All types of brakes and braking systems share the same function that is to enable a car to stop when being on the move. This involves a lot of energy conversion. The most people knew about potential and kinetic energy is that one helps us move, while the other makes us stop. In cars, kinetic energy is what helps accelerate the car while potential energy is bolstered by the brakes. But to explain it a bit more in layman terms, when you step on the brakes, heat is generated by the friction applied on the sides of the wheels. This then is converted to potential energy - a stop.
We're explaining this is to help you understand how braking works, so you'll know what to do when something goes wrong. It's also important that you know the types of brakes & braking systems in car so you can't be easily swayed by a cunning mechanic.
The braking system helps reduce the rotation of the the car wheels
Different types of Brakes
1. Disc brake
The disc brake is an important component of the braking system that makes the wheels of a vehicle stop rotating or reduces rotation. Friction acts on both sides of the car wheels to bring the movement to a halt. Brake pads are the materials that aid this friction. So once the friction occurs, the car slows down or stops. The disc brake is made of either ceramic components or cast iron, and usually attached to the axle or wheel.
There are more disc brakes used nowadays than drum brakes
2. Drum brakes
As the name implies, drum brakes is a mechanism that involves the inner surface of a drum being pressed when the brake pedal is stepped on. When a car is in motion, a set of pads or shoes press against a drum that rotates around the wheel. This leads to friction on the wheels and the car is brought to a halt, or slows down. Only a few cars still use the drum brakes, as they have been phased out since disc brakes became popular.
The coming of the disc brakes makes the drum brakes gradually disappear
>>> Find your answer here: When is the best time to use emergency brake?
Types of braking systems
1. Hydraulic braking system
If you are a fan of Fast and Furious movies, they always talked about their car's hydraulic systems. This kind of braking system is one that combines friction, cylinders and diethylene glycol all into one - to make a car slow down or stop moving. This braking system is one where the disc brakes and actuator have a direct linkage. It mitigates almost every possibility of brake failure. Perhaps that's why you find it in recent Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Volkswagen, BMW and Ford cars. It's also more effective than mechanical braking system.
2. Mechanical braking system
The mechanical braking system are those that came with old manual transmission cars. It involves the hand brakes and lots of other mechanical components. When you step on your car brakes, force is applied. Springs, cylindrical rods and fulcrums are some of the components that carry the force applied to the disc rotor or drum brakes - depending on the type of car. But when the hydraulic braking system was introduced, the mechanical type was considered less effective and is gradually phasing out.
Video: BRAKING SYSTEM types| MECHANICAL, HYDRAULIC, POWER BRAKES.
3. Electromagnetic braking system
Hybrid cars mainly use this type of braking system. Here, electromagnetic force flows in the opposite direction of the wheel's rotation - when brakes are applied. This slows down the vehicle or totally brings the wheels to a full stop. This is considered better, more effective and more reliable than other braking systems because it doesn't involve fluids or friction. It's even faster, coat effective and lasts longer than other braking systems.
Finally, there's the Servo braking system which uses vacuum and air intake with little human effort to bring a car to a stop. When the brakes are stepped on, creates a vacuum which reduces rotation on the wheels. But this type of system can only be found in a few cars and some autonomous vehicles. So with this knowledge, you can actually research on what type your car has and know what to expect while using or fixing them.
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