Brake bands, commonly found in vehicles and machinery, are also used in winch drums, chain saws and even in bicycle braking systems. They can be primary or secondary brake materials, but either way are required to endure a fair amount of tension and stress during the braking process. Therefore the materials used in the construction of brake bands have to be durable and rugged. They can be made of cast iron, ductile iron, rolled steel.
A common brake band is made of steel with an inner surface of friction material, it is then wrapped around a moving engine component, and as the brake is applied, the band is tightened around the shaft until it has stopped moving, or slowed. Brake bands can be constructed according to specifications in terms of size, required load and materials.
Some engines will use up to three bands in the slowing of a drum or shaft, depending on the size and speeds which the engine typically reaches. They are fairly simple and straightforward engine components however, problems with brake bands can occur if there are substances between the surface of the barrel and the band itself, such as small particles of dust or rust, or even drops of water. As the brake band is used to slow motion or even stop it completely, there is a great deal of heat energy that can be produced as it is being used. These high temperatures can also cause the bands to function less efficiently and so it is important to take measures to aid in removing heat from the process.
The lining of the brake band helps to absorb some of the heat created in the slowing process, and transmission fluid can also be used to dissipate heat away from the brake band itself. As with any engine component, brake bands will deteriorate over time due to every day wear and tear. Most manufacturers will replace brake bands as they are usually a critical component of vehicular activity and processes. However, some brake bands can be repaired by manufacturers who specialize in doing that.