Car Brakes

The Different Types of Brakes

A brake is a mechanical device that stops or slows down motion by absorbing energy from a moving system. It is used for slowing or stopping a moving vehicle, wheel, axle, or to prevent its motion. This is accomplished by using friction. There are different types of brakes. They are as follows:
  • Electromagnetic – These brakes are often used where an electric motor is already part of the machinery. Many hybrid gasoline or electric vehicles use the electric motor as a generator to charge the car’s electric battery and also as a regenerative brake. Electromagnetic brakes slow down objects through electromagnetic induction. Electromagnetic induction creates resistance and in turn either heat or electricity. Friction brakes apply pressure on two separate objects to slow the vehicle down in a controlled manner. Related types of such a brake are eddy current brakes, and electro-mechanical brakes. These are actually magnetically driven friction brakes, but recently referred to as electromagnetic brakes as well.
  • Frictional – These brakes are commonly divided into two categories – shoe and pad brakes. It uses an explicit wear surface as well as hydrodynamic brakes, which use friction in a working fluid and do not explicitly wear out. Friction brakes are often rotating devices with a stationary pad and a rotating wear surface. There are common configurations and specifications which include shoes that contract to rub on the outside of a rotating drum, such as a band brake. The rotating drum with shoes that expand to rub the inside of a drum are commonly called a drum brake, even though other drum configurations are available as well as pads that pinch a rotating disc. These are commonly called disc brakes. A drum brake is a vehicle brake. Friction of a drum brake is caused by a set of brake shoes that press against the inner surface of a rotating drum. The drum is connected to the rotating road wheel hub. They are generally found on older cars and trucks.
  • Pumping – These brakes are often used where a pump is already part of the machinery. Some engines use a valve override, which is called a Jake brake, to greatly increase pumping losses. These pumping brakes can dump energy as heat, or can be regenerative brakes that recharge a pressure reservoir which is also known as a hydraulic accumulator.
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