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TMD introduces new disc brake friction material, launches program to reduce relining costs

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- TMD Friction has rolled out a new program it says will help fleets reduce brake reline costs.

TMD has a new disc brake friction material.
TMD has a new disc brake friction material.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — TMD Friction has rolled out a new program it says will help fleets reduce brake reline costs.

The Textar Fleet Assistance Program provides a direct line of communication to TMD engineers, who will offer expertise on life-cycle costs and help fleets select the appropriate reline friction material.

Also offered are free, custom-made gauges for drum and disc brakes, which fleets using Textar products can use to analyze their relining requirements. The program, offered in Canada as well as the US, was announced at the Technology & Maintenance Council meetings here last week.

“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, TMD maintenance 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.”

Jim Clark, director of engineering with TMD, added “If a single brake reline can be eliminated from a vehicle’s brake life cycle, then the small added cost of a premium brake re-line kit is easily justified. Fleets may have other questions TMD engineers can help with as well, including the new stopping distance rules, new products like disc brakes, and old problems still lurking around like brake balance.”

To enroll in the program, a fleet manager can fill out an information sheet that breaks its vehicle fleet down into smaller “mini-fleets” which are likely to have different brake life cycles (ie. tractors vs trailers, long-haul sleeper tractors vs day cabs). TMD engineers then use fleet information to calculate if life improvement from Textar linings can help push relines out of the life-cycles of each mini-fleet, and how many total relines would be saved. The calculations are based on extensive wear testing of aftermarket linings, the company announced.

“If a fleet will try Textar products as part of the program, TMD will supply free lining wear gauges that have been customized to the fleet’s brake life cycles. With these gauges, mechanics can avoid wasted linings that result when a lining is removed prematurely because the mechanic is not sure it will make it to the next inspection,” explained Clark.  To enroll in the program, e-mail

Also introduced at TMC was a new air disc brake friction material for heavy-duty applications.

The Textar T3080 friction material was designed to comply with new stopping distance requirements and the extreme torque generated by new heavy-duty trucks. It rounds out Textar’s line of four air disc brake friction materials.

TMD’s Clark said the advantages of offering multiple friction materials are obvious.

“You don’t have to look far to find examples of multiple levels of brake lining friction to optimize brake life. Current drum brake linings on North American commercial vehicles have three distinct friction levels that rate at 20,000 lbs., 23,000 lbs., and the higher GAWRs,” Clark explained. “While the formulation, quality, and consistency of any friction material product has a lot to do with its wear properties, a basic rule of friction science simply states, ‘the lower the friction, the longer the life of the friction material’. This also applies to the rotor. The lower the friction of the disc pad material, the longer the rotor will last. Besides improved life, having multiple friction levels is the best way to address brake balance problems the disc brake faces when mated to drum brakes. We have already seen disc/drum brake compatibility as an issue in working with several large fleets.”

TMD said fleets using its latest friction material for air disc brakes will see longer life and improved performance.

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