Fleet FAQ

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Q. How should fleets consider as OEM suppliers work towards copper-free brakes?


Drum brakes and air disc brakes perform differently.
The Copper-Free Brake Initiative applies to both drum and disc brakes; however, in contrast to ADB systems, drum brakes have a larger brake lining surface contact area, which means drum brakes generally operate at lower temperatures than disc brakes. This makes it more feasible for drum brake linings to be produced with little to no copper. All of Hendrickson’s current trailer drum brake offerings already meet 2025 requirements for the Copper-Free Brake Initiative.

Be Aware.
Do not assume that copper-free or copper-reduced alternatives in the near-term will result in equivalent performance of today’s ADB systems that use copper in pad formulations. Historically, copper has played a significant role in ADB applications for commercial vehicles. The presence of copper in ADB pad formulations helps reduce thermal fade and optimize wear characteristics. The challenge is finding a suitable alternative to copper while maintaining similar wear characteristics and performance of today’s ADB systems.

Choose Wisely.
When choosing replacement pads, remember that copper compliance does not mean compliance with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 121 (air brake systems). Additionally, OEM friction materials are designed to maximize component durability while maintaining compliance.

Hendrickson - L1332 Copper Compliance flyer (hendrickson-intl.com)

Expert Bio

Answered by : Omar Fernandez

Marketing Director, Hendrickson Trailer Commercial Vehicle Systems


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