Fleetwood Resource Management (FRM) introduced its Air Brake Cooling(ABC) System, a fade-resistant system which, according to the company, “virtually eliminates” one of the biggest problems facing over-the-road truckers: "brake fade," as well as the resulting accidents and losses (property and life) caused by the same.
According to the company, brake fade is the loss of brake system effectiveness resulting from heat buildup within the braking system.
“The ABC System maximizes brake system effectiveness, maintaining stopping distance even with heavy brake usage,” FRM states. “ABC System also increases safety, particularly under adverse driving conditions (inclement weather, mountainous terrain). ABC System offers the same fade-resistance of disc brakes, at half the cost.”
According to research conducted by Professors Gopwath and Maynuram at the India Institute of Technology, while brake systems can operate at a maximum temperature of 400°C, at that temperature wear is very high, the company added. By maintaining a lower operating temperature closer to 200°C, the ABC System lowers the wear on brake components, extending brake component life.
"The Air Brake Cooling System gives the truck driver the confidence to fully utilize his/her brakes whenever necessary, without hesitation; confident in the knowledge that when braking is required the brake system will be there," said Ray Fleet, inventor of the ABC System and a truck driver himself.
The Air Brake Cooling System is comprised of an auxiliary compressed air system, which operates independently of the unit's air brake system. It provides compressed air to each brake drum, where it is dispersed by a fixed blade turbine diffuser. The diffuser creates a turbulent air flow, maximizing the cooling effect while creating a uniform cooling action which lowers brake system heat considerably. The air also blows the loose particles of brake dust from the contact area, enhancing the braking capability of the drum brake system. The system is activated by a valve which is mechanically linked to the brake pedal.