Drum Brake Parts: How Do They Work

Drum brakes are big business in the world of mass-production and heavy industry. The global market for this type of brake is set to surpass $3.5 billion in value by 2026. That’s good news for fans of these time-tested machinery components.

We all know drum brakes are still used in the automobile industry, but did you know they also have a far wider range of applications? Read on to understand the basics of drum brake parts and how you can put them to use in your manufacturing business.

Drum Brake Parts Basics

Unlike the more commonly-used disc brakes, which apply friction by clamping down on an object from the outside, drums use their stopping power from the inside. As a result, fluid fills a cylinder which pushes two shoes outwards.

It’s a relatively straightforward process, but there’s a little more going on below the surface.

The Drum

This is perhaps the most important part of drum brakes. The drum stands at the wheel’s center, bolted to the hub, rotating in time with the axle. The drum houses all other components of the brake.

Drums are usually made from a heat and water-resistant form of cast iron and provide a rugged shell for all the intricate components inside. The drum can stand up to a lot of wear and tear, with an average lifespan of around 150,000 to 200,000 miles. That’s a lot of rotations!

Backing Plate

Another critical brake element is the backing plate, which helps to shore up the drum. It provides a solid core at the back of the drum and helps to protect the rest of the braking system from damage.

Since it rubs up against the wheel and absorbs torque, this part is sometimes called the torque plate. 

Brake Shoe

The shoe is arguably the most critical part of the brake. It pushes out to the wheel, applying friction and eventually causing it to stop. 

It is made from two welded steel pieces operated by pistons pushing out from the drum. The shoe is lined with brake lining on its outer curve, providing the optimum level of friction.

Wheel Cylinder

The cylinder’s job is to push the shoe outwards. Operated by pistons at either side, it forces the shoes outwards, causing them to make friction with the edge of the drum.

Return Springs

Once the braking process is over, those shoes have to retract and take their pressure off the wheel. That’s where the return springs come in, pulling the shoes back to base when their job is done.

Self Adjuster

All braking systems rely on friction. So, it only follows that the whole system will break down if the shoe doesn’t make contact with the drum.

The self-adjuster allows the shoe to adjust as the lining deteriorates. The adjuster will push out further and ensure they make contact. The best drum brakes all offer this feature. 

Quality Components Whatever Your Needs

Whatever you’re looking for in your business, you can rely on us as your provider. We’ve been in the industry for years and understand the importance of quality industrial equipment, including drum brake parts.

Whatever you’re looking for, get in touch with Kor-Pak today for all your business needs.

Posted in Industrial Brakes and Clutches.