Once upon a time, brake linings were made out of asbestos. Asbestos is a natural substance made of silicate minerals. It is heat resistant and provides excellent insulation. However, it is very harmful to humans.
Asbestos fibers cannot break down. So, if asbestos is inhaled or consumed, it damages the body over time leading to inflammation, scarring, diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and cancer.
Luckily, today we have safe alternatives.
Non-asbestos, also called organic, brake linings on today’s market are made of various safe and natural materials including rubber, resin, Kevlar, and glass. There is little metal in non-asbestos brake linings which makes them less durable but quieter than metallic linings. Plus, they are not harmful to the environment.
Semi-metallic brake linings are made of up to 65% metals. They contain a mixture of metals, usually including brass, copper, iron, or steel. They also contain fillers and graphite lubricant.
Semi-metallic linings are the most durable. They will last longer than non-asbestos and can be more efficient than other types of brake materials. This is because the metallic composition helps remove heat from the rotor.
While they’re highly affordable, the downside to semi-metallic brake linings is they are noisier and create dust.
Ceramic brake linings are just as the name entails. They are made of ceramic, similar to pottery, and added copper fibers. They are the newest type of brake pads and used in most new high-performance vehicles.
Ceramic brake linings are lightweight and prevent metal-to-metal wear. They are the longest lasting, quietest (you can’t hear a thing), and the dust does not stick to the wheels or vehicle. They are easy on the rotor, too.
All of the benefits and novelty of ceramic brake linings make them the most expensive option on the market.
Deciding which type of brake linings materials is best for you will depend on your machinery needs and budget. Each variety of brake linings has its pros and cons. Think about your environment, machine, use, and longevity to help you decide.
Clean and quiet brake linings may not have as much bite in cold temperatures. More powerful brake linings may mean cleaning the brake dust every week.
Do you need brake linings that will hold up under a wide range of temperatures or have a high thermal threshold? If so, then semi-metallic may be the way to go.
Or does heat not matter and you’re looking for the most extended life-span? Then perhaps ceramic linings.
At Baiyun, we have all your industrial brake accessory needs, including brake linings materials. We also offer equipment installation and repair services.