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Air disc brake promises to weigh less

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems has found a way to decrease the weight of its air disc brake w...


LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems has found a way to decrease the weight of its air disc brake without compromising performance and reliability.

The North American version of the brake, ADB 225, will make its way to the market weighing 30 pounds less per wheel end compared to current European technology.

“Today’s air disc brakes are dramatically improved over earlier versions where weight, cost and balance issues prohibited them from being a compelling option,” says Ron Bailey, technical sales manager for Bendix.

“What’s more, the performance of the new air disc brake is far superior to the S-Cam drum brake alternative – stopping 26 per cent shorter than drum brakes and exceeding the current National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) stopping distance requirements by 39 per cent on a 6 x 4 tractor.”

The ADB 225 is designed for 22.5-inch wheels and will fit in a 24.5-inch measurement as well. The new system already exceeds NHTSA’s nine-step program recommendations for a 30 per cent improvement in stopping distance by 2007.

Test results released by Bendix showed its air disc brakes ranked superior to S-Cam brakes in three “extreme” testing scenarios – mountain fade testing, off-ramp simulation and maximum pedal effort stop.

Bailey explained the ADB 225 has a streamlined design, a more efficient force multiplier, less than 10 per cent hysterisis and works well in combination with drum brakes and ABS.

Praxair has jumped on the bandwagon to the future and has chosen Bendix to provide air disc brakes for evaluation on a regular fleet service vehicle. One of its Freightliner tractors and a Hendrickson trailer undercarriage will be equipped with Bendix’s SB7000, the latest in European-designed air disc brakes.

Praxair’s transition to the ADB 225 will take place in the second quarter. Praxair’s drivers will evaluate several performance variables including stopping capability, controllability, life and maintenance issues.

Air disc brakes have been found to offer a number of advantages including less heat transfer to the hub and wheel bearings, improved pad life, quicker brake response, uniform braking force and reduced maintenance time.


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