(Note: Temperatures indicated are at the lining/drum interface and are approximate.)

550°F - 650°F

Brake resin odor is present


Brakes begin to smoke


Brake oxidation occurs at parts of the brake open to air rushing by


Drums become cherry-red internally


Danger of run-away due to excess drum expansion

Brake lining will remain within its designated friction range on a properly maintained brake through all of the temperatures described under three conditions:

  • That the rated axle capacity of the brake material has not been exceeded. If this condition is present, more than normal fade can be present at higher temperatures.
  • That at temperatures above 850°F, the driver does not over-speed the vehicle where severe or sudden braking can be expected. Under safe operating conditions, the brake lining on a properly applied and maintained brake will remain stable at high temperatures. Excessive speed while the brakes are hot may result in longer stopping distances.
  • That the brake lining is not contaminated with oil or grease.