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Standco Industries, Inc.
#6 - 1701 Summit Ave
Plano, Texas 75074-8175
Phone: 281-659-9699
Toll Free: 800-231-6018
Fax: 281-659-9656

New well servicing brake blocks from Standco

A new asbestos-free brake block specifically designed for the well servicing industry has been introduced by Standco Industries of Houston, Texas. Earlier this year, Standco reported to the well servicing contractors the results of their extensive brake research, development and testing. Over a period of several years, the company conducted extensive testing and evaluation of more than 100 materials from throughout the world. Considerable effort was directed toward developing a composite brake block set designed exclusively for well servicing rather than for both well servicing and drilling. The company's successful research and development resulted in a brake block set that provides excellent performance in well servicing applications. While the specifics of the formulation are proprietary and carefully guarded, Standco states that it is a totally different brake block set from many of those in use today and has demonstrated a substantial increase in service life. In addition to the special formulation, the set's design includes components that improve heat dissipation, maintaining positive adherence to the brake band and achieving maximum friction surface contact with the brake rim. Brake blocks are all too often subjected to sudden and extreme heat, especially on well servicing rigs. That takes a toll on brake blocks. Standco reports that their new well servicing block is a proven block set that will handle the rigors of well servicing.

Traditionally, asbestos brake blocks have been used by the majority in the well servicing industry. However, there is a great deal of concern regarding the safety of employees operating rigs equipped with asbestos brake blocks. Virtually all companies have safety programs that cover fall protection, fire prevention, hazardous materials, personal protective equipment and the like. Safety is discussed at local chapter meetings, at the national meetings and is an ongoing subject in Well Servicing magazine. Nevertheless, these programs and discussions generally do not cover one of the major threats facing all industries' employee exposure to asbestos.

It is an established fact that inhaling asbestos fibers may lead to respiratory problems resulting in debilitating diseases and, in some cases, death. Inhaling asbestos fibers can also lead to several varieties of cancer. The most deadly of these is mesothelioma. Attacking the region around the lungs and abdomen, this virulent cancer usually results from exposure to asbestos. Respiratory problems and cancer caused by exposure to asbestos can sometimes take as long as 40 or 50 years to appear, although they usually occur sooner, with catastrophic results.

In addition to the primary concerns regarding employee health, the daily news coverage makes it clear that asbestos use also exposes companies, both large and small, to potentially ruinous legal exposure.

In view of these factors, it is time for the well servicing industry to rethink its use of asbestos brake blocks and to consider the all-new, non-asbestos well servicing brake blocks developed and manufactured by Standco Industries.

(Excerpted from article in Well Servicing magazine July/August 2002 issue)