The Brake system is the heart of a car. Its action helps prevent the vehicle from colliding with other vehicles or objects on the road.
The brakes are applied by depressing the brake pedal with the foot, thus creating friction between wheel rims and brake pads.
Consequently, the wheel rims are slowed down and finally stop moving. But there are different types of brakes used in separate cars.
Drum brakes are found in old-age models without modern technology. Drag link is used in trucks for heavy-duty purposes.
Important of Brakes in a Vehicle
In the automobile world, brakes are considered a safety feature. Sudden braking or stopping of a vehicle is necessary when the driver must avoid an obstacle such as another car, a pedestrian, or debris in the roadway.
However, not all types of brakes are created equal. Five main varieties are used on modern cars, trucks, and SUVs, and they include disc brakes, drum brakes, hydraulic disc brakes, hydraulic drum brakes, and electromechanical brakes.
Whether it’s a car, truck, or SUV, you need brakes to slow down the vehicle. Brakes are essential for your Safety and the Safety of others on the road.
But how much do you know about brakes? Well, the next segment will discuss the different types of brakes.
Noteworthy too is the fact that Safety is paramount when driving. It is not a game, but many people take it for granted.
So what about brakes in a vehicle? Why are they rated so highly? After all, different systems have to work together to make them safe to use.
Let’s look at the different types of brakes that you will find on vehicles and why they play such an essential role in ensuring Safety.
Importance of Braking Systems
A vehicle brake system must provide several functions:
- Stopping your vehicle when you step on the brake pedal.
- Stopping your car when you release the brake and the pedal goes to the floor.
- It prevents your vehicle from rolling or sliding when parked without being braked.
These functions are achieved by three types of brakes: conventional disc brakes, anti-lock brakes, and parking brakes.
Different Types of Brakes for Bikes
1. Disc brakes
Disc brakes, otherwise known as rotors, are a great invention of technology.
They have been around since the early days of cars and motorcycles, but they have only found their way into all-terrain vehicles in recent years, and then not without a bit of controversy.
That’s too bad because disc brakes are highly effective for ATVs and dirt bikes, especially when stopping on steep slopes. Disc brakes consist of two large metal discs to the wheel.
The discs can be made from stainless steel, aluminum, or cast iron, depending on the manufacturer. The discs are positioned near the wheel hubs with the help of a caliper that is bolted to the wheel axle housing.
The disc brake is activated using a mechanism operated by the rider’s foot that forces pistons within the caliper to push against one side of the disc.
The force generated by this pressure takes some time to reach its maximum level as heat builds up within the system.
This delay in reaction time has made some riders skeptical about this type of braking system when used on a slope or in wet conditions where high speeds could cause panic to set in among inexperienced ATV riders.
However, with proper training, this obstacle can be overcome.
2. Tandem Discs
Tandem Discs are used on all modern disc brakes and preferred mountain bike types. The Tandem Disc is essentially two independent brake discs attached to the same hub, with a “bridge” between them that allows you to connect the brake arms.
The main advantage of Tandem Disc brakes over V-Brakes is that each disc can be adjusted and maintained separately.
With V-brake systems, if you have a problem with one caliper or brake pad, you generally have to replace both because they are attached at the pivot point.
While they can be set up independently on many systems, it’s often tricky and time-consuming to correct adjustments, and mistakes can cause uneven braking.
Tandem Discs eliminate all those problems by allowing independent adjustment of each disc and pad. If one side needs more or less tension, remove the quick release from that arm and turn the barrel adjuster to your desired setting – no need to remove any parts or disassemble anything but that one arm.
It’s also much easier to adjust pads relative to each other; often, you will need to move places inward toward the rotor to eliminate rubbing issues without needing any additional travel on the post itself.
3. Tandem-Servo Brake System
A tandem-servo brake operates indirect and indirect (servo) modes. The direct method is like a conventional drum brake.
When you apply the brakes, pads squeeze against the inside of the drum, and friction slows the spinning drum.
In the indirect mode, hydraulic pressure applied to a piston within a cylinder forces hydraulic fluid out through ports in the rear of the cylinder.
This fluid then exerts pressure on a larger master piston attached to a caliper on the back of the drum. When this happens, it forces pistons within calipers on each wheel to move inward, pushing pads against brake disks to slow them down.
In essence, when you step on a tandem-servo brake pedal, you are applying both direct pressure to hold your wheels from turning and servo pressure to stop them from turning once they’re already stopped or slowed almost to a stop.
V-brake is a different type of brake, and it is one of the most popular brakes. Invented By Scott in 1980, V-brake has improved a lot since then.
V-brake is called V-brake because its shape looks like the letter “v.” This brake has two pivot points on each side, and the two pivot points are connected by a cable that pulls the brake when you pull it.
At the bottom of the brake, there are also two flat pieces perpendicular to the pivot points, which are usually used as feet for adjusting and fixing the position of the bicycle.
V-brakes can be used on any bike that uses rim brakes. They can be used on bikes with fixed or suspension forks, and they can be used on the front or rear wheel. There are several different versions of V-brakes, including linear spring brake and one-pivot brake.
The purpose of a V-brake is to slow down or stop your bicycle. You use it by pulling backward on the right lever with your right hand to slow down or stop and pushing forward on the left lever with your left hand to apply more braking force.
This can be tricky because brakes are designed so you can pull hard enough to slide the bike out from under you.
How do they work? The cable pulls a lever that then hits the brake pads against the wheel’s rim, slowing down or stopping the bike. With a V-brake, there is no return spring; instead, you have to squeeze the levers together slightly for them to release.
An excellent way to learn how to use them is to practice walking and ride your bike using only the brakes. With experience, you will learn how much pressure you can apply without losing control of your bicycle!
The linear ones are called linear because they provide a constant force throughout their stroke. Linear brakes are easy to adjust and maintain, but they do not give as much power as mechanical ones.
Mechanical brakes require more maintenance but offer a much more vital braking force. They also do not provide a steady force as the linear brakes do, so if you are looking for a smooth ride with light braking, then a v-brake is probably the best option for you.
5. Coaster brakes
Coaster brakes are found on most children’s bikes. The rear wheel has a small drum brake that is operated by turning a lever connected to it.
The coaster brake makes braking more convenient since you can control it with one hand while keeping the other hand on the handlebar.
So why don’t adults use coaster brakes? They are less potent than hand brakes and harder to modulate, which means they are more likely to lock up, skid, and bring you to an abrupt halt.
Some adults’ hands are too big to reach the lever comfortably; this is particularly true of short people. Coaster brakes also make it harder to ride no-handed, which is not a good idea in many situations but is still a skill worth having.
Some household tasks require you not to have both hands on the handlebar. If your bike doesn’t have a coaster brake, you have three options: You can carry your bike; you can walk, or you can learn to ride no-handed (a useful skill). Using a coaster brake makes riding no-handed easier.
This may be why some adults prefer them, even though an adult riding no-handed presents much less danger than a child riding with one hand on the handlebar and one on
6. S-cam Brakes
S-cam brakes are the most common drum brake, and they use a cam to pull the shoes away from the drum.
They work by pushing a toe piece against the back of the shoe. The shoe is attached to a lever arm, rotating when pressing on the pedal. The toe piece is connected to the shoe by the arm with two joints.
When you step on the pedal, a cam rotates and pushes down on this arm, pushing the toe piece against the shoe and pulling it away from the drum.
This system uses cams to change how much pressure is applied to each wheel. When you step on your brake pedal, you increase pressure on one wheel at a time rather than increasing pressure evenly across all four wheels.
When you need it, this gives you better-stopping power: when speeding down a hill or charging through an intersection during peak traffic.
S-cam brakes may not be very common in the USA, but they seem very popular in other parts of the world. So here is a quick rundown of how they work.
In an s-cam brake, there are two sets of cams operating on the same disc. One set applies force to one side of the disc while the other applies pressure to the other side.
This allows for more efficient use of the braking system, as one set can do its job while the different set cools off from its last application.
Some manufacturers have reached lower temperatures in their brakes this way, which allows for less fade and better performance overall.
7. Mechanical Brakes
Mechanical brakes are the kind you squeeze to make the wheels stop. They come in two varieties, calipers and cantilevers.
Cantilevered brakes are what you find on most bicycles, including most department store bikes. You set them up so that they clamp the wheel rim between a pad and a bolt or nut on a hinged arm.
The bolt or nut is attached to the frame so that when you pull the brake lever, it tightens or loosens the bolt (or nut).
When it’s tight, it pushes the wheel into the frame; it doesn’t touch the frame when it’s loose.
With this arrangement, you can squeeze harder by pulling harder on the handlebars, but you can’t squeeze more often; each squeeze moves only one of the brake arms.
With cantilever brakes, you push outward on both brake arms at once with your fingers, which means you can apply more force but only by squeezing harder.
Since all mechanical brakes use this cantilever principle to some extent, we’ll focus on caliper brakes here.
Different Types of Brakes for Cars
1. Radial Brakes
Radial brakes are found on cars with solid axles. These brakes were used primarily in the 1930s and 1940s, although they can be found up to the 1960s.
The main parts of the radial brake assembly are the brake drum, brake shoes, brake backing plate, and wheel cylinder. The drum is bolted to a flange at the end of the axle housing.
The brake shoes are mounted to a brake backing plate bolted to the inside of the drum. The wheel cylinder is mounted to a bracket bolted to the outside of the drum.
The job of a radial brake is to stop the rotation of the axle hub. To accomplish this job, pressure must be applied to both sides of each shoe.
Force is used with a piston in a cylinder by expanding hydraulic fluid, pushing the piston against spring making against shoes, which pushes them against the drum.
Radial brakes are the most common type. The pads sit in a metal holder, called the caliper, which is bolted to the wheel.
The pads clamp down on each side of a disc mounted in the hub, slowing it as it turns.
Radial brakes are used in most cars and trucks today, as well as SUVs. The calipers are usually made of aluminum or cast iron because they are solid and light, and cheap to manufacture.
The main advantage of radial brakes is that they can stop the car much faster than older kinds of brakes.
Disadvantages include the fact that they use more power than older types and that they can warp brake rotors if they’re overheated.
Also, sometimes water gets into the brake pads through a hole around the rotor and causes rusting — which then turns into pitting or other damage that makes the rotor less smooth and less efficient at turning.”
2. Hydraulic Brakes
Some of the essential brakes are not very visible. That’s partly because they are hidden inside the wheels and because we rarely need to use them.
Hydraulic disc brakes work in essentially the same way as friction brakes do, but they have many advantages: they are more powerful; they require less maintenance; they don’t wear out nearly as fast, and they are more effective in wet conditions.
They also generate less brake dust than their mechanical counterparts, which is advantageous for vehicles that spend much time on roads with dry weather conditions.
3. Magnetic Induction Brakes
Magnetic induction brakes are used in the Maglev trains (Magnetic levitation) that travel through the tunnel from airport to airport in Japan.
Magnetic induction brakes use the power of magnetism to slow down the train. The train is run through a long coiled wire made of copper. A current passes through the wire, which generates a magnetic field.
As the train runs through the wire, this field induces a current in another long coil of wire. This movement of electrons in the second coil creates an opposing magnetic field and resists the first magnetic field, and slows down the moving train.
Magnetic induction brakes don’t rely on the brake fluid being compressible. In principle, they could stop your car with no fluid at all — though there would be other problems with getting the energy back out of your automobile afterward, so don’t take this as an endorsement for doing that.
Magnetic induction brakes are also much lighter on your car’s suspension — which means better ride quality when you’re not braking, which means less wear-and-tear on your tires and your road and ultimately less cost for you over time.
Magnetic induction brakes do their braking without needing to touch any moving parts of your car — no moving parts anywhere near them, in fact — which means lower maintenance costs and longer service life.
4. Regenerative Brakes
Regenerative brakes are used in hybrid cars, and they slow the car using the energy that would usually be lost as heat when braking.
This can recover up to 10% of the car’s energy and significantly reduce braking distance.
The braking system on a hybrid car is similar to that on a conventional car in most respects. A brake pedal is operated by the driver and linked to the master cylinder, which pressurizes the brake fluid in the brake lines.
The pressure from this pushes on the brake pads (which may be made of organic or carbon/ceramic composites), which in turn squeeze together two very strong metal discs, usually steel but sometimes ceramic.
This slows and eventually stops the wheels, converting kinetic energy into heat through friction. The difference with a hybrid car is that there is also an electric motor attached to each wheel.
These motors are called traction motors, and they are used instead of engine power when extra acceleration or hill-climbing power is required, such as when starting off or going up hills while heavily loaded.
The motors also provide extra power for overtaking and maneuvering at low speeds; they are not intended to take the place of an engine at high speed because of their mechanical losses and low efficiency at such speeds.
5. Wheel rim brake
Wheel rim brakes — Which is better? Wheel rim brakes are the most common type of brakes found on bikes. They are found on both front and rear wheels.
Rim brakes work by clamping a brake pad onto a special section of the wheel rim known as the braking surface.
The brake pad is made of hard-wearing rubber with a small piece of metal embedded within it to provide extra stopping power when required.
A rim brake works by depressing a spring mechanism that then releases and presses against the brake pad, which in turn applies pressure to the braking surface, slowing and eventually stopping the bike.
The amount of pressure applied depends on how much pressure you apply to the lever via your hand, arm, and shoulder muscle.
The main benefits to this kind of system are its simplicity and low cost, which doesn’t mean it’s cheap but rather that it’s easy to maintain and can be provided at a low price.
Because the braking surface is where the rim touches the tire, there is no moving part inside the hub or spokes, making it very unlikely that any parts will wear out due to use or age.
It’s also lighter than other types of brakes because these types don’t have to house an internal mechanism as a caliper does.
So there might be drama now and then, but it’s better than not being able to reduce your speed. There are different types of brakes you can use, and some are better at slowing you down than others.
If the brake on your bike or car is in not very good condition, don’t risk it just to get somewhere quicker, try to do with the one you have and when you can, go to a bike shop and ask them to change your brake system.