Braking History

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  • Topic: Disc brake, Brake, Drum brake
  • Pages : 2 (745 words )
  • Download(s) : 421
  • Published : April 4, 2012
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In a little over a hundred years since the automobile took hold of people’s imagination, technologies designed to make them accelerate faster and reach higher speeds have evolved with a fury. The brakes that were used to decelerate vehicles just over a hundred years ago (when cars were first invented) has evolved from plain wooden blocks to discs that are monitored by Anti-lock Brake Systems and Electronic Braking Distribution systems. The earliest braking system that used by vehicles consisted of nothing more than a block of wood and a lever system. The wood brake system worked fine in conjunction with early vehicles that were equipped with steel rimmed wheels. However, when the Michelin brothers started to replace steel rimmed wheels with rubber tires on most vehicles towards late 1890s, the wood block braking system just does not create enough friction with rubber. Since the need for a new method of braking was necessary in order to replace the old wood block braking system, inventors scrambled for new ideas. The French manufacturer Louis Renault took crude concepts of inventors before him and developed method: The drum based braking system. Basically, the system involved a single flexible stainless-steel band, wrapped around a drum on the rear axle. When the driver engaged the brake, the band would apply pressure to the drum and car to come to a stop. However, the drum braking system did have a number of problems. Since the drum brakes were external, the exposer caused a very rapid wear-out of the system and had to be replaced often. The band itself would sometimes unwrap on hills and proved to be very unsafe for the driver and passengers. Even though people came up with ideas to internally place the brakes, the era of mechanically-activated brakes was coming to an end. In 1918, A four-wheel hydraulic-brake system was invented by Malcolm Loughead. This system used fluids to transfer the force on the pressed pedal to the pistons and then to the brake shoes....
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