The braking system is designed in a way that it converts the kinetic energy into heat energy that stops the vehicle. Basically, brakes decelerate or stop a moving vehicle. Understanding the different types of brakes put you in a better position to maintain and repair the brakes. But should you need brake repair in Phoenix, you know whom to call! Chelsee’s!
The braking system has evolved from vintage vehicles to modern cars giving us various types of breaks. The types of brakes can be classified according to the source of power, friction braking contact, application and force distribution.
According to Source of Power
Mechanical brakes were used in old automobiles. Due to their ineffectiveness, they are now absolute. Force on the brake pedal was transferred using mechanical linkages, such as fulcrums and springs, to the disk rotor or brake drum.
In a hydraulic braking system, brake force is first converted to hydraulic pressure and then transferred to the brake drum or disc rotor. These brakes use hydraulic fluid instead of mechanic linkages. Most of the automobiles in operation today use hydraulic brakes.
Pneumatic / air brakes
This brake system uses atmospheric air to transfer brake force from pedal through valves and compressors to the drum or disc rotor. These brakes generate higher force than hydraulic brakes. They also have a diminutive chance of failure. Air brakes are usually fitted in heavy and high-end vehicles.
They were used in old trains. They are cheaper than air brakes though less safe. The main component of vacuum brakes includes brake lines, exhauster, valves, main cylinder and disc drum or rotor.
This is an advanced braking system. Since there is no friction, it is less prone to wear and tear. The response of magnetic brakes is quite quick compared to other systems.
This braking system is used in electric cars such as Tesla. Electrical motors, which are the main source of power, produce the braking. Electric brakes can be divided into plugging, regenerative and dynamic braking.
According to Frictional Contact
A drum is the housing for brake shoe and actuation mechanism. In this type of brake, the drum is attached to the wheel hub is such a design that while the outer part rotates with the wheel, the inner part remains constant. When force is applied, the brake shoe expands coming into contact with rotating part of the drum hence stopping the vehicle.
Disc brake uses a disc rotor instead of a drum. The rotor is attached to the wheel hub such that it rotates with the wheel. The disc rotor is attached to the caliper which houses the actuation mechanism and brake shoes. When the brake pedal is pushed the actuation mechanism contacts the brake shoes. Braking results from the friction contact between a rotating disk rotor and the brake shoes.
Most of these brake systems are foot/service brakes. We also have handbrakes, also known as emergency or parking brakes. They use a hand lever and are independent of the main service brake. They are usually used for stable parking.
If the force is applied to a pair of wheels, the brakes are referred to as single acting brakes. If the brakes are applied to all four wheels, it is referred to as dual acting brakes.
The braking system is perhaps the most important in automobiles. While there are various types of brakes, most of them are no longer functional.
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