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

550 to 650 degrees F – Brake resin odor present

850 degrees F – Brakes begin to smoke

1,100 degrees F – Brake oxidation occurs at parts of the brake open to air rushing by

1,250 degrees F – Drums become cherry red internally

Above 1,250 degrees F – 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:

  1. 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
  2. That at temperatures above 850 degrees 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 not may result in longer stopping distances.
  3. That the brake lining is not contaminated with grease or oil.