Hydraulic vs Mechanical Disc Brakes: Your Questions Answered

Brakes come in many varieties and sizes, each with its own purpose. Out of the two most common brake types, hydraulic vs. mechanical disc brakes, which one is best? What is the difference between the two, and what purpose do they serve?

If you’ve come to this article seeking answers to these questions, then you’ve come to the right place. All of these questions (and more) are answered in the below.

Hydraulic vs. Mechanical Disc Brakes

In this section, you’ll find out the difference between hydraulic and mechanical brakes. Read on to find out more.

What’s the Difference?

Hydraulic brakes are better at coming to a complete stop than mechanical brakes, are cheaper, and save more space than other brake types.

Efficiency means that hydraulic discs dissipate heat well. This translates into a long life span for hydraulic brakes. When all of this comes together, it means that hydraulic brakes end up being safer than other brakes.

Hydraulic brakes are easy to repair because of readily available parts and because of their sealed-off closed system. This means that hydraulic brakes only lose brake fluid when the brake is malfunctioning.

Hydraulic brakes are also easier to inspect than mechanical brakes because there is no need to remove the wheels.

Mechanical brakes are significantly less durable than hydraulic brakes because they rely on fiction alone to stop vehicles. The durability of mechanical brakes depends on the strength of the friction-like material used in the pad or shoe of the brake.

Hydraulic brakes may be easy to fix, but that doesn’t mean that mechanical brakes aren’t easy to fix as well. Mechanical brakes are easier to set up and maintain and are more cost-effective than hydraulic brakes.

Also known as drum brakes, these brakes are known to brake fade, which is when you lose braking power due to the heating up of the brake system. Modern vehicles still utilize this older braking system, although they are (for the most part) found in the rear wheels.

Which Brake is Better?

Each brake serves its purpose in the real world.

Hydraulic brakes are most commonly found in vehicles, which often require a specific fluid to allow them to run correctly. High-pressure breaking is where hydraulic brakes excel, assuming the hydraulic system that powers them is operating correctly.

Mechanical brakes, on the other hand, do not require a power supply or system to run. A simple lever is usually what powers a mechanical brake, meaning they are quite basic. Parking brakes are an excellent example of a mechanical brake.

You Decide…

Hydraulic vs. mechanical disc brakes may sound complicated, but hopefully, this article has made it easier to understand what they are and what they do.

If you’d like a one-stop place for all the industrial solutions that you or your company require, then make sure to check us out.

How to Choose a Clutch That’s Right for Your Machine

In simple terms, a clutch is a mechanical device connected to two or more rotational shafts. When the clutch is engaged, power is transferred from the engine to the wheels.

Choosing the right clutch for your machine is essential in terms of saving you time and money. You cannot afford to have your heavy machinery break down because the clutch isn’t up to the job.

To make the right choice, it helps to know what the different components are and how they work together to affect performance. Keep reading to learn more.

Components of a Clutch

There are several clutch components, the largest parts being:

  • Flywheel
  • Clutch disc
  • Pressure plate

Springs, release levers, covers, bearings, and pins are also used to make up the complete clutch assembly.

The Flywheel

The flywheel stores rotational energy and when the clutch pedal is pressed it provides inertia to allow continuous rotation.

Clutch Disc

This is the part that gets the most wear and tear because it absorbs the load when engaged. There are two types of clutch disc; sprung hub and solid hub.

Pressure Plate

The pressure plate is another hard working part. It forces the clutch disc against the flywheel via springs when the clutch pedal is engaged.

Clutch Disc Material

This part is more likely to wear first, so it makes sense to choose the correct material for the application.

A solid hub clutch disc is primarily used for high capacity engines, such as racing. These hi-performance clutches have heavy-duty springs to absorb the load caused by the higher engine capacity.

Most other applications use a sprung hub clutch disc. It is designed to absorb and spread shock on initial engagement and throughout its use.

Materials used for discs include, organic, Sintered iron and Kevlar. Organic materials are present in most stock clutch discs.

Sintered iron is used for its non-slippage ability.  It can withstand extremely high temperatures, so it’s good for applications that require dynamic stopping. It can also be resurfaced if slippage becomes a problem.

A Kevlar clutch has a higher friction force, but this can result in rougher engagement and some vibration in low gears. That said, it is an incredibly hard-wearing material.

Torque and Response Time

The job of a clutch is to transmit torque without slippage. The heavier the load, the more likely slippage can occur. This is what causes wear and tear.

Response time is how long it takes the load to reach a specified time.

There are several factors affecting torque and response time.

Depending on the application, full torque during acceleration may or may not be needed.

The ability to disperse heat is also crucial and affects every instance of clutch engagement.

Buying a Clutch

Now you know what goes into choosing the right clutch for your machinery. Of course, you want to get it right the very first time.

That’s where we can help. We’re experts in all kinds of industrial clutches. We can advise you on size, torque, style, and application.

If you need to buy a clutch, get in contact today.

Your Guide To Dynamic Resistors

Trains and the locomotives pulling them can weigh anywhere from 40 tons to 500 tons depending on the number of axles. And, as you can imagine, the heavier the train, the harder it is to slow it down.

It takes massive amounts of energy to slow down a heavy mechanical system.

Before dynamic braking systems, we used to apply mechanical force manually. Someone would run down to the end of each car and turn a wheel applying the brakes. This often didn’t work fast enough, and trains crashed.

Primarily since the advent of the diesel engine, we use more reliable systems to slow down mechanical systems.

Trains might be the most common example, but you’ll find dynamic braking systems in elevators and cranes too.

To help these systems to operate quickly, smoothly, and efficiently, engineers created dynamic resistors. Without resistors, these systems would be clunky and possibly dangerous.

Here are the various features and specifications of this all-important braking component.

1. What Does a Dynamic Resistor Do?  

There are two kinds of dynamic resistors. One is rheostatic or dissipating, and the other is regenerative.

Dissipating braking resistors essentially recycle kinetic energy and turn it into electrical energy. The energy in the case of trains comes in the form of heat.

This energy returns to the supply line where it overloads the circuit and slows down the mechanical system. This is a lot like using your manual transmission to help slow your car down a steep grade.

If the resistor is rheostatic, its main function is to cool the braking system. But even these resistors can become overheated forcing operators to revert to mechanical systems.

Often dynamic braking systems use both kinds of resistors.

Unfortunately, dynamic braking isn’t sufficient on its own to slow down a massive train. Most systems combine dynamic brakes with air brakes.

2. What Are the Advantages of Dynamic Braking?

Friction braking systems do work. On their own, they can stop a train. But on a steep grade, they’re less reliable.

The other problem with friction systems: they wear down faster.

Just like car brakes, mechanical brakes on a train eventually wear down. When adding the extra force from dynamic motors, you extend the life of the friction braking system.

Speed. That’s the most significant advantage of adding electrical braking to your system.

You slow down faster. But this also means you can push your train to go faster.

The second most significant advantage is cost. Not only will you use less energy to slow down the train, but you also won’t have to replace components like brake shoes.

Lastly, because you’re converting heat energy into electrical energy or dissipating heat through resistors, there is less chance of fire or failure. Mechanical brake systems cause too much heat when not assisted. This means your brakes are more likely to fail.

Dynamic Resistors Are Important

Dynamic resistors are incredibly crucial in train operation. You won’t likely find a contemporary locomotive without this kind of braking system installed.

If you’re in the market for rail parts, check out our store.

What You Need To Know About Dynamic Braking

To say that trains are large is a bit of an understatement. Everyone knows this, but what most people don’t know is that the average train weighs between 100 and 200 tons and generates 6000 to 7000 horsepower. ‘Large’ doesn’t even begin to cover it!

Are you stumped when trying to purchase parts to resupply a train? Or are you renovating one of these metal beasts?

You probably want some tips on how to generate enough force to power it. That’s where dynamic braking comes in.

Here, we’re going to tell you about dynamic braking and how it can work for you!

What Is Dynamic Braking?

Before you can learn how dynamic braking helps the train work, it’s first essential to understand what it is. Even though trains have been improving over the decades, dynamic braking has been constant throughout time. That’s how you know it’s a tried-and-true method!

The traction motors in the train are what slow it down and bring it to a stop. It doesn’t use any additional electricity to make the train stop, which is excellent for both utility and simplicity. Plus, the train can stop this way—no matter what speed it’s going or traction it has!

How Does It Work?

Trains use electricity to move along the tracks, and the conductor controls how the electricity works. For dynamic braking, the conductor pulls a lever that makes the electricity in the train distribute into the traction motors more. This helps control the heavy train when it slows down.

Dynamic braking is really safe for this reason. There’s a lot of control in where the train goes and how slowly and safely its stops are. Because of this, the train will not stop so abruptly or quickly as to injure someone or destroy goods in transit.

Click here to check out great prices and variety on the parts that will make dynamic braking possible.

Braking And Your Engine

The main engine in the popular Diesel locomotive is a cylindrical two-stroke engine. These are 760 cubic inches in volume, so a lot is going on in these monstrosities.

This generates a ton of power, of course, but the thing that makes it even more significant than it sounds? This is only one small part of the full engine.

As you can imagine, these engines are powerhouses. With 3200 horsepower, you can’t go wrong. This makes dynamic braking even better. More energy output from the train leads to greater control over its brakes!

Hit The Brakes!

Dynamic braking is a safe and easy way to make a train slow down and stop at the pace it’s supposed to. It’s also efficient because it redistributes the electricity that’s already in the train.

Now that you know all about how dynamic braking works visit our contact page to learn how you can implement this knowledge effectively in locomotive renovations.

All aboard!

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.