Stopping Power: Is Your Caliper Brake Seized or Sticking?

Heavy machinery causes up to 63 percent of heavy equipment operator deaths.  Sometimes the causes are easily preventable, sometimes freak accidents happen, and sometimes they’re caused by things we commonly overlook.

Today, we want to talk about the commonly overlooked. Too many operators take their braking system for granted. For those using pad-driven systems, the humble caliper often gets overlooked.

When caliper systems become seized or stuck, operators and those on the construction site are all at risk. Seized or stuck calipers drastically, and sometimes all together, reduce stopping power.

So to help keep you safe, we’re breaking down how to tell if your caliper brake is seized or stuck.

What are Calipers and How Do They Work?

Caliper brakes work in tandem with your brake pads to engage the rotors and stop your machine. Think of a brake system in three parts. First, you have the brake pads. They’re small, abrasive components that help stop the machine.

Next, you have the rotors. The rotors are circular metal components that the brake pads rub against to create friction thus stopping the machine. The calipers are the component that forces the brake pads against the rotors.

Your brake fluid creates hydraulic pressure within the brake caliper that then causes the pads to pinch against the rotor. The resulting friction stops your machine.

When you calipers seize or stick, they can no longer push the brake pads against the rotors. When the pads can’t rub against the rotors, your machine can’t stop.

What Causes them to Seize or Stick?

To understand why calipers seize or stick we have to know how calipers push the brake pads against the rotors. When you apply the brake pedal, hydraulic fluid builds pressure in the caliper which forces a piston to pinch the caliper together and engage the brake pads on the rotors.

Calipers frequently become stuck when that piston no longer moves. This usually happens because of corrosion. When your machine sits for too long, the piston rusts and the caliper becomes stuck.

Lack of brake fluid is another cause. If you’re low on brake fluid, the hydraulic pressure won’t build, and the piston won’t cause the caliper to pinch shut.

Symptoms of a Stuck or Seized Caliper

Stuck or seized calipers make driving impossible. Partially stuck or seized calipers make driving extremely dangerous. Depending on the issue, you’ll know that you have a problem based on how your machine reacts.

Calipers stuck closed will make a very loud grinding noise. You might also feel a “flimsy” brake pedal that depresses without much effort. Machines without any brake fluid won’t stop at all. The brake pedal will have zero resistance.

Repair or Replace?

Repairing a caliper is the cheapest (upfront) solution to your woes. Someone with a little bit of mechanical know-how can probably fix their own caliper. That said, like any mechanical part, calipers wear down over time. Every time your caliper gets stuck its lifespan significantly decreases.

Replacing your caliper will cost more upfront but could save you money in the long run. While repair is technically free, it does cost your time. And if you take it to the mechanic, you’re looking at a costly bill. If you replace your caliper, you’re ensuring that the piston won’t stick ever again.

Buying a Caliper Brake

Buying a new caliper brake is fairly daunting. Your local dealer will want to upsell you; the mechanic probably wants to upsell you as well, while third-party manufacturers don’t offer high-quality products.

That’s where we come into play. We offer top-quality industrial calipers for a variety of different applications. If you need help navigating our catalog, feel free to contact us. We’ll help ensure your machines are running smoothly.

5 Signs of a Bad Clutch to Watch for with Your Farm Equipment

When the clutch goes in farm equipment, it can take machinery out of action for weeks. The cost of farm vehicle downtime is too high a risk for large commercial and small farms to take.

That’s why it’s important to replace your clutch before it breaks. You’ll be able to plan maintenance downtime around other essential tasks, and your farm equipment won’t break right when you need it most.

Check out these signs of a bad clutch in need of repair. If any of your farm vehicles are showing these signs, it’s time to schedule a replacement before it breaks.

Signs of a Bad Clutch in Farm Equipment

The symptoms below are common indicators that an industrial clutch is in need of immediate replacement if you don’t want to face costly downtime of your equipment.

1. A Sticky Clutch

A clutch that refuses to come back with your foot is a sure sign of the slow road to failure. The clutch should return to the disengaged position as your foot moves up and away from the pedal. If it takes time to return or stays in the engaged position, there’s a problem.

A soft clutch is bad too, as this reduces the overall control the operator has over the equipment. However, a sticky clutch can make farm equipment tricky to operate and unreliable as changing gears becomes difficult.

On secondary clutch systems, you may also notice a belt pulley takes longer to come to a stop.

2. A Hard Clutch

Rather than sticking in the engaged position, a hard clutch is difficult to operate for both engagement and disengagement.

When pushed, a clutch should respond with a small amount of force to engage. A too-soft or too-hard clutch makes farm equipment challenging to operate and results in a rough ride when changing gears.

A secondary clutch, such as on a pulley system, may take longer to engage as a sign of a hard clutch on a more complex tractor and thresher systems.

A sticky two-stage clutch will result in difficulty finding the mid-way point between full disengagement, engine disengagement, and PTO disengagement.

3. High Engine Revs When the Clutch Is Engaged

Does the engine rev higher than usual when the clutch is depressed and fully engaged?

This is a sign of a slipping clutch, caused by a worn friction plate. Less friction on the flywheel and pressure plate causes higher engine revs, slow acceleration, and faster clutch disengagement.

If you’re unsure if the clutch is slipping, but there is a distinct burning smell accompanying slightly higher engine revs during clutch engagement, that’s a sure sign of a slipping clutch.

4. Strange Noises During Clutch Use

Carefully listen when you take the clutch through every motion. Strange sounds, squeals, hissing noises, or any loud clicks are all signs that something is wrong with your clutch.

A clutch should run smoothly without any additional noise. Familiar noises, such as squealing, could be a simple repair such as adding grease or removing rust. However, as soon as your clutch makes an abnormal noise, it’s time to take your clutch apart to diagnose the problem in case a full replacement is required.

5. Not Enough (or Too Much) Pedal Give

A good clutch should have about two inches of give when depressed before it begins to engage.

If your clutch travels a long way before engaging, or engages almost instantly when touched, it’s a sure sign that a repair or replacement is needed soon.

Where to Buy Your Industrial Clutch Replacement

If your farm equipment is showing any of the above signs of a bad clutch, it’s time to arrange downtime for the machinery urgently. You can then investigate and repair or replace parts without the detrimental effects of a sudden breakdown.

However, finding replacement parts can be difficult. Many industrial clutch parts are specialist and hard to track down.

We’re experts in finding custom or rare parts for industrial and farm machinery. If your clutch needs replacing, get in touch today.

Wet or Dry? How to Choose the Right Types of Brakes for Your Equipment

Brake technology has been around for well over a hundred years.

And during that time, there have been significant developments, from drum brakes to hydraulic brakes and disc brakes.

While there are a vast variety of types of brakes, many braking applications fall into two categories: wet brakes and dry brakes.

So read on as we take a closer look at the pros and cons of each type.

Dry Brakes

The earliest incarnations of brakes were all dry brakes.

From the first wooden blocks used to slow horse-drawn vehicles, through to today’s modern disc brakes, dry brakes have always been the most common type of brakes used. As the name suggests, dry brakes are left open to the air and do not operate inside any type of fluid.

Advantages

The advantages of disc brakes are based on their simplicity.

Since dry brakes need no additional housing or fluid, they are simple to fit and cheaper to install. If you have a problem with dry brakes, you won’t need to take the entire transmission apart to get to the problem. It is also much easier to see when they are wearing out.

Disadvantages

The disadvantage of a dry brake system is that since there is less lubrication than a wet brake system, they will wear out much more quickly. This means that dry brakes will need replacing much more regularly.

Dry brakes also do not have the same level of stopping power as wet brakes and will overheat under heavy use.

Wet Brakes

As the name suggests, wet brakes operate in a fluid. They are usually mounted internally and run within the transmission fluid itself.

By running wet brakes inside a fluid, it gives wet brakes properties much different to those of dry brakes. This can offer real benefits for industrial equipment.

Advantages

Wet brakes are under constant lubrication, which means that they wear much more slowly. Wet brakes will last far longer than dry brakes do. Since they are under less stress, they also require less adjustment than dry brakes.

The fluid also helps to cool the brakes which means they are far more stable under heavy load as they are much slower to overheat.

Disadvantages

Since the brakes are mounted internally, if you want to access the brakes you first need to drain the transmission fluid.

Wet brakes are also more expensive up front than dry brakes. Since they last much longer than dry brakes, this initial expense is often mitigated over time.

Looking for the Best Types of Brakes for Your Needs?

If you’re looking for the best types of brakes for your equipment, then we’re here to help.

We offer a wide range of industrial brakes and clutches. We offer a great variety of size, torque, and style so you should be able to find something to suit your every need. We can also design custom brakes and clutches to your specifications.

And it’s not just brakes and clutches; we have all the parts you need to keep your heavy industry machinery operating at peak efficiency. Feel free to take a look around.

Do You Need New Brakes? 7 Warning Signs You Need to Replace Your Industrial Brakes

Brakes are one of the most repeated procedures and used on many items besides vehicles including cranes hoists and trolley travel drives, but how do you know when you need new brakes?

Industrial brakes are used even more than standard brakes, and when they go out, it can be a disaster. Don’t miss the early warning signs of brake wear and tear and get them replaced quickly.

Brakes don’t just go out. It can take days or weeks before the brakes fail. When they do fail, it can cause severe injury and death especially if it happens on semis and other large machines such as forklifts and boom hoists.

Early detection and replacement can save you money if only part of the braking system needs to be replaced. Here are seven signs your brakes need replacing.

No Braking Resistance

When you press down on the brake pedal, there should be resistance pushing it back up. It’s why when you take your foot off the brake it returns to the original position. If it doesn’t, it’s likely you have a brake fluid leak somewhere in the braking system.

When using them in for hoists and other machines, the braking should not slip.

Bad brakes are dangerous. You need brake fluid to stop properly and slow down the machine. Without it, the brakes may not work.

Controlled Engagement

Industrial brakes need to be precise, and without that precision, there could be devastating consequences. Industrial brakes on hoists and other motors can cause serious injury if you can’t accurately control the braking. Your industrial brakes need to be replaced.

High Pitched Squeal

The first sign of brake problems people notice is a high-pitched squeal when applying the brakes. It doesn’t have to be loud, and at this stage, it doesn’t impact braking much, but it will over time. It doesn’t matter if the brakes are on a vehicle or something different, it’s still a concern.

If you get your brakes replaced now it might cost less because you may not need calipers, drums and rotors all replaced. If you let it go, the sound will get worse and worse.

Screeching Sound

If you manage to get past the high-pitched squeal, then you move on to the screeching sound. You’ve worn down the brakes to the point that it can severely impact your braking. Replacing your industrial brakes should be a priority.

New Brakes Don’t Run Out of Fluid

If you’re consistently adding brake fluid to the braking system, then something is wrong. Good brakes don’t use up brake fluid quickly. If you must keep adding it, then you’re likely losing it somewhere. This is serious because the brakes are getting the fluid they need and could lead to brake failure.

Brakes Lock

When you put your foot on the brake, it’s supposed to apply pressure and let up when your foot lets up. When the brakes lock, they don’t let up and stay on. If your brakes are locking, then replacement is a must. Locking brakes can cause a serious accident.

When speaking of hoists and other machinery, a sudden lockage can damage nearby machinery and people because you lack control.

Not Braking

The opposite of locking brakes is when they don’t brake at all or only brake lightly. There are many reasons why the brakes may not work, but this is dangerous. You may not be able to stop suddenly or stop for emergencies.

Don’t Risk Brake Wear and Tear

Industrial brakes on vehicles, hoists and other machines are subject to wear and tear just like every other piece of machinery. Keep an eye on them and replace them when needed. If you need more information about industrial brakes, then feel free to explore our website.

 

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.