What is a Brake?

The simplest definition would be that a brake is a mechanical device which inhibits motion. Almost all wheeled vehicles have a brake of some sort. Brakes may be broadly described as using friction, pumping, or electromagnetics.

When the brake pedal of a modern vehicle with hydraulic brakes is pushed, ultimately a piston pushes the brake pad against the brake disc which slows the wheel down. On the brake drum, it is similar to the cylinder pushes the brake shoes against the drum which also slows the wheel down.

Brake pads are a part of the disc braking system, which is standard equipment for modern vehicles. In a disc braking system, a calliper is situated around the front wheels of your vehicle (most of a car’s stopping force comes from the front tires). The calliper is fitted with brake pads. When you press the brake pedal, the calliper squeezes the brake pads against the wheel and the resulting friction slows your vehicle to a stop.

It is also important that we are aware of 2 important modern brake systems and their impact on road safety.

  • ABS [Anti-lock braking system]is an automobile safety system that allows the wheels on a motor vehicle to continue interacting attractively with the road surface as directed by driver steering inputs while braking, preventing the wheels from locking up (that is, ceasing rotation) and therefore avoiding skidding.
  • Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) is an autonomous road vehicle safety system which employs sensors to monitor the proximity of vehicles in front and detects situations where the relative speed and distance between the host and target vehicles suggest that a collision is imminent. In such a situation, emergency braking can be automatically applied to avoid the collision or at least to mitigate its effects.

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