20K vs. 23K Brake linings
Most axles on new trucks and trailers have a GAWR of 20K. They are supplied with a friction material that rates at 20K. Truck OEMs do extensive friction material approval testing and require a 10% compliance margin. 20K friction materials are designed to perform very well on axles with a 20K GAWR.
When you have a 20K GAWR axle and you use 20K rated friction material for aftermarket replacement, you will receive optimal results:
- The friction has been engineered to pull more than enough torque (+10% compliance margin) for the application
- The correct level friction for the application will optimize/maximize your lining life, drum life, and wheel end component life
- The correct friction level for the application will reduce the chance for brake noise and vibration
- 20K GAWR friction is generally less expensive than 23K GAWR friction material
When you use a 23K GAWR rated friction material on a 20K axle you will not receive optimal results:
- You will pull more torque than you need for the application. The higher friction does not make the material "more safe." With a 20K material on a 20K axle you have plenty of stopping ability
- Lining life, drum life, and wheel end component life will tend to be shorter
- Your chances of break noise and vibration are much higher with higher friction material
- 23K friction material is generally more expensive than 20K friction material
In summary, Marathon provides both 20K and 23K rated friction materials, and can supply either for any application. However, best maintenance results are achieved when you match the rating of the friction material to the GAWR of the axle for any application.