The Brake System of a Motor Vehicle

Topics: Disc brake, Brake, Drum brake Pages: 2 (602 words) Published: January 23, 2012
With advances in automobile technology, braking systems have also been constantly evolving to offer precision braking facility in modern cars. The two prime braking technologies developed over the course of time are drum brakes and disc brakes. In the following essay I am going to describe the two different types and point out the advantages and disadvantages of drum and disc brakes.

Before we make a distinction between discs and drums, let me explain the basic working principle of any braking system installed in cars. When brakes are applied, vehicles come to a halt through application of friction against the wheels. Heat is generated in the process. The conversion of kinetic energy of the rotating wheels into heat slows down the wheel.

Early automotive brake systems used a drum design at all four wheels. They were called drum brakes because the components were housed in a round drum that rotated along with the wheel. Inside was a set of shoes that, when the brake pedal was pressed, would force the shoes against the drum and slow the wheel. Fluid was used to transfer the movement of the brake pedal into the movement of the brake shoes.

The newer one, the disc brake, works on the same basic principles to slow a vehicle, but their design is far superior to that of drum brakes. Instead of housing the major components within a metal drum, disc brakes use a slim rotor and small caliper to halt wheel movement. Within the caliper are two brake pads, one on each side of the rotor, that clamp together when the brake pedal is pressed. Once again, fluid is used to transfer the movement of the brake pedal into the movement of the brake pads.

Now I will highlight the difference between drum and disc brakes. Which brake system are better and why, if any?!
Disc brakes operate better than drum brakes because of the difference in dissipation of heat in both systems. The drum brake is an internal system, with the brake pads being held inside of the brake drum. As...
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