TMD Friction releases paper on auxiliary brake retarders

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Updated Jun 11, 2013

TMD Friction has released a paper on the importance of auxiliary brake retarders to all braking systems in the heavy-duty market.

TMD says despite operational differences between disc and drum brakes, retarders have benefits to each system. The paper was written to provide that information to the North American market, the company says.

According to TMD, disc brakes have less fade, more consistent torque output, and better in-stop characteristics, but the company warns that those benefits “should not be considered as a substitute for auxiliary retarders.  Retarders are as important as ever, or possibly even more important, on vehicles that combine disc and drum brakes and operate on downgrades.”

TMD says that design differences in disc and drum brakes can lead to extremely high temperatures in each application, and in these cases TMD advises customers to equip the braking system with a retarder.

“If not properly equipped with a retarder, the vehicle could see high-brake temperature differentials on long downgrades that can lead to excessive disc pad and drum lining wear and drum/rotor cracking,” the company says.

In writing its paper, TMD says it also performed a variety of tests that confirmed the benefits of a retarder using both disc and drum brakes.

For the complete paper, CLICK HERE, and for more information on TMD, go to