The History of Car Brake System

It is a fact as stated by Newton that the moving objects will continue moving unless an opposite force halts it. In the case of a car, a force has to be applied to stop its motion. This force is accomplished by the braking system. Over the years, since the first automobile, new technologies have been made to improve brakes. The methods today are much more sophisticated and advanced.

Wooden block brake
Using a lever and a block of wood, this system has been installed on automobiles with steel rimmed wheels. The driver has to pull the lever and the block will press on the wheel and in turn, will stop the car. It is an efficient system although it could not have worked on rubber tires. It was then time to move to a new form.

Mechanical drum brake
By the 1900s this system was introduced. This uses a flexible stainless steel band and it is wrapped on a drum on the rear axle. When the brake is engaged, the drum would exert pressure on the drum and then the car would stop. These brakes are external and pose a problem of wear and tear since the elements can easily increase the wear and tear of the drum. This means it needs to be replaced often. When the car is driven over hills, the band would unwrap. This was then addressed by using brake shoes that apply the pressure to slow down the car from inside the drum.

Hydraulic drum brake
By the 1918, the hydraulic brake was introduced. The hydraulic fluid was used to stop the car. When the brakes are pressed the fluids go to a series of tubes up to the brake drum. It will then push the brake shoes against the interior linings. The result would be a force that would slow down the car. These kinds of brakes are still in use today although the biggest issue would be heat and if it builds up, it could warp the brake and cause vibrations.

Disc Brake
The disc brake was invented in the early 1900s and it was made of iron. These disks are squeezed using brake pads and this brings the car to a stop. The pads are initially squeezed by a caliper using hydraulics. Asbestos was used as a lining for the discs to improve the performance of the brakes.

Anti-Lock Brakes
These brakes are safety features that prevent the brakes from locking up. There are speed sensors that determine if the brakes will lock. The hydraulic valves will limit the braking on the affected wheel. This will provide control to prevent the car from spinning.

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