The Info Stop on Brakes Stop by for Brakes Stop over and read about brakes Do you really know about brakes

Brakes have been refined and improved since their invention. The increases in traveling speeds and also the growing weights of cars are making these improvements essential. The faster a car goes and the heavier it can be, the harder it really is to stop. An effective braking system is needed to achieve this task. Today’s cars often utilize a combination of disc brakes and drum brakes. Disc brakes are generally located for the front two wheels and drum brakes for the back two wheels. Detroit is seeking even better engineered braking systems that will allow automobiles to decelerate inside a shorter distance, while still allowing drivers to keep up control of their car.

brake pads and rotorsAll cars desire a brake system; therefore it has been seen in the automobile since its invention. However, the technology in the components as well as the design with the brake system have evolved throughout the years.

In the early days of your vehicle, drum brakes were the conventional. Drum brakes offered several advantages over other types of brakes. One of these was the drum could keep out water and dirt, materials which could damage disc brakes that have been out in the open. The other, more vital advantage was that drum brakes required drivers to utilize less pressure around the pedal when compared with disc brakes. This was particularly important in the days before hydraulic and power brake systems, because both versions decreased the volume of pedal pressure needed.

The next major advancement in brake technology came in 1918 with the invention of four-wheel hydraulic brake systems by Malcolm Loughead. It is interesting to remember that Loughead would have been a member from the Lockheed family, an organization known better for producing airplanes. The hydraulic brake system replaced the mechanical brake system that’s in use right now. The mechanical system had numerous disadvantages. It caused it to be difficult to brake all of the wheels evenly, often causing a lack of control. In addition, it required drivers to exert tremendous quantities of force around the brake pedal to slow the car. The hydraulic brake system multiplied the force that has been applied to the brake, lessening how much force necessary to be placed on the brake pedal from the driver. This system was used in the 1918 Duesenberg. It’s advantages quickly caught on by 1929, four wheel hydraulic braking systems were standard equipment on many higher priced cars. It took some more years for that feature to get common on cheap cars.

As the rate of automobiles and their weight increased, better braking systems were required. The main problem with drum brakes is that the heat just isn’t efficiently disbursed. The heat which is produced in the drum doesn’t escape easily since drum prevents wind from drawing it away. However, disc brakes were open to the passing wind. This allowed the heat to be carried away which increased the efficiency in the brake. It is interesting to notice that disc brakes were first utilized in 1902. However, their use was limited getting the club the 1950’s since their efficiency wasn’t required and they also required more pedal pressure to use. The reason to the higher pedal pressure is that disc brakes have zero self-servo effect or no self-energizing capacity that the drum brakes have. The self-servo effect is caused with the forward motion from the car. This forward motion helps pull the brake shoe into contact while using drum. This helped lower the specified pedal pressure. Now that their efficiency was needed along with the hydraulic brake system multiplied the force placed on the brake pedal, disc brakes seemed to become the better alternative. Chrysler was the first to widely introduce the disc brake in the cars in early 1950’s. The system was lacking much success. It seemed the brake pressure required from the driver was still a little to great to the system to realize widespread consumer acceptance and so that it was dropped. It finally took the failing automaker Studebaker to reintroduce it in 1964. This time it saw a lot more success and in a very few years, disc brakes were common of all new cars.

One of the reasons that how much are brake pads were a success with the Studebaker and never the Chrysler was due to the development in the power foot brake. Power brakes became common inside 1950’s, after Chrysler acquired and dropped its disc brake program. The system assisted the movement in the piston inside the master cylinder which meant the driver needed to use less peddle pressure to find the same braking effectiveness. Therefore, since easy braking was no longer a concern, the adoption from the more efficient disc brake became widespread.

Another development in braking systems was included with anti-lock or anti-skid braking. With conventional braking systems, if the brakes are applied with plenty pressure, the wheels will lock up. This results in a very loss of steering effectiveness which can cause a loss of control. With anti-lock braking, the wheels do not secure, allowing the driving force to continue steering. Anti-lock brakes aren’t a new technology. They had been used in large aircraft because the 1950’s as well as the British had used them in race cars inside the 1960’s. The first automaker to utilize this technology rolling around in its cars was Ford in 1969. It placed anti-lock brakes inside luxury Thunderbird and Continental Mark III. Today, anti-lock brakes are routine on many new cars.

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