LUXEMBOURG/LEVERKUSEN Plans for the
introduction of more stringent CO2 emission limits present a real
challenge for the automotive parts industry. Research and development
experts are continually called upon to design and develop lightweight
solutions to support the reduction of fuel consumption through
decreasing vehicle weight. Now, TMD Friction
has developed what it believes to be a first for the brake friction industry to address these challenges.
The latest addition to the “TMD Friction Light Technology” family is a
new lightweight brake pad for commercial vehicles is exclusively
available from TMD Friction. Developed together with a strategic partner
in the backing plate manufacturing industry, this new product
represents the potential for a total weight-savings of up to 7.5
kilograms per vehicle (combination of truck and trailer), according to
TMD says the product reduces component wear on the axle and brake system
due to the reduced “unsprung mass” and reduced CO2 emissions.
Alternatively, a higher payload can be achieved, the company says.
As a safety-critical component, the brake pad plays a very important
role in the everyday safe operation of both heavy and light vehicles.
The braking power required to decelerate a vehicle is several times
greater than the actual engine power output. For example, when a fully
loaded 40-ton truck brakes from 80 km/h to a standstill, the brakes
convert energy corresponding to approximately 3,650 HP. To achieve
weight reduction in safety critical components while meeting such high
mechanical and thermal loads represents a very significant challenge for
At TMD Friction, development engineers have been able to meet this
challenge by designing a unique mechanical connection between friction
material and backing plate. In the lightweight pad development the
reduced thickness of the optimized stamped steel plate is compensated
for by a thicker connective material layer, resulting in a pad with
unchanged total thickness and no fitment compatibility issues.