SIBS utilises wet friction, with the moving and non-moving brake parts immersed in a liquid that dissipates heat and reduces wear through lubrication. As a result, the brakes are virtually wear and maintenance free and may outlast the vehicles they are fitted to, unlike conventional drum and disc brakes.
The brakes can be used on underground mine vehicles that are not permitted into hazardous areas and have been employed by many Queensland coal mines over the past eight years, with more recent customers including BHP Billiton's Cannington mine and various BMA sites.
Safe Effect CEO Ken Johnsen said several large mining service customers in Australia were already using the original SIBS exclusively on all Toyota LandCruisers at their underground mining operations.
Johnsen said SIBSPlus incorporates a number of technical developments resulting from ongoing research and development.
“These developments will deliver further improvements in braking performance and a longer service interval. The improvements include a revised brake pad material and an improved synthetic SIBS cooling fluid,” Johnsen said.
All SIBSPlus brake systems will also include stainless steel brake lines, which were previously an optional extra.
In Australia, Johnsen said mining companies and their service providers are continuing to roll out the SIBS across their fleet with February 2007 sales exceeding $400,000.
The company has also found SIBS customers in Canada and South Africa (which is expected to become a major market) and is exploring further opportunities in Indonesia, Chile, Peru, PNG, New Zealand and the Philippines.
In addition a major European company that utilises 600 light vehicles in coal mining operations is evaluating how SIBS could assist in reducing the brake maintenance cost of its vehicle fleet.
Based in Perth, Western Australia, Safe Effect has a manufacturing plant in Thailand, worldwide patents on its technology and an overseas reseller network.