Brake system

The Disc Brake

The Disc Brake

Believe it or not but the disc brake or at least the basic function of a disc brake was developed in the 1890's in the UK but it was over 60 years before the material technology could support this interesting device and make it a truly reliable mass market part. Dunlop made a race-application disc brake for a Jaguar C-Type race car in 1953 and was the precursor to all modern day disc brake systems. It still was not until the 1980's that the disc brake made it from the exotic side to the ubitiquous everyday device that it is today.

Drum Brakes

The humble drum brake ruled the brake world in the 1950s till the 1980s and was eventually superceeded by the disc brake system. Although more complicated in construction, its concept is simpler. Two semicircular brake shoes sit inside a spinning drum which is attached to the wheel. When you apply the brakes, hydraulic fluid is pumped into a pistion between the pair of semi-circular brake shoes. These shoes are expanded outwards to press against the inside of the drum. This creates friction, which creates heat, which transfers kinetic energy, which slows down the car.

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