MRO Magazine

Accuride Developing Lightweight Gunite® Wheel End Components


January 26, 2016
By Business Wire News

LAS VEGAS

Accuride Corporation (NYSE:ACW) – a leading supplier of components to the global commercial vehicle industry – discussed its recently acquired patented metal matrix composite (MMC) technology during its news briefing at Heavy Duty Aftermarket Week ’16. Accuride President and CEO Rick Dauch explained the central role the MMC technology plays in the company’s research and development of advanced lightweight Gunite brake drums and wheel end components.

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Accuride developing advanced Gunite lightweight brake drum with recently acquired patented metal mat ...

Accuride developing advanced Gunite lightweight brake drum with recently acquired patented metal matrix composite (MMC) technology. (Photo: Business Wire)

Accuride acquired the MMC technology assets from Century-3 Plus, L.L.C. in 2015 as part of its commitment to develop lightweight Gunite wheel end components capable of delivering substantial weight, fuel and operating cost savings. The initial development program – creating high-performance, lightweight Gunite-brand brake drums – is an integral part of Accuride’s component lightweighting initiatives to help the commercial vehicle industry comply with upcoming Phase II greenhouse gas regulations posed by the U.S. EPA.

“Over the past few years, we have invested in processes and technologies that help our customers remain competitive and compliant,” Accuride President and CEO Rick Dauch said. “Through our lightweight MMC brake drum development and wheel lightweighting programs, we’re focused on creating industry-leading technologies that provide our customers with solutions to the requirements of increasingly stringent fuel economy and emissions regulations.”

The expected benefits of the lightweight Gunite MMC brake drum in development include:

  • Significant weight reduction;
  • Longer product life;
  • Reduced stopping distance;
  • Improved performance; and
  • Increased payload.

Patent Protected Brake Drum R&D Underway

Accuride’s MMC technology combines highly-engineered cast aluminum with a selectively reinforced MMC wear surface to form a durable and resilient yet lightweight patent protected brake drum. The drum is well-suited to a range of commercial vehicle, off-highway and military applications where weight savings is paramount, yet without sacrificing performance or durability.

At approximately 61 lbs., the patent protected MMC aluminum brake drum Accuride is developing is capable of delivering significant weight reduction – as much as 100 lbs. per axle over standard cast drums. That represents an approximately 300 lb. savings for a typical 3-axle Class 8 tractor. The lightweight MMC brake drum also has demonstrated more rapid heat dissipation, improved braking performance and a longer lifespan than traditional cast drums.

Accuride anticipates an 18 to 24-month development ramp-up to commercialization of the lightweight drum technology.

About Accuride Corporation

With headquarters in Evansville, Ind., USA, Accuride Corporation is a leading supplier of components to the global commercial vehicle industry. The company’s products include commercial vehicle wheels; wheel-end components and assemblies; and specialty cast-iron components for a range of agricultural, construction and mining, and oil and gas equipment applications. The company’s products are marketed under its brand names, which include Accuride®, Accuride Wheel End SolutionsTM, Gunite®, Gianetti RuoteTM and BrillionTM. Accuride’s common stock trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol ACW. For more information, visit the Company’s website at http://www.accuridecorp.com.

Accuride Corporation
Media Relations:
Timothy G. Weir, APR, 812-962-5128
Director of Public Affairs, Communications & Marketing
tweir@accuridecorp.com
or
Investor Relations:
Todd Taylor, 812-962-5105
Vice President and Treasurer
ttaylor@accuridecorp.com