Braking Systems in Automobiles
Braking Systems in Automobiles

Braking Systems in Automobiles

September 16, 2020
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At least once in our lifetime, we have come across newton’s first law of motion which states that a body in motion remains in motion until it is acted upon by some external force. The same applies to our cars, if we don’t apply any external force to our car, it will just continue moving in its direction.

So what is that external force which makes our car stop? The answer is BRAKES!
(Well, actually it is the friction created between the surface of the disc and the brake pads that stops the wheel from spinning and stop the car, but for the sake of this article let’s assume friction to be a part of the braking system.) 

Working-  

When you push the brake pedal it depresses a piston in the master cylinder, forcing fluid along the pipe. The fluid travels to slave cylinders at each wheel and fills them, forcing pistons out to apply the brakes. Fluid pressure distributes itself evenly around the system. The joint surface ‘pushing’ area of all the slave cylinders is a lot more prominent than that of the cylinder in the master cylinders. 

Types of braking systems- 

After reading about the working of brakes, let’s have a look at it different types of braking systems 

  1. Mechanical Braking System- It is a type of braking system in which when a driver presses the brake pedal, the brake force after passing through various links, fulcrums, connecting rods, etc. goes to the discs or drums and the brakes are applied thereafter. These types of brakes were usually used in old automobiles and are a very rare sight to see nowadays. 

        Let us discuss the advantages and disadvantages of these types of brakes – 

         Advantages- 

  • Simple in construction
  • Easy to maintain

         Disadvantages-  

  • Less effective
  • It does not provide uniform pressure like a hydraulic braking system
  1. Hydraulic Braking System- It is a type of braking system in which when a driver presses the brake pedal, the physical force is then converted to hydraulic force inside the master cylinder and the fluid present in the brake lines go to the calipers and then pushes the pads which then stops the cars.

        Let us discuss the advantages and disadvantages of these types of brakes – 

          Advantages- 

  • Very effective
  • It provides a uniform pressure throughout the braking system
  • Flexibility in Brake Linings

          Disadvantages-  

  • Little complex in construction as compared to the mechanical system 
  • If there is air in the system, brakes are not much effective
  1. Air/Pneumatic Braking System- It is a type of braking system in which when a driver presses the brake pedal, the atmospheric air is transmitted through a series of valves, compressors, and delivery lines which in end is connected to the brakes which help to stop the vehicle. These types of braking systems are used in trucks, buses & high-end cars.

        Let us discuss the advantages and disadvantages of these types of brakes – 

          Advantages- 

  • Availability of atmospheric air in abundance
  • Easy to maintain & use
  • Very Effective type of braking

          Disadvantages-

  • More working parts are required such as valves, compressors, etc.
  1. Electromagnetic Braking System- It is a type of braking system in which when a driver presses the brake pedal, the magnetic flux is passed in a direction perpendicular to the rotating direction of the wheel and we see rapid current flowing in a direction opposite to the rotation of the wheel. This creates an opposing force to the wheel rotation and it slows down the wheel. 

        Let us discuss the advantages and disadvantages of these types of brakes – 

          Advantages- 

  • Quick in response
  • Smooth in operation
  • No wear and tear

          Disadvantages-

  • Very Expensive
  • Electronics are more prone to failure.

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