The Types of Mechanical Brakes and How They Differ

Every day around the world, several types of mechanical brakes are used in material handling, production, and other heavy industries. While you may only think of car brakes, these brakes help the industry that powers our world. 

Types of Mechanical Brakes

Brakes can be divided into mechanical and non-mechanical types of braking. 

Mechanical brakes use friction to slow or stop machinery and wheels. Non-mechanical brakes such as eddy current brakes are also used. 

1. Disc Brakes 

Disc brakes use a rotor that is connected to a shaft. This rotor spins between a caliper, which has multiple cylinders that each can push a brake pad or other friction material onto the rotor. This causes the rotor to slow momentum as friction builds up. 

Disc brakes, in particular, are often used hydraulically. One key area in the debate of hydraulic vs. mechanical disc brakes is the dispersion of heat. Heat is a natural byproduct of arresting momentum with friction, and all brakes heat up while in use. 

2. Drum Brakes

Drum brakes are one of the oldest and most common types of mechanical brakes. A curved bracket called a shoe has the brake pad attached to it. Two shoes are usually inside the drum, and when activated, they press on the inside of the drum, slowing the spinning drum. 

Mechanical load brakes are a form of drum brake used to help hold up a hoist. They serve as secondary brakes to prevent a crane from failing under heavy stress. 

3. Band Brakes

A band brake works by having bands of material that tighten around a moving object. This tightening force causes friction to build up and causes the spinning object or shaft to stop moving. This tightening can lead to excessive heat build-up and isn’t useful in all situations. 

4. Spring Brakes

Industrial brakes come in a lot of shapes and sizes. Spring brakes are mechanical brakes but require air pressure to operate. These brakes remain clamped unless air pressure is applied to open them. This is often called a failsafe brake, as it does not allow a part to move when not intended. 

5. Cone Brakes

A cone brake is one of the types of mechanical brakes that uses a drum, but the internal mechanism is different. Instead of using a shoe that is a bent bracket with a brake pad, the cone brake uses cones. These cones are coated with lining material and push against the drum to halt its momentum. 

Industrial Brakes  

Industrial brakes are used in all areas of operation for many industries. Mechanical PTO clutches are often used with these brakes. Using a clutch, power can transfer from a generator to an auxiliary piece of equipment. This can bleed of energy that would otherwise cause wear and tear on the brakes. 

Good Brakes are Essential 

High-quality mechanical brakes make work more efficient and prevent wear and tear on equipment. Safety is essential to any thriving industry, and Kor-Pak Corporation has the types of mechanical brakes you need for your business to run smoothly and safely.

What is an Industrial Clutch and How Does it Work?

In America, the manufacturing industry is currently thriving. In fact, not only does the manufacturing sector employ more than 12 million people directly, but it also allows for millions of other jobs to be indirectly sustained because if the goods manufactured.

For the manufacturing industry to continue to grow, plants must be supplied with the latest and most efficient equipment for getting the job done. One of the most necessary pieces of industrial equipment is a clutch. 

What Is an Industrial Clutch?

At the most basic level, an industrial clutch is a device that you attach to your machinery that controls the transmission of power within it. It can engage and disengage the power transmission of various large machines within a manufacturing area or plant, usually altering the power transmission between the driving shaft to the driven shaft.

There are a few key types of industrial clutches. Industrial drum brakes are one of the most common. Drum/shoe brakes operate under most industrial conditions and conform to AISE or DIN standards. There are also DISCK or-Pak brakes that can furnish even the highest of Torque requirements. Storm brakes also exist, and they’re ideal for extreme heat or cold weather conditions. These brakes are also mountable and can be beamed or mounted against walls.

How Does It Work?

Clutches connect to two rotating shafts within a mechanical device. These come in the form of either drive shafts or line shafts. In any case, one of the two shafts (called the driving member) will be attached to an engine or another type of power unit. At the same time, the other shaft (named the driven member) provides the output power to make the clutch work.

Most of the time, the motions that these shafts go through are rotary, meaning that they spin in a circle to make the clutch function properly. There are, however, some that move in a linear fashion.

Industrial clutches have a lot of working parts, but fortunately, it’s possible to easily replace or refurbish those that might need it at Kor-Pak. Make sure to perform regular maintenance inspections on your clutch and ensure that you’re as productive with it as possible.

Get a Wichita Clutch Today

While selecting an industrial clutch for your plant can be a difficult task, you’ve just made it a lot easier on yourself by understanding the nuances of how they work.

Now that you know all about industrial clutches and how they work, it’s time to get a Wichita Clutch for use at your business plant. Click here to learn how Kor-Pak can help you select the perfect clutch for your industrial needs and what each of your options are. You’ll be operating at full speed ahead before you know it.

What You Need to Know About Hydraulic Assist Brakes

Brakes are all around us. You can find them in cars, trucks, windmills, and just about any piece of industrial machinery. 

Brakes come in all forms, from drums to rotors to electromagnetic to hydraulic.

Keep reading to learn more about how hydraulic assist brakes work and where you can find them. 

Hydraulic Assist Brakes: What Are They?  

Hydraulic assist brakes came about in 1973 and are also known as hydro-boost power assist brakes. They work as an alternative to vacuum boost assist brakes.

Before hydraulic brakes existed, brakes in vehicles used a vacuum booster, drawing pressure from the vacuum system in the engine.

With hydraulic assist brakes, hydraulic pressure from the power steering system in a vehicle or from a different system in the machinery provides the operator with an assist in applying the brakes.

You would typically use hydraulic brakes for three different reasons: 

  1. Your vehicle has no vacuum source available. This is often the case with a diesel engine. 
  2. You do not have enough space for a power-assist device. 
  3. Your vehicle requires more braking assistance than a vacuum booster can give you. 

How Do Hydraulic Assist Brakes Work? 

In a vehicle, hydraulic assist brakes rely on the pressurized fluid that powers the power-steering. The hydraulic brake system will have a line plumbed in with the steering gear.

The power steering pump then supplies pressurized fluid for both the power steering gear and the hydraulic assist.

In short, when you apply the brakes, a spool valve that controls the fluid will move and allow pressurized fluid to assist in braking. This spool valve has a bore that creates a seal and yet still allows just enough fluid to provide the lubrication necessary for effective braking. 

Logically, then, if something would cause a loss of pressurized fluid to the steering, you would lose your brakes as well. However, a hydraulic system will have a backup or reserve.

Let’s say a hose breaks, a belt snaps, or a pump fails, and you lose pressurized fluid in your steering. With a hydraulic assist system, a high-pressure accumulator or back up will store enough power steering fluid for two to three power-assist stops.

That’s the basics of a simple hydraulic brake system. Hydraulic brake systems have evolved since the 70s, though.

Take air over hydraulic brakes, for example. In this case, the system uses compressed air and hydraulic pressure to make the brakes do their job. These brakes have a special air-over-hydraulic power cylinder with an air cylinder and hydraulic cylinder that work in tandem to make brakes function efficiently.

Where Do We See Hydraulic Brakes? 

Hydraulic-assist brakes work well in vehicles, but engineers see other uses as well. For example, a typical windmill brake in a wind turbine used to rely on rotors, but some turbines now have hydraulic-assist brakes. 

Industrial brakes can benefit from hydraulic brake technology. Past braking systems used drum brakes, which could overheat. Engineers are developing brakes where hydraulic oil is circulating behind the brake pads to keep the brakes from seizing. 

Larger, commercial vehicles typically employ air brakes. This system uses compressed air to activate the brake system as opposed to the compressed fluid in a hydraulic system. Smaller, domestic vehicles will use hydraulic over air brakes. 

Brake with Fluid

Hydraulic assist brakes provide an additional safety feature to just about any vehicle. 

For all of your brake needs, contact us

A Definitive Guide to Electromagnetic Brakes and Their Use in Manufacturing Equipment

Did you know that you use electromagnetic brakes in your daily lives? While brakes may seem as if they are only used for extreme purposes, electromagnetic brakes have a wide variety of uses. From automotive, construction, even commercial use, such brakes are needed to operate and control machines.

With this guide, learn the benefits of electromagnetic brakes and how they’re useful in manufacturing equipment, from their role in production to how they can be helpful to you. Read on to learn some of the best qualities of electromagnetic brakes.

Benefits of Electromagnetic Brakes

Electromagnetic brakes have a variety of industrial purposes that make it one of the most requested brakes. It provides efficiency by allowing users to operate at optimal speed. If you keep these advantages in mind, you can get the best out of your electromagnetic brakes.

Electrically Activated But Transfer Torque Mechanically

Since electromagnetic brakes produce torque mechanically, they have over twice the power output of an engine. Unlike other brakes, when electromagnetic brakes are engaged, torque becomes more efficient. In such a state, torque can also regain the energy lost when braking.

Also, when designers construct torque, they first consider engagement time. The problem is, torque involves such a short engagement that it will start to lag after a long period. But, designers have come up with a solution: overexcitation. 

Overexcitation supplies a burst of voltage that’s higher than usual. This voltage will generate a faster engagement time. In turn, it can make engagement times long-lasting.

To Stop/ Maintain Power

Electromagnetic brakes stop power from continuing with electronic force. They also use their power to maintain a stopped state. Such a function is crucial in lifting items or transporting them from one place to the next. The spot at which the brake stops allows efficient work to be done. 

For example, in a machinery plant, an electromagnetic brake can stop and hold it’s position while a robot puts an item on its platform. Then that same platform can be transported to the next location. With such efficient braking, you’ll notice an increase in productivity due to it’s fast and smooth transitions.

How Are Electromagnetic Brakes Used in Manufacturing Equipment?

Electromagnetic brakes are featured in a variety of manufacturing equipment, including conveyor belts, copy machines, and food processing machinery. By providing smooth transitions from one place to the next, electromagnetic brakes offer backlash-free operation.

Also, they feature some of the best upgrades in modern cranes. You’ll not only save money but increase your profits due to its effective strategies.

So, How Can Electronmagetic Brakes Help You?

Since electromagnetic brakes power manufacturing equipment, they produce smooth operations. With powerful torque speed, they work to accomplish an end goal. By transporting items, electromagnetic brakes boost your productivity.

They can also save you money and increase your net gain. Unlike other braking systems, electromagnetic brakes don’t lag over time. For more information about braking systems, contact us.

What is Sintered Friction Material?

In an industrial setting where heavy machinery is involved, the right type of brakes could save lives, prevent property losses, and allow your business to run more smoothly.

Whether you’re looking into manufacturing machinery or replacing parts on existing machinery, it’s essential to know about sintered friction material.

Keep reading to learn more about this type of brake, and it’s benefits and applications. As you’ll see, it’s a crucial part of several industries.

What are Sintered Friction Materials?

Sintered friction materials are created with a mixture of non-metallic and metallic powders.


The base of sintered friction brakes typically consists of an iron or copper alloy. This is what the other materials are bonded to under pressure to create a strong brake that can withstand high heat.

Friction Agent

The other part of this braking material is the portion that provides friction. The materials used as friction agents vary depending on the application and offer a range of energy capacity, wear behavior, and costs.

Whatever materials are used, they are cold-compacted when in powder form between 12 and 18 psi. This bonds them to a steel backing along with any other wear-resistant agents and fillers the brakes may contain.

What Applications do Sintered Friction Materials Have?

Next, we’ll take a quick glance at some of the most common commercial applications for sintered friction materials.

Sintered brakes are also now standard on motorcycles and ATV’s.

Benefits of Sintered Friction Material

Now let’s jump into some of the benefits you can gain from using sintered friction material in brakes for industrial equipment and machinery. Knowing what they’re commonly used for, it’s easy to see why they’re used in those applications.

Stable Under Various Conditions

When using heavy machinery, it’s crucial to have a brake pad that’s stable under various temperatures. Braking materials that are unreliable under temperature changes can be dangerous.

For outdoor applications such as locomotives or wind turbines, it’s even more critical to have brakes that work in wet or dry conditions.

Handle High-Heat

The metallic properties of sintered friction materials allow it to withstand a much higher temperature than organic options.

Large pieces of machinery generate more heat when slowing down than smaller ones, which is why it’s essential to have materials that can handle the heat generated by friction.

No Warm-Up Time

Some types of brakes require some time to warm up before they start producing results. When you’re in a situation where you need to stop something large quickly, there’s no time for brakes to warm up.

This is the third significant benefit to sintered friction materials. They don’t require any time to warm up so you can expect them to act as soon as you need them to, making them safer and more effective.

Ready to Place an Order?

Now you know what sintered friction material is and how it’s used in a variety of industrial and other applications.

If your business needs a high-quality brake material that can withstand high temperatures, contact us today. We would love to provide you with a quote and help you get what you need to keep your business moving forward.


3 Reasons Why the Industrial Clutch is Essential

When working with massive industrial machines, even the smallest piece can be a vital part of the overall work process.

A solid and reliable industrial clutch can be a core factor in a well-run setup. Working with industrial equipment without one can be detrimental.

The 3 Core Reasons for an Industrial Clutch

An excellent industrial clutch can come in a wide variety of forms and can work with all manners of machines. The prime purpose of an industrial clutch is to bridge connected machines and shape and control their power and motion.

When operating a large industrial complex, each industrial clutch can and should be providing all 3 of the below core factors.

While not useful all at the same time, each of them provides an efficiency boost and safety net for your employees and hardworking machines.

1. Higher Rates of Control and Speed

Industrial clutches are the lynchpin between machines. They allow for softer stops, smoother transitions of motion and power, and you can tune them for automatic reactions during emergency shifts.

All of these uses allow your industrial setup to run at higher speeds and efficiencies. Clutches act as a proper safety net that keeps your machines protected and operational. 

2. Better Motor Life with Less Pressure

There are a large variety of motors that get used in industrial equipment. No matter the type of motor, powering up a motor takes a bit of energy and strain. This gets worse when you need to build up to rapid cycling conditions.

In a system without an industrial clutch, the motor is in danger. The only way to control the motion of the load, then, is to start and stop the motor. While the motor can work to do this, doing it at a constant rate will wear it down fast.

With an industrial clutch, the motor does not need a constant shifting off and on to control anything. This takes away a lot of pressure on the motor.

3. Protection Within a Power Loss

When working with expensive equipment and high-value loads, you want to make sure you protect yourself at all times in case of emergency. A power loss can cause havoc if you are not prepared.

Industrial clutches are a perfect tool towards ensuring that preparation. In the event of a sudden power loss, your clutch's design allows it to mechanically activate to ensure a slow and safe stop of machinery.

Without this, there can be grinding halts and nasty breaks when things go south.

Safe and Secure Machinery, When You Need It

An industrial clutch is a simple but powerful piece of equipment that turns a running setup from functional to practical. The protection and efficiency they can provide are critical to a well-run setup.

When you need equipment, maintenance, and information on all things industrial, you can turn to Kor-Pak. Contact us today for more details. 

How To Check Industrial Brakes

The industrial brakes on any machine are easily one of the most critical parts of your equipment. You need the brakes to make sure the machine slows down or stops when those commands are required.

That being the case, if you don’t know when or how to check your brakes, you could end up experiencing a lot of problems in your place of work. It may even cost you a lot of money on repairs.

Obviously, you don’t want to have to go through all of that. The good news is that you don’t have to. With these simple techniques, you can learn how to check industrial brakes and keep your machines in pristine condition.

Read on to learn what it takes.

1. How to Check Industrial Brakes: Safety First

Before you check your brakes, you need to make sure your own safety is good to go. Otherwise, your machine won’t be the only thing that needs to be fixed.

Make sure that anything that powers the system is locked down or powered off. With electrical systems, that means you need to cut off the current that powers the machine to eliminate the chances of starting it up on accident.

All holds and fastenings should also be in place before you begin. Each machine works differently, so check with the user manual, so you know where to go.

2. Check the Hydraulic Oil

Everyone knows that when it comes to heavy-duty machines, the hydraulic oil is its lifeblood. That said, one of the first things you should check is the oil that powers the brakes.

If you believe that you’re experiencing problems with the brakes, take a look at the hydraulic oil levels in the machine. There’s an excellent chance that they may be low and need to be refilled.

The good news is that it doesn’t take much to make it happen. Buy the correct grade of hydraulic fluid (each machine has its own grade) and add the oil you need. Your equipment should be back up and running in no time.

3. Check Through the Mechanical Things

If the hydraulic oil didn’t do the job, it’s got to be a hardware problem. These aren’t as quick of a fix, but by finding out where the problem lies, you can make it a lot faster to get to the bottom of things.

Start your troubleshooting by knowing all the hardware parts of the brakes. Piston bolts, chain sprockets, and guides are just a few of the parts that you’ll find on generally any industrial machine and are the most likely to be the problem.

Once you locate the problem, most repairs are pretty straightforward when working on the brakes. Buy your part(s) and have them installed so that your machine can get back to work!

For All Your Industrial Needs

Now that you know how to check industrial brakes, you’ll want to know where to go if it’s time to replace them. Luckily for you, you won’t have to look any further.

Kor-Pak Corporation is dedicated to giving you and your company the best tools and services for the best price. We work in several different industries and sell industrial brakes, crane wheels, oil rig equipment, rail parts, and much more.

Give us a call whenever you’re ready to get the tools that you need. We look forward to serving you!


Your Guide To Industrial Brake Parts

The history of brakes is long. Over the decades, brake systems have been upgraded and changed many times to meet the new and demanding requirements of ever-evolving vehicles and road systems. 

Industrial brake parts and systems can be slightly more complicated than your regular old car system, but the necessary components remain the same across the board.

If you’re looking to educate yourself on essential industrial brake parts, keep reading! 

Industrial Brake Parts

Regardless of the type of brake system you have – industrial vs. standard, disk vs. drum – some components span the differences. Here’s a quick and easy break down of the individual parts that make up your industrial brake system: 

The Brake Pedal

The pedal is the portion of the brake system that is located inside the vehicle. 

When you apply the brake pedal, you activate the master cylinder.

The Master Cylinder

The master cylinder is a plunger. When you press the brake lever, you force brake fluid from the master cylinder into the brake line. 

When you release the brake pedal, the cylinder deactivates and returns to simply storing brake fluid until you press the pedal again. 

The Brake Lines

Your brake lines are usually made out of metal. They carry the brake fluid from the master cylinder down to your wheels.

The Rotors or Drums

Depending on whether your industrial equipment has disc or drum brakes, you will have either rotors or drums behind your wheels.

The rotors or drums are the part that the brake pad is one half of the friction interaction that stops your car. The brake pads rub against either the rotors or the drum to create enough friction to slow and stop your equipment.

The Brake Pads

The brake pads are the other side of the friction equation. The pads rub against the drums or rotors. They are made of composite materials, which gives them longevity over thousands of miles of driving. 

The Wheel Cylinders

As the brake fluid flows into the wheel portion of the brake system, the wheel cylinders are filled with fluid. The fluid either squeezes the disc brake pads inward or pushes the drum brake pads apart, depending on your system.

As the pads are pushed together or apart, they rub against either the rotors or drums, causing the industrial equipment to stop. 

Know Your Industrial Brake Parts

Although most industrial brake systems are either drum or disc brakes, other system types may have slightly more nuanced industrial brake parts. For instance, your crane may have storm or rail brakes

Now that you know all the parts of your brake system, you can more easily describe maintenance issues or pick repair parts. 

If you’re looking for more information on brake systems, or need to talk to a professional about repairs, contact us today!


How Water-Cooled Brakes Work in Your Industrial Equipment

You need brakes that work for your machine.

The problem is that traditional disc brakes experience a great deal of pressure which can overwhelm the system.

This is where water-cooled brakes can make all the difference between a job done right and a bevy of technical difficulties.

Here’s what water-cooled brakes are, how they work, and when you need to use them in your industrial machinery.

What are Water-Cooled Brakes?

Water-cooled brakes consist of a central and stationary cooling plate. This plate has an internal chamber responsible for circulating coolant. There are also multiple cast-iron sectors mounted on opposite sides of the disc. The plate and iron sectors are typically divided by insulation layers.

They’re similar in principle to wet brakes, which use oil to keep the machine cool (especially in heaving braking applications).

The alternative is dry brakes, which are typically a single drum system which heats up once put under pressure.

How Do They Work?

Let’s say you’re using a machine and press down on the brake. There are different cooling systems your machine might use, but it generally works like this.

When you press down on the brake, this generates heat from friction. If left alone, the heat buildup from friction could put the whole system under extreme pressure and cause a mechanical breakdown.

The cast-iron sectors have enough thermal capacity to retain some of the heat generated by braking for a while. The task of conducting it out of the brake system lies with the water, which is used as a coolant liquid.

The heat is transferred to the water at a rate determined by the thermal conductivity of the insulative layers.

When Water-Cooled Brakes are Necessary

Knowing how brakes work, the question becomes when you might need water-cooled brakes over dry brakes.

Water-cooled brakes are most helpful when there isn’t enough space to create sufficient airflow needed for dry brakes to function optimally. They’re also useful in machinery that needs better heat conduction than air can offer.

This is most often seen in industrial machinery.

Within heavy machinery, these brakes are used in a variety of industries, such as drillers, tensioners for unwind stands, winches and mooring systems, and in yarders in the forestry industry.

Do You Need Water-Cooled Brakes?

The advantage of water-cooled brakes comes down to physics.

Air is ultimately a poor cooling medium–its density is too low, and the rate of heat transfer is too slow to work for heavy machinery, which generates too much heat and force in the course of normal use to make dry brakes practical.

Water-cooled brakes overcome this limitation. This way, you can stop worrying about mechanical failures and focus on the job at hand with a fully functional machine.

If you need to upgrade your machinery to make the most of your work time, we can help. We offer comprehensive services for industrial machinery, including modernizations, upgrades, repairs, and custom machining and fabrication.

If you need to request a quote, use our contact page to get in touch.

An Engineer’s Conundrum: Do You Use Drum Brakes, Disc Brakes, or Storm and Rail Brakes?

When choosing which types of drum brakes to use, you want to be informed. Your safety and investments depend on it. The importance of brakes doesn’t need to be overstated.

From storm and rail to disc and drum brakes, read on to learn which set of brakes fit your current situation. You’ll thank yourself later.

The Difference Between Types of Drum Brakes, Disc Brakes, and Storm and Rail Brakes

When trying to stop a train, truck, or other forms of heavy machinery, you want to be sure that your brakes are dependable. I mean, think of the sort of friction created by a 7000 horsepower piece of machinery trying to stop.

  • Drum Brakes- Brakes that utilize friction by pressing a group of pads outwardly against a cylindrical rotating part called a brake drum.
  • Disc Brakes-Similar to a bike brake except brake pads squeeze rotating disc inside wheel. Force is transmitted hydraulically instead of through a cable.
  • Storm and Rail Brakes-Similar to drum and disc brakes, only these brakes are not usually used for stopping or slowing down. They are primarily used for locking things.

Industrial brakes should be tailored to your specific application.

Why Choose Drum Brakes?

I know what you may be thinking, why wouldn’t I just go with disc brakes? They’re better. You wouldn’t be wrong in stating that disc brakes perform better and last longer on average.

However, in the case of industrial brakes for heavy machinery, you don’t need the most hi-tech option. You need something dependable and cost-efficient. Different types of drum brakes offer you just that.

After all, you’re already spending a ton of money on the machinery itself.

You’re not cutting corners with drum brakes, either. Five years, ago federal authorities updated stopping-distance restrictions for heavy tractors. There was talk that this would finally initiate the conversion from drum brakes to disc.

Not the case.

Drum brakes have drastically improved their performance and dependability by expanding their size.

In 2015, 90% of heavy truck buyers opted for drum brakes.

There’s also an added expense to disc brake maintenance that adds to the appeal of drum brakes.

If you’re looking at a standard operation, drum brakes are your best bet. But you have to buy the right set. If you are dealing with operations that require higher safety precautions, I would consider disc brakes.

Why Choose Disc Brakes?  

Drum brakes are great for the average operation because of their cost-effectiveness. Disc brakes are still superior in performance and maintenance.

Disc brakes last longer than drum brakes. They are also easier to repair. Because of this, they offer a viable option for companies who know they are transporting large amounts of goods over long periods.

They are perfect for tankers, freighters, and heavy-duty vehicles transporting hazardous materials.   

Certain industrial applications require a little more assurance and thus, a bit more expense than drum brakes.

Why Choose Storm and Rail Brakes?

While drum brakes and disc brakes are industry standards and have a wide range of applicability, storm, and rail brakes have a niche position. Their place is just as important.

These brakes are ideal for large cranes and other equipment that needs to be locked in position for long periods.

The Type of Brake You Use Depends on the Job you Do

Choosing a brake system is no easy task. You have to weigh in the potential long term and short term effects of your decision.

Certain types of drum brakes are great if you’re dealing with a standard operation in which the risks aren’t too high. Disc brakes are great for the long haul. Storm and rail breaks have a specific job.

Make sure your decision is an informed one!