Thermal distortion in brakes due to frictional heating causes localized contact and high temperatures (hot spots) with consequent thermal damage to the sliding components. This paper examines the effect of brake design and operating parameters on the maximum temperature reached. Previous solutions for steady-state sliding are reviewed and the effects of hot spots being in intermittent contact due to the geometric design of the brake are discussed. Approximate solutions for transient thermoelastic contact are extended to the case of uniform deceleration to determine the duration of the stop for which thermoelastic effects will be significant. If the stop is sufficiently slow for hot spots to develop, the temperatures will generally be high. However, high temperatures are also reached in sufficiently rapid stops due to the high rate of energy dissipation. An optimum is found between these extremes.

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