Brake pad wear dust is a reality of operating a wind farm, and the environmental implications from brake pad wear dust particles can be serious. It’s important for wind farm operators to consider a brake pad product that performs its technical function to an elite level, as well as being an environmentally friendly product for the people working on site and in close proximity to wind farms.

One of the environmental considerations that comes with operating a wind farm is the fact that brake pads in wind turbines will generally result, at some point of time, in brake pad wear dust.

The amount of brake pad wear dust, and the size of wear dust particles generated by a wind turbine will vary greatly, and is directly related to how brake pads are used (for example, how often they are activated, the disc material, the pressure and load on the brake pads, and many other factors). But the reality is that brake pad wear dust is a factor in wind turbine operation, and it can have an environmental cost.

Investigating the options

Recognising the challenge of managing brake pad wear dust, brake pad manufacturer Svendborg Brakes decided to explore the wear dust generated by their product, and two competitor products, undertaking a range of tests in a controlled environment at the Svendborg Brakes Test Center.

The results showed that approximately 95 per cent of the particles generated in the wear dust tests were within 10μm (small enough to enter the lungs, or inhalable), and about 80 per cent of the particles within 5μm (small enough to reach the alveoli, or respirable).

Testing on the particles generated also showed that 25 per cent of the dust generated was from the disc, with the remaining 75 per cent of dust was from the brake pads. Looking at the amount of dust generated in the tests, Svendborg Brakes generated 16g of dust, with Competitor 1 generating 79g and Competitor 2 generating 132g.

Rising to the challenge

Svendborg Brakes realises that managing the impacts of brake pad wear dust is a serious consideration for wind farm operators. As well as recommending that crews working in close proximity to turbines and brake pads use gloves, eye protection and an FP2 mask where exposure to wear dust is possible, Svendborg Brakes products have been specifically designed to be as environmentally friendly as possible.

As seen in the results above, Svendborg Brakes generate less brake pad wear dust than competitors; but in addition, Svendborg Brakes friction materials have been developed according to REACH legislation. REACH is a regulation of the European Union, adopted to reduce the levels of dangerous chemicals in industrial products.

In short, by adhering to this legislation, Svendborg Brakes friction materials are asbestos free and contain:

» Less than 0.1 per cent of Mercury, Chromium +6 and Lead
» Less than 0.01 per cent of Cadmium

As well as this, all electrical items comply with the Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) Directive; and Svendborg Brakes also strives to comply with all automotive rules and directives, related to both original equipment (OE) and aftermarket (AM) applications.

When it comes to managing the environmental considerations that come with operating a wind farm, there are many factors to be considered.

Ensuring wind turbine brake pads meet industry and community safety and environmental expectations is just one of these; but with Svendborg Brakes, wind turbine operators can feel comfortable that they’re working with a manufacturer that values environmental protection.

This sponsored editorial was brought to you by Altra Motion. To find out more, visit

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1 Comment
  1. Rick Albano 2 years ago

    The only way to remove brake dust and tire debris from our environment is directly from the source.
    The CBP Module will fit any vehicle’s disc or brake drum system with no interference with the brake,

    Click the link below to see more information on our systems.!AiZ-NpzMMKM9pCZQBDjmrX2Dhwyz?e=5nqgVo

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