NASHVILLE, TN. TMD Friction made two announcements this week at the Technology and Maintenance Council’s annual meeting here, adding a new brake reline program and a new air disc brake friction material.

The first is a new engineering program designed to assist fleets in reducing brake reline costs. The Textar Fleet Assistance customer support program aims to reduce fleet maintenance costs by “pushing” brake relines out of the vehicle’s lifecycle. 

According to TMD, the program includes direct communication to TMD engineers to help fleet maintenance managers analyze their brake lifecycles and costs, select the appropriate friction for each application and answer other brake questions.  Free, custom made lining wear gauges for both drum and disc brakes for any fleet are included using Textar products.

“Brake relines are one of the highest maintenance costs a fleet experiences and there is limited technical guidance out there to assist a fleet in making the optimal lining selection,” said Tom Green, managing director. “The Textar Fleet Assistance program has been developed to help fleets determine the different duty cycles within their fleet and select the appropriate grade of friction to minimize the maintenance expenses over the life of their vehicles.”

The program starts when the fleet manager fills out an information sheet that breaks down the fleet’s vehicle population into smaller “mini-fleets” that might have different brake lifecycles. Examples of mini-fleets could be tractors versus trailers, or long haul sleeper tractors versus short haul day cabs, or flatbed trailers versus van trailers.

TMD engineers will use the information to calculate if life improvement from Textar linings would push relines out of the lifecycles of each mini-fleet and how many total relines would be saved.  These calculations are based on extensive wear testing of aftermarket linings on specialized TMD laboratory dynamometers. 

TMD also introduced a new air disc brake friction material at the show.

The Textar 3080 is engineered for applications where high torque levels are required to meet the FMVSS121 stopping distance regulations.

In dynamometer wear tests, two air disc friction materials with different effective coefficients of friction were tested by TMD. Results showed that with a higher effective coefficient of friction (0.38) the pad wears anywhere from 40% to 80% more than the lower friction pad (0.28).

The Textar T3080 air disc brake pad is the first of a new generation of low copper friction materials from TMD that are compliant to the upcoming 2014 and 2021 Environmental Regulations in the states of Washington and California, the company said.