Thursday, 30 June 2011

Brake History - Overview of Brake Systems

The first known vehicular brake, the Locked Wheel.
Figure; Locked Wheel
It is believed that the Romans used a chariot brake. One end of a chain was attached to a chariot chassis, while the other end was held by the driver. The major advance of this brake was that it allowed the amount of braking force to be varied.
Figure: Chariot brake
Another advance was in the 1800’s. The typical wagon used a wooden brake shoe that was pressed against the wheel rim bylever-operated linkages.
Figure: wooden brake shoe
The first automobiles were little more than wagons or carriages fitted with engines and drive trains. With the invention of rubber tires, the rim-contact wagon brake became impractical. To solve the problem, a metal brake drum was attached to the inside of the wheel to provide a rubbing surface for the brake shoe.
Figure : metal brake drum
SystemsAs time went by, the speeds attained by the newer models exceeded the ability of the brakes to stop them safely and reliably (too much energy into heat raising temperatures causingbrake power loss and quick wear out). Initial solution was to increase the surface area of the lining material led to the bandbrake.
The solution for the problems of the band brake was the hydraulicactuated internal expanding shoe brake.
Figure: hydraulicated shoe brake
As highway speeds and the size and weight of vehicles continued to increase, it became apparent that even the largest practical drum brakes were unable to adequately transfer the heat generated during repeated braking. Hence disc brakes became more in use.
Figure : disc brake


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