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Abex® commercial friction products are engineered for maximum braking power and minimum cost per mile. Abex products are manufactured and tested to the highest standards to ensure superior, stronger and more dependable braking performance.

abex brake pad product view
abex brake pad product view

Abex History



Federal-Mogul Corporation acquires Abex

Abex, along with other brands and product lines of Cooper Industries, is acquired by global OE and aftermarket manufacturer Federal-Mogul Corporation. The purchase, which also includes the globally respected Wagner Brake brand for automotive applications, establishes Federal-Mogul as one of the world’s largest manufacturers of vehicle friction products, both for OE customers and the replacement market.


Global expansion

Abex expands throughout South America, South and Southeast Asia, and the Middle East.


Established as one of Europe's leading suppliers of friction products

Abex enters into joint venture with Ruetgerswerke A.G., forming one of Europe’s leading suppliers of friction products.


Abex product line expanded

To reflect expanded product line and global growth, American Brake Shoe Company (formerly A.B.S. & F. and American Brakeblok) renamed Abex. 


Product development

American Brakeblok researchers develop Sintermet lining material, featuring a metallic base capable of withstanding extremely high temperatures. The next year, the company acquires Metallic Friction Materials Corporation, Cleveland, Ohio, to further Sintermet development for high-heat, high-stress aircraft applications.


New plant built in Winchester, Virginia

Company builds new plant in Winchester, Virginia. The facility will eventually double in size as American Brakeblok supports explosive, post-war growth of U.S. auto industry.

Late 1930s

Chosen to be the first aviation application

American Brakeblok chosen for first aviation application – Stinson passenger planes equipped with Cadillac brakes. Aviation friction business grows throughout WWII and into age of modern jet aircraft.


Brakeblok expands into Europe

American Brakeblok expands to Europe, operating under the name of Fadil.


Plymouth is the first automotive manufacturer to specify American Brakeblok

Plymouth becomes first automobile manufacturer to specify American Brakeblok.


American Brakeblok is an OE standard

General Motors truck and coach division places first significant OE order for American Brakeblok, making the innovative material standard equipment on its vehicles. Later the same year, NAPA agrees to distribute American Brakeblok within the replacement market.


Introduced for bus fleets and vehicle manufacturers

A.B.S. & F. subsidiary American Brake Materials Corp. introduces American Brakeblok for bus fleets and vehicle manufacturers.  


An industry standard emerges

Mack again turns to A.B.S. & F. to meet emerging demand for longer-life brake shoes.  The company responds with the first ¾-inch-thick lining, which becomes the industry standard.


Filled shoe

As railroads expand into branch-line bus service, Mack Company joins A.B.S. & F. in the development and testing of a “filled shoe” brake shoe that would meet the safety, performance and durability requirements of heavy buses. This opportunity becomes the basis for what is to become one of the world’s leading manufacturers of friction products for commercial vehicles.


American Brake Shoe & Foundry Co is formed

American Brake Shoe & Foundry Co., predecessor to Abex, is formed through the consolidation of five manufacturers, which held patents important to the production of railroad brake shoes. The company soon becomes the largest supplier of metallic brake shoes for railroad applications.