A drag dynamometer was used to evaluate the performance of automotive brake drums made from four kinds of materials with different thermal conductivities. In the order of decreasing thermal conductivity they are chromium copper, aluminum/cast iron composite, cast iron, and nickel-aluminum bronze. All of the drums were of the standard configuration used in SAE J 661a, or closely approximated it. The drums were run in conjunction with three types of lining materials: nonabrasive, moderately abrasive, and highly abrasive. Temperatures near the lining/drum interface, coefficients of friction, and lining wear were measured and compared. For a given amount of work done, the temperature near the drum surface was found to be lowest for the chromium copper drums, with progressively higher temperatures in the aluminum/cast iron composite, nickel-aluminum bronze, and cast iron drums. Relative lining wear and coefficient of friction varied with the type of lining tested.