Fras-le expands brake lineup

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Fras-le has expanded its lineup of hydraulic brake pads and added a new value-priced friction material called durbloc into the mix.

Pins and other features in a related MRS (Mechanical Retention System) have been designed to help keep water from getting behind the friction material and pulling things loose, adds Bob Harrison, senior vice-president of sales and marketing.

Resistance to corrosion is an important feature in locales that use particularly damaging de-icing compounds, he says. “It’s really down to what’s the slurry and what’s the mix.”

The latest hydraulic braking products will support medium-duty vehicles such as the Ford 650 and 750, and International’s CV Series, produced in a joint venture with Chevrolet.

Medium-duty trucks often don’t reach the temperatures that can help to burn away the corrosive compounds, Harrison adds.

Magnum Pro products, designed for medium-duty vehicles like tow trucks, and Extreme Service products for applications like recycling vehicles, have both been repackaged. They come with related hardware kits, too.

Winter testing of Fras-le’s copper-free GRN Tech pads is currently underway, following experience on proving grounds in Brazil, as the company looks to ensure there is no concern about rotor wear when the copper is removed. The N-type friction material promises increased braking power while delivering rotor and pad durability.

The move to eliminate copper from friction material began in California and Washington State, but it is becoming the de facto standard across North America, Harrison says. Allowable levels of copper will be capped at 5% in 2021, and brakes essentially have to be copper-free by 2025. The company expects European standards to follow suit.

There are more products to come.

This October Fras-le acquired Fremax – a maker of discs, drums and wheel hubs — which will soon produce premium rotors for medium-duty and heavy-duty vehicles in North America, says Anderson Pontalti, managing director of Fras-Le.

The manufacturer continues to expand a global presence that already reaches from Brazil to China. There is a “huge opportunity” for a Chinese manufacturing operation to make products for that country, he says.

Recently imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum have had a limited impact on the company’s supply chain in North America, Pontalti adds. Eighty-five percent of related production is in Alabama.








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John G. Smith is the editorial director of Newcom Media's trucking and supply chain publications -- including Today's Trucking,, TruckTech, Transport Routier, and Road Today. The award-winning journalist has covered the trucking industry since 1995.

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