Knorr-Bremse begins production of quieter brake blocks

Low-noise brake blocksKnorr-Bremse has begun for the first time the volume production of its Problock J816M low-noise brake blocks for freight cars at its Pamplona plant in Spain.

With these whisper brakes, Knorr-Bremse is now providing low-noise brake blocks to the OEM freight car market as well. The company had already reinforced its aftermarket business by developing a low-noise, low-friction brake block for fleet modernization measures.

“With this volume-production brake block for new freight cars we are making a further contribution to much quieter braking in the rail freight sector. This product represents a key strategic addition to our portfolio,” said Nicolas Lange, Chairman of the Management Board of Knorr-Bremse Rail Vehicle Systems.

The volume production of the Problock J816M is the first of further generations of composite brake pads and blocks, the development, refinement and production of which will begin in the course of this year.

The new product offers Knorr-Bremse new opportunities to access market share in the OEM sector and it is also strengthening company’s position “as a system partner and one-stop shop for freight car brake equipment and maintenance.”

The Problock J816M brake blocks are made from composite materials helping to reduce braking noise by up to 10 dB(A) compared to conventional gray cast iron blocks. This means that the noise level is only half as loud to the human ear.

The Knorr-Bremse has started the delivery of the first consignments to a major German operator in May, under a contract worth “a six-figure euro sum”, the company says.

The delivery of the first consignments to a major operator in a German-speaking country commenced in May 2020, under a supply contract worth a six-figure euro sum.

The product is certified by the International Union of Railways (UIC), following the application for certification, being compliant with high homologation and safety standards in the rolling stock sector.

Previously, Knorr-Bremse developed and begun volume production of a low-noise, low-friction brake block generation for the conversion and modernisation of freight cars, the so-called “LL-block”, also UIC-certified.

In Germany, freight trains will be required by law to comply with lower noise limits and thus to switch from gray cast iron to LL blocks by the end of 2020. DB Cargo, for example, has already retrofitted some 58,000 cars, or 90 percent of its current fleet, with the quieter LL brake blocks. To-date, Knorr-Bremse has delivered more than 3.5 million LL blocks.

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