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Electrical Braking System Advantages

Limitations Disadvantages

Braking System in Electric Drives An

To avoid danger to the worker or damage to the products quick
stopping of motor is mandatory.
Due to inertia, even after disconnecting the electric supply to the
running motor, it will continue to run for some time.
In many cases it is essential to stop the running motor quickly than
quick starting. Delay in starting up a motor causes only the
machinery to stand idle.
But a delay in stopping a motor may result in heavy damage to
equipment and even the loss of human life.

Types of Braking System in Electrical Drives:

There are two types of braking used in the electrical drives namely
1. Mechanical braking
2. Electrical braking
Mechanical Braking:
In this method, the stored energy is dissipated as heat by a brake
shoe or brake lining which rubs against a brake drum.
Electric braking:

In this method of braking, the stored energy of ratating part is

converted into electrical energy and dissipated by the resistance
in the form of heat or returned to the supply.

The motors used for electric braking should have suitable

braking characteristics.

The three types of electric braking are

Rheostat or dynamic braking,
Regenerative braking.

Advantage of Electrical Braking over Mechanical

Electric braking is fast and cheap.
In electric braking there is no maintenance cost like replaced
brake shoes periodically.

By using electic braking the capacity of the system( like higher

speeds, heavy loads) can be increased.

A part of energy is returned to the supply consequently the

running cost is reduced.

In electric braking negligible amount of heat is generated

whereas in mechanical braking enormous heat is produced at
brake shoes which leads to failure of brakes.

Disadvantages, Limitations of Electrical Braking:

Electric braking can not be used for hold the machine after
coming to the rest.
So a mechanical braking is required additionally.

For example in the case of the train going up hill, after the train
has been stopped using electric braking, it has to be prevented
from moving down hill.
In such cases mechanical brakes also should be provided for
During the braking period, the motor has to function as
generator. So it must have suitable braking characteristics. ie,
the choice of motor is limited.

Electric Brakes Information

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Electric brakes are devices that use an electrical current or magnetic actuating force to slow
or stop the motion of a rotating component. They are used in industrial and vehicular
braking applications that require fast response times and precise tension control.

There are two main types of electric brakes: magnetic and friction. Each has various
subtypes. As described below, the way an electric brake works depends upon these

In addition to type, the GlobalSpec SpecSearch database allows industrial buyers to search
for electric brakes by operating specifications, engagement mechanism, measurements and
shaft configuration, brake materials, and features.

Types of Magnetic Brakes

Magnetic brakes are non-contact brakes that use magnetic fields to actuate the braking
components. There are four types.

Permanent Magnet Brakes

Permanent magnet brakes stop or hold a load when electrical power is either accidentally
lost or intentionally disconnected. They are sometimes called "fail safe" brakes and use a
permanent magnet to attract a single face armature. As the brake is engaged, the magnets
create magnetic lines of flux, which can turn to attract the armature to the brake housing.
To disengage the brake, power is applied to the coil, which sets up an alternate magnetic
field that cancels out the magnetic flux of the permanent magnets. Permanent brakes are
engaged when no power is applied to them and can hold or stop when power is lost or

Design Tip: Multiple disks can also be used to increase brake torque, without increasing brake diameter.

Electromagnetic Brakes

Electromagnetic brakes have a coil in a shell, a hub, and an armature. An electrical circuit
engages the brake as it energizes the coil. The current runs through the coil and generates a
magnetic field. The magnetic flux acts directly between the armature and field. The
armature is pulled into contact with the rotor when the magnetic flux overcomes the air gap
between the armature and field. All of the torque comes from the magnetic attraction and
coefficient of friction between the steel of the armature and the steel of the brake field.
Deceleration occurs when the armature contacts the field, and the torque transfers into the
field housing and machine frame. Turing off power causes the flux to fall rapidly, the
armature to separate, and disengagement to occur. Springs are used to help push the
armature away from the surface and maintain an air gap.

Eddy Current Brakes

Eddy current brakes develop torque by the direct magnetic linking of the rotor to the stator.
A magnetic field induces a voltage in moving objects and the induced voltage causes an
eddy current to flow in any conducting objects. The electrical current is sent to coils, which
alternate polarities, creating an electromagnetic field. This change in magnetic flux induces
a small circulating current in the conductor called an 'eddy current'.

Eddy currents are generated in two rotors as they spin through the field and slow the
rotation of the driveshaft. The first current created generates an opposing current. The
counter-opposing flux and Lorentz force reduces the velocity of the object. Ohmic losses and
significant heating are also produced by the current. Eddy current brakes must have a slip
between the rotor and the stator to generate torque.
There are two types of Eddy current brakes.

Rotational or circular brakes are connected to a rotating coil and magnetic field between
the rotor and the coil, creating a resistance that's used to generate electricity. A braking
force is possible when electric current is passed through the electromagnets.

Linear eddy current brakes consist of a magnetic yoke with electrical coil positioned
along the rail. The coils are magnetized, alternating as south and north magnetic poles.

Video Credit: Carleton Physics via YouTube

Hysteresis Powered Brakes

Hysteresis powered brakes have a wide torque range. They have a reticulated pole structure
and a specialty steel rotor/shaft assembly that are fastened together, but not in physical
contact. The drag cup can spin freely until the field coil is energized by a current/voltage,
creating an internal magnetic flux. The air gap between the pole structure and the rotor
becomes a flux field and magnetically restrains the rotor. This provides the braking action
between the pole structure and the rotor.

When electricity is removed from the brake, the rotor is free to turn, and no relative force is
transmitted between either part. Torque is only produced through a magnetic air gap that
does not use friction or shear forces. Control over torque is done through the DC current to
the field coil. The amount of braking torque transmitted by the brake is proportional to the
amount of current flowing through the field coil.

Electromagnetic brake
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Electromagnetic brakes (also called electro-mechanical brakes or EM brakes) slow or stop

motion using electromagnetic force to apply mechanical resistance (friction). The original name was
"electro-mechanical brakes" but over the years the name changed to "electromagnetic brakes",
referring to their actuation method. Since becoming popular in the mid-20th century especially
in trains and trams, the variety of applications and brake designs has increased dramatically, but the
basic operation remains the same.
Both electromagnetic brakes and eddy current brakes use electromagnetic force but electromagnetic
brakes ultimately depend on friction and eddy current brakes use magnetic force directly.



2.1Single face brake

2.2Power off brake

2.3Particle brake

2.4Hysteresis power brake

2.5Multiple disk brake

3See also


In locomotives, a mechanical linkage transmits torque to an electromagnetic braking component.
Trams and trains use electromagnetic track brakes where the braking element is pressed by
magnetic force to the rail. They are distinguished from mechanical track brakes, where the braking
element is mechanically pressed on the rail.
Electric motors in industrial and robotic applications also employ electromagnetic brakes.
Recent design innovations have led to the application of electromagnetic brakes to aircraft
applications.[1] In this application, a combination motor/generator is used first as a motor to spin the
tires up to speed prior to touchdown, thus reducing wear on the tires, and then as a generator to
provide regenerative braking.[1]

Single face brake[edit]

A-3 Electromagnetic brake

For more and detailed information, please see Friction-plate electromagnetic couplings
A friction-plate brake uses a single plate friction surface to engage the input and output members of
the clutch. Single face electromagnetic brakes make up approximately 80% of all of the power
applied brake applications.

Power off brake[edit]

Electromagnetic Power Off Brake Spring Set

Power off brakes stop or hold a load when electrical power is either accidentally lost or intentionally
disconnected. In the past, some companies have referred to these as "fail safe" brakes. These
brakes are typically used on or near an electric motor. Typical applications include robotics, holding
brakes for Z axis ball screws and servo motor brakes. Brakes are available in multiple voltages and
can have either standard backlash or zero backlash hubs. Multiple disks can also be used to
increase brake torque, without increasing brake diameter. There are 2 main types of holding brakes.
The first is spring applied brakes. The second is permanent magnet brakes.
Spring type - When no electricity is applied to the brake, a spring pushes against a pressure plate,
squeezing the friction disk between the inner pressure plate and the outer cover plate. This frictional
clamping force is transferred to the hub, which is mounted to a shaft.
Permanent magnet type A permanent magnet holding brake looks very similar to a standard
power applied electromagnetic brake. Instead of squeezing a friction disk, via springs, it uses
permanent magnets to attract a single face armature. When the brake is engaged, the permanent
magnets create magnetic lines of flux, which can in turn attract the armature to the brake housing. To
disengage the brake, power is applied to the coil which sets up an alternate magnetic field that
cancels out the magnetic flux of the permanent magnets.
Both power off brakes are considered to be engaged when no power is applied to them. They are
typically required to hold or to stop alone in the event of a loss of power or when power is not
available in a machine circuit. Permanent magnet brakes have a very high torque for their size, but
also require a constant current control to offset the permanent magnetic field. Spring applied brakes
do not require a constant current control, they can use a simple rectifier, but are larger in diameter or
would need stacked friction disks to increase the torque.

Particle brake[edit]

Magnetic Particle Brake

Magnetic particle brakes are unique in their design from other electro-mechanical brakes because of
the wide operating torque range available. Like an electro-mechanical brake, torque to voltage is
almost linear; however, in a magnetic particle brake, torque can be controlled very accurately (within
the operating RPM range of the unit). This makes these units ideally suited for tension control
applications, such as wire winding, foil, film, and tape tension control. Because of their fast
response, they can also be used in high cycle applications, such as magnetic card readers, sorting
machines and labeling equipment.
Magnetic particles (very similar to iron filings) are located in the powder cavity. When electricity is
applied to the coil, the resulting magnetic flux tries to bind the particles together, almost like a
magnetic particle slush. As the electric current is increased, the binding of the particles becomes
stronger. The brake rotor passes through these bound particles. The output of the housing is rigidly
attached to some portion of the machine. As the particles start to bind together, a resistant force is
created on the rotor, slowing, and eventually stopping the output shaft.

Hysteresis power brake[edit]

Electomagnetic Hysteresis Power Brake

Electrical hysteresis units have an extremely wide torque range. Since these units can be controlled
remotely, they are ideal for test stand applications where varying torque is required. Since drag
torque is minimal, these units offer the widest available torque range of any of the hysteresis
products. Most applications involving powered hysteresis units are in test stand requirements.

When electricity is applied to the field, it creates an internal magnetic flux. That flux is then
transferred into a hysteresis disk passing through the field. The hysteresis disk is attached to the
brake shaft. A magnetic drag on the hysteresis disk allows for a constant drag, or eventual stoppage
of the output shaft.
When electricity is removed from the brake, the hysteresis disk is free to turn, and no relative force is
transmitted between either member. Therefore, the only torque seen between the input and the
output is bearing drag.

Multiple disk brake[edit]

Electromagnetic Multiple Disk Brake

Multiple disk brakes are used to deliver extremely high torque within a small space. These brakes
can be used either wet or dry, which makes them ideal to run in multi-speed gear box applications,
machine tool applications, or in off road equipment.
Electro-mechanical disk brakes operate via electrical actuation, but transmit torque mechanically.
When electricity is applied to the coil of an electromagnet, the magnetic flux attracts the armature to
the face of the brake. As it does so, it squeezes the inner and outer friction disks together. The hub is
normally mounted on the shaft that is rotating. The brake housing is mounted solidly to the machine
frame. As the disks are squeezed, torque is transmitted from the hub into the machine frame,
stopping and holding the shaft.
When electricity is removed from the brake, the armature is free to turn with the shaft. Springs keep
the friction disk and armature away from each other. There is no contact between braking surfaces
and minimal drag.