The new drum's launch addresses the market niche between Accuride's 9006X GOLD lightweight premium drum and 3600AX full-cast standard drum, according to the Evansville-based company. It utilizes engineered design enhancements and advanced metallurgy to achieve a 12.5-lb. weight savings over standard full-cast drums. To do this without compromising performance, engineers have utilized a high-strength gray iron featuring improved mechanical and structural material characteristics, Accuride said.
"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," said 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. It is the latest in our broad range of drums that provide superior heat transfer characteristics and over-the-road durability at the weight and price that best meets our customers' needs."
Key features and benefits of the new Gunite brake drum include:
• Uniform heat dissipation—Consistent section thickness ensures uniform heat transfer performance;
• Strong and efficient at reduced weight—State-of-the-art casting and structural simulation analysis tools combined with high-strength gray iron create an optimum mounting flange and wrap-around design that contributes to overall weight reduction without compromising design integrity;
• Consistent quality—Advanced machining process ensures consistent quality and reliability;
• Performance tested—Exceeds all Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 121 (FMVSS) dynamometer test requirements along with Gunite's additional rigorous internal durability test standards; and
• Advanced production processes—Foundry metallurgy continually monitored and controlled to achieve maximum consistency, while state-of-the-art machining utilizes in-process quality checks of key characteristics to achieve world-class quality standards drum after drum.
Accuride said the drum is Gunite's response to customers' need to manage total vehicle weight and operating cost while maximizing payload. Weighing 99.5 lbs., it delivers the weight savings to increase payload and reduce fuel consumption, and achieve the lowest possible cost per mile. With its 12.5 lb. weight reduction per wheel end over full-cast drums—an 11 percent weight reduction—the new drum reduces a truck-trailer combination's total weight by 100 lbs, according to the wheel maker.
Accuride supplies components to the North American commercial vehicle industry that include commercial vehicle wheels, wheel-end components and assemblies, truck body and chassis parts, and other commercial vehicle components.