Reducing the reliance on a vehicle’s main brakes, the Intarder increases safety, occupant comfort, and drives financial savings, by providing wear-free sustained retardation.
The third and latest generation of the Intarder weighs less (now at 65kg), are quieter, more environmentally friendly, while also providing improved deceleration over earlier models.
ZF engineers have also achieved smaller dimensions for the unit, allowing for installations in tight confines.
Since series production of the system commenced at ZF’s Friedrichshafen facility, the number of manufacturers utilising the Intarder in a range of trucks and coach applications has grown immensely.
“Our Intarder is such a success more than anything because commercial vehicles of all kinds, and indeed rail vehicles, can decelerate safely and without wear in any driving situation,” said Winfried Grndler, Head of the Truck and Van Driveline Technology business unit at ZF.
“This conserves the main brake, giving it a longer life, and reduces maintenance costs for fleet owners.”
These days, around one in three ZF commercial transmissions is equipped with the optional Intarder, with this ratio set to climb.
In its most recent development phase, the Intarder is ideally situated for future use, particularly in combination with ZF’s new modular automatic transmission system, the TraXon.
First and foremost, the system offers significantly higher braking torque when compared to the previous version, with the power model rated to 4,000Nm, while the Eco variant sits at 3,300Nm.
These torque ratings are applicable to a maximum braking power of 600kW, with a maximum response time of one second.
Heat control for the Intarder is achieved via the engine’s cooling circuit, which makes it ideal for new generation trucks with higher coolant temperature thresholds.
Since the Intarder is arranged on the transmission output, the braking effect is maintained even when changing gears, providing maximum protection for the main brakes against fading.
The latest generation features a new electronic control unit, which simplifies integration into vehicle brake management systems, while also providing a cruise control function.
The Intarder also allows through fade-free continuous braking and individual adaptive braking for safety systems such as ABS and ESP.
Integral to the design is driver controlled power braking, as required in five steps.
From an environmental standpoint, the latest generation uses less oil, is three decibels quieter, and contributes to fuel savings. By limiting reliance on service brakes, the lifecycle of traditional friction material is extended.
Like all ZF transmission components, the Intarder is fully supported locally by ZF Services Australia.