Hydraulic brake

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The hydraulic brake is an arrangement of braking mechanism which uses brake fluid, typically containing ethylene glycol, to transfer pressure from the controlling unit, which is usually near the operator of the vehicle, to the actual brake mechanism, which is usually at or near the wheel of the vehicle.

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1 History 2 Construction 3 System Operation 4 An example of a hydraulic brake system 5 Component specifics

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5.1 Power brakes

6 Special considerations 7 See also 8 References 9 External links 10 Patents


Fred Duesenberg originated hydraulic brakes on his 1914 racing cars. This braking system could have earned him a fortune if he had patented it. In 1918 Malcolm Lougheed (who later changed the spelling of his name to Lockheed) developed a hydraulic brake system.[1]

motorcycles. a return spring. a set of thermally conductive brake pads and a rotor (also called a brake disc) or drum attached to an axle. scooters. consists of the following:    Brake pedal or lever A pushrod (also called an actuating rod) A master cylinder assembly containing a piston assembly (made up of either one or two pistons. a series of gaskets/ O-rings and a fluid reservoir)   Reinforced hydraulic lines Brake caliper assembly usually consisting of one or two hollow aluminum or chrome-plated steel pistons (called caliper pistons).A schematic illustrating the major components of a hydraulic disc brake system The most common arrangement of hydraulic brakes for passenger vehicles. . and mopeds.

This relieves the hydraulic pressure on the caliper allowing the brake piston in the caliper assembly to slide back into its housing and the brake pads to release the rotor. nor does it get consumed through use [edit]An example of a hydraulic brake system Hydraulic brakes transfer energy to stop an object. The spinning disc brake. [edit]System Operation Within a hydraulic brake system. with just two cylinders and a disc brake the cylinders could be connected via tubes. In a very simple brake system. This forces fluid through the hydraulic lines toward one or more calipers where it acts upon one or two caliper pistons sealed by one or more seated O-rings which prevent the escape of any fluid from around the piston. none of the brake fluid enters or leaves it. This causes them to be pushed against the spinning rotor. with a piston inside the cylinders. because disc brakes have shown better heat dissipation and greater resistance to 'fading' and are therefore generally safer than drum brakes. so the master cylinder . However. replacing drums on all but the most basic vehicles. Heat generated from this friction is either dissipated through vents and channels in the rotor or conducted through the pads themselves which are made of specialized heat-tolerant materials such as kevlar or sintered glass. a pushrod exerts force on the piston(s) in the master cylinder causing fluid from the brake fluid reservoir to flow into a pressure chamber through a compensating port which results in an increase in the pressure of the entire hydraulic system. For simplicity. however. but different diameters. The two cylinders have the same volume. Subsequent release of the brake pedal/ lever allows spring(s) to return the master piston(s) back into position. Later. continue to employ a drum brake for the rear wheel. The hydraulic braking system is designed as a closed system: unless there is a leak within the system. as the brake pedal is pressed. the braking system described hereafter uses the terminology and configuration for a simple disc brake. Let us say that the diameter of the master cylinder is half the diameter of the slave cylinder. disc brakes were used for the front and drum brakes for the rear. The one with the smallest diameter is called the master cylinder. four-wheel disc brakes have become increasingly popular. and the friction between the pads and the rotor causes a braking torque to be generated. normally a rotating axle.the passenger vehicles commonly employed drum brakes on all four wheels. slowing the vehicle.The system is usually filled with a glycol-ether based brake fluid (other fluids may also be used). therefore a different surface areas. will be placed down at the piston with the larger surface area. The cylinders and tubes are filled with incompressible oil. At one time. Many twowheel vehicles designs. The brake caliper pistons then apply force to the brake pads.

with a total force of 120 newton. A front/rear split system uses one master cylinder section to pressurize the front caliper pistons and the other section to pressurize the rear caliper pistons. with a force of 40 N. each of which pressurizes a separate hydraulic circuit. and a pivot point. This system was developed with front wheel drive cars suspension design to maintain better control and stability during a system failure. The right front and left rear are served by one actuating piston while the left front and the right rear are served. Now. Now. The diameter and length of the master cylinder has a significant effect on the performance of the brake system. 1976. the other circuit can stop the vehicle. A larger diameter master cylinder delivers more hydraulic fluid to the caliper pistons. . exclusively. the FMVSS Standard 105. if we push down on the pedal 120 mm with 10 N of force. Diagonal split systems were used initially on American Motors automobiles in the 1967 production year. This force can be further multiplied by adding a lever connected between the master piston. Each section supplies pressure to one circuit. requires the master cylinder is divided internally into two sections. with 10 N of force. If either circuit fails. and the slave piston will then push 10 mm against the brake pad. a pedal. The rod either extends to the master cylinder (manual brakes) or to the vacuum booster (power brakes). when pushing down on the pedal. If the distance from the pedal to the pivot is three times the distance from the pivot to the connected piston. with at least one front wheel braking (the front brakes provide most of the speed reduction) remains intact to stop the mechanically-damaged vehicle. Just before 1970. In a four-wheel car. and the foot pad is at the other end of the lever. by a second actuating piston (both pistons pressurize their respective coupled lines from a single foot pedal). 30 N will then be applied to the master piston. the slave piston will then move 10 mm. One end is attached to the framework of the vehicle.has a surface area which is four times smaller. A master cylinder may also use differing diameters between the two sections to allow for increased fluid volume to one set of caliper pistons or the other. if one circuit fails. Passenger vehicles typically have either a front/rear split brake system or a diagonal split brake system (the master cylinder in a motorcycle or scooter may only pressurize a single unit. diagonally split systems had become universal for automobiles sold in the United States. a pushrod extends from a point along its length. A split circuit braking system is now required by law in most countries for safety reasons. then it multiplies the pedal force with a factor of 3. the other. [edit]Component specifics (For typical light duty automotive braking systems) The brake pedal is a simple lever. which will be the front brake). A smaller diameter master cylinder has the opposite effect. yet requires more brake pedal force and less brake pedal stroke to achieve a given deceleration. if the piston in the master cylinder is pushed down 40 mm.

creating two chambers. pushes on the master cylinder piston. This can be caused by either the air valve closing (due to the pedal apply stopping) or if "run out" is reached. A return spring keeps the diaphragm in the starting position until the brake pedal is applied. If the pressure on one side is lost. the pressure from the other side moves the piston. When the piston makes contact with a simple electrical probe in the center of the unit. These units consist of a hollow housing with a movable rubber diaphragm across the center. The equilibrium created by the low pressure in both chambers keeps the diaphragm from moving until the brake pedal is depressed. The diaphragm will stop moving when the forces on both sides of the chamber reach equilibrium. When the brake pedal is applied. A relatively small diameter booster unit is required. sometimes referred to as a "brake failure valve". the piston does not move. [edit]Special considerations . When attached to the low-pressure portion of the throttle body or intake manifold of the engine. After the run out point is reached. Since the pressure becomes higher in one chamber. it is necessary to use hydraulic brake hose from the end of the steel line at the vehicle frame to the caliper at the wheel. Since the wheels do not maintain a fixed relation to the automobile. an assisting force of about 1500 N (200n) is produced by a 20 cm diaphragm with an area of 0.[edit]Power brakes The vacuum booster or vacuum servo is used in most modern hydraulic brake systems which contain four wheels. these have negligible expansion under pressure and can give a firmer feel to the brake pedal with less pedal travel for a given braking effort. brake tubing carries the pressure to the brake units at the wheels. only the driver's foot force can be used to further apply the master cylinder piston.03 square meters. brake failure. The pressure differential valve has two chambers (to which the hydraulic lines attach) with a piston between them. When the pressure in either line is balanced. in addition to the driver's foot force. the pressure in both chambers of the unit is lowered. ultimately. From the pressure differential valve. for a very conservative 50% manifold vacuum. The fluid pressure from the master cylinder travels through a pair of steel brake tubes to a pressure differential valve. which performs two functions: it equalizes pressure between the two systems. Allowing steel brake tubing to flex invites metal fatigue and. a circuit is completed. and it provides a warning if one system loses pressure. the movement opens an air valve which lets in atmospheric pressure air to one chamber of the booster. and the operator is warned of a failure in the brake system. The vacuum booster is attached between the master cylinder and the brake pedal and multiplies the braking force applied by the driver. A common upgrade is to replace the standard rubber hoses with a set which are externally reinforced with braided stainless-steel wires. This force. the diaphragm moves toward the lower pressure chamber with a force created by the area of the diaphragm and the differential pressure. Run out occurs when the pressure in one chamber reaches atmospheric pressure and no additional force can be generated by the now stagnant differential pressure.

hydraulic systems rely on a single stroke of a piston to force fluid through the system. and require air compressors and reservoir tanks. If it gets into the brake lines. Hydraulic systems are smaller and less expensive. It may occur for many reasons. and may be lost.Air brake systems are bulky. resulting in a reduction in braking capability that requires replacement of the affected parts. Thermal distortion may also cause permanent changes in the shape of the metal components. vaporization of the hydraulic fluid under temperature extremes or thermal distortion may cause the linings to change their shape and engage less surface area of the rotating part. such as when descending steep grades. Unlike air brakes. and can tolerate much higher temperatures before vaporizing. Oil displaces water. Also. it can degrade brake performance dramatically. For this reason. Hydraulic braking systems are sometimes subjected to high temperatures during operation. Water vaporizes easily with heat and can corrode the metal parts of the system. where a valve is opened and air flows into the lines and brake chambers until the pressure rises sufficiently. Hydraulic fluid must be non-compressible. becoming so smooth and hard that they cannot grip sufficiently to slow the vehicle. The pads which engage the rotating part may become overheated and "glaze over". protects plastic parts against corrosion. "Brake fade" is a condition caused by overheating in which braking effectiveness reduces. This is why light oils are often used as hydraulic fluids. and the pressure may not rise sufficiently to actuate the brakes. . If any vapor is introduced into the system it will compress. hydraulic fluid must resist vaporization at high temperatures.

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