The caliper is the heart of an air disc brake system and it is important that it is designed and made to effectively stop your truck, trailer or bus. There are a few key features that we’ve considered to make DuraBrake calipers great!
When a driver steps on the brake pedal, the generated air pressure pushes the brake pads against the brake rotor. The harder the brake pads push on the rotor, the more quickly the vehicle stops. While the caliper piston(s) are pushing the brake pads against the rotor, the pistons are forcing the caliper housing in tension. In high heat environments such as braking, castings such as caliper housings may deform more and when applying tension, that’s not a good thing. Using higher tensile strength ductile iron for the caliper housing is important to manufacturing a caliper that can create the compressive strength to slow the vehicle and have good durability. In addition, DuraBrake only believes in using brand new calipers rather than rebuilt calipers using old housings because there will be no wear or defects in the caliper housing which can reduce the life of the calipers. DuraBrake uses a high-grade ductile iron that we believe exceeds the tensile strength of the OEM’s material by approximately 9%. Over time and with use, this stronger material may allow us to change our designs to reduce brake system weight for better payloads and simpler maintenance.
Since most mechanics don’t look inside a caliper, few know that inside is a lever that multiplies the force of the brake chamber on the brake pads. As you can imagine, the bending force on that lever is quite severe to achieve an adequate braking force. Think about how much a long pry bar would bend using your body weight to push over a brick wall and imagine cycling that force over and over again. Forging that part, heat treating it and machining it to correct dimensions takes a lot of time, effort and precision. DuraBrake takes pride in ensuring each brake lever is manufactured to the design requirement.
A floating caliper allows the caliper to “grab” the rotor on both sides while only using pistons on one side. A disc brake system is not very effective if the rotor cannot be grabbed on both sides. Ensuring that a floating caliper indeed “floats” is crucial to ensure proper operation of the caliper and avoiding issues like pulling, noise, low stopping power, and other problems. The typical cause of the caliper not sliding back and forth is dirt getting into the slide pins, using improper or inadequate grease, and using old guide pins. It’s important to use a boot that seats well and can withstand high braking temperatures to not allow dirt in. DuraBrake ensures that high-quality guide pins and high-temperature boots are used to minimize caliper sticking.
The best part about DuraBrake ADB calipers is that since everything is new, and we do not rebuild calipers. That means you don’t have to keep track of cores or return them, saving you time and money. DuraBrake has started to get ADB calipers in stock for select applications. If there are ones that you would like us to get sooner, please contact us.