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LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Webb Wheel Products has developed a platinum brake drum with new material they claim delivers extended life through low wear, resistance to heat checking and exceptional strength.

The Platinum Series brake drum is a blend of two different technologies, explained Paul Levering, vice president of sales and marketing for Webb. Waupaca Foundry was working with NASCAR to improve brake technology. At the same time Webb was working with compacted graphite iron. The compacted graphite iron offered the strength Webb was looking for in creating a new product but not the heat transfer properties. By combining the two technologies Webb developed its Platinum Series of brake drums and considers this combination unique enough that it is applying for a patent.

According to Levering, laboratory testing confirmed that the high heat transfer properties of the material combined with the high strength makes for a lightweight brake that exceeds the performance of standard brake drums. The testing included a burnish and brake retardation test, a brake lining wear test, and a dynamometer drag test. The Platinum Series surpassed the performance of full-cast and steel-shell drums on all three tests, Levering said.

The Platinum Series drum for the drive and trailer position has the same mounting flange thickness as a steel-shelled brake drum yet at 88 pounds it weighs six pounds less. The drum for the steer position weighs 55 pounds, which is 12 pounds less than the steel shell.

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