Accuride Corporation introduced a gray iron alternative to its line of steel brake drums, cast and machined at its Gunite plant in Rockford, IL. The Gunite® Silver Lightweight Brake Drum is offered to commercial vehicle OEMs through the Accuride Wheel End Solutions brand, offering a “high-strength, lightweight full-cast brake drum” alternative to lightweight steel-shell drums. It further noted the new design improves on the durability and performance of steel-shell brake drums.
The new component is cast in gray iron, incorporating “engineered design enhancements and advanced metallurgy to affordably achieve a 12.5-lb. weight savings over standard full-cast drums.”
The design creates a consistent section thickness that ensures uniform heat transfer, according to the manufacturer. It also noted that “state-of-the-art casting and structural simulation analysis tools,” as well as the metallurgical composition,” create an optimal mounting flange and wrap-around design that contribute to weight reduction without compromising design integrity.
Accuride emphasized the Silver Lightweight Brake Drum addresses a market niche between its lightweight premium drums and full-cast standard drums. At 99.5 lb (an 11% reduction versus standard full-cast drums), the combination of 12.5 lb less weight per wheel saves 100 lb for a commercial vehicle trailer. The weight savings increase payload and reduce fuel consumption for commercial vehicle operators, Accuride emphasized.
“The new Gunite Silver Lightweight Brake Drum demonstrates our commitment to deliver industry-leading wheel-end component technology by offering customers unparalleled performance, value and weight savings,” stated Chuck Byrnes, Accuride senior vice president of sales and marketing. “That translates into additional payload, better fuel economy and lower operating cost without sacrificing the quality and dependability that our customers count on from Gunite.”
Accuride manufactures cast steel and forged aluminum wheels and wheel-end components and assemblies for the commercial vehicle market. Those products, produced by the Accuride Wheels and Gunite businesses, are marketed as the Accuride Wheel End Solutions brand.
Other products, like truck body and chassis parts, and other commercial vehicle components are marketed under the Imperial™ and Brillion™ brands.