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A Guide to Custom Brake Shoes and Pads for High-Speed Rail Applications

Newer braking systems are in place to ensure the safety of people and freight with the advent of high-speed rail.

A strict policy of systems maintenance and replacement is necessary. Passenger and freight safety require it at the higher speeds. Regenerative braking is added to the standard automated pneumatic brake. This results in shorter braking distances.

When speeds are high, the energy of pneumatic braking is dissipated as heat. High heat applications require specialized custom brake shoes and parts. Read on for a quick rundown.

High-Speed Train Braking Systems

The high energy values of braking at high traffic speeds wear brake linings and discs far more than conventional rail speeds. High-speed trains use dynamic brakes. They don’t rely on direct friction force in combination with automated pneumatic brakes.

The electric brakes redirect high braking forces into the rail or stored for regenerative use. This includes dynamic and recuperative braking, eddy-current brakes, or hydro-dynamic brakes, etc. The high energy values of braking at high traffic speeds wear brake linings and discs far more than conventional rail speeds.

Remaining energy is absorbed by the conventional friction braking system and dissipated as heat. Technical specifications for different rail cars require brake shoes adjusted to each car. Custom brake shoes appropriate to the type of wear, speed, and conditions of use reduce the need to disassemble and change brakes frequently.

Custom Brake Shoes and Pads

Specifications for passenger cars detail the amount of air gap and brake pad that must remain. The technical documents also detail certain brands or their equivalent. Performance of brake disc pads must be suitable for the speeds,

duty, and performance.

Brake shoes must also be suitable for the speed, duty, and performance expected. Composition brake shoes 2 inches thick and of a size and type in general use are specified. Custom brake shoes of the appropriate thermal resistance will improve wear.

Freight and passenger applications require different types of shoes. Let one of our representatives walk you through low and high friction applications as well as tread conditioning shoes.

Right Products for Your Application

Kor-Pak has a large selection of friction materials to meet the requirements of almost any rail application. Kor-Pak meets the requirements of several major rail companies worldwide. High-performance parts such as equalizer seats, vertical liners, center plates, and various wear pads are part of the portfolio.

Kor-Pak carries Rigid Molded Friction Products and Phenolic Laminate Materials. We can make parts to meet almost all specifications and dimensions, including

  • Stainless steel wear plates
  • Custom brake shoes/pads for both high-speed and light rail applications
  • Snubbers for both new and old locomotives.
  • Wear pads for freight and passenger cars

We have experts on light rail and high-speed rail applications to assist you in choosing the right materials and meeting the right specs for your custom brake shoes and pads. Contact us today for more information.

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