to ensure you get the right tools for your job.

A simple, curious question like, “What are brake pads made of?” can increase your productivity tenfold. A little research can bring you exactly where you need to be.

And in this case, it has.

We have over 30 years of experience repairing and relining brake shoes and pads.

Have questions about what you’ve read here, or what you should be getting? Give us a call or drop us a message today. We’ll be happy to help you!