Hidden champion in local public transport - TMD Friction is Europe-wide market leader for buses
Date: 13th Aug 12
TMD Friction is the European market leader with its T7400 brake pad for disc brakes, a product specifically developed for public transport buses. TMD Friction supplies the major European bus manufacturers, including Mercedes and Scania, with brake friction products for commercial vehicles, as well as suppliers such as ZF with the pads used in portal axles. With its low wear, the product developed by TMD Friction is ideal for the requirements associated with high braking frequencies and guarantees maximum safety even at very high material temperatures. Other key properties of the T7400 features include outstanding comfort and low noise. The market share of disc brakes in public transit systems in the EU has now reached over 90 per cent and is steadily rising in Asia and South America.
In comparison with conventional commercial vehicles, the number of braking operations in public transport buses is much higher: on average an urban bus in normal service will brake 1,000 times a day, due to such factors as the regular stopping at bus stops and traffic lights in city centres. Consequently the brakes heat up to a particularly high temperature. At the same time the requirements associated with passenger comfort are relatively demanding. The friction materials therefore have to be perfectly tailored to this specific application. "The solution is the T7400 pad, developed by TMD," commented Bernd Rohrberg, Vehicle Programme Manager at TMD Friction. "Approximately 70 per cent of public transport buses in the EU are fitted with the T7400 friction material as original equipment. Its wear is particularly low, just like the wear of the brake discs. These properties permit longer replacement intervals, so the bus operators' maintenance and repair costs can be reduced significantly."
The carefully matched friction level of the T7400 and even friction build-up when braking mean that the brake force on these buses is easy to modulate. As a result a high level of passenger comfort is achieved. The friction material also takes vehicle noise emission requirements in residential areas into account.
The T7400 pad, which took just under three years to develop, is manufactured at the TMD factory in Hamm (Germany). The material mixes for production in the US, South America and Asia are still being shipped out. "We are currently working on being able to produce the pad locally as well, especially in the growing Asian markets," said Rohrberg. "There are hardly any regional differences in the commercial vehicle market, where disc brakes are already being used. The statutory requirements are also almost on a par."
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