You are on page 1of 4

Selection Procedures

for Brakes

By David E. Keyser
Applications Coordinator
MICO, Incorporated

As seen in
Hydraulics and Pneumatics Magazine
November, 1992

MICO designs, manufactures and sells hydraulic components

and systems for heavy duty, off-road vehicles and equipment.
Selection procedures
for brakes
Whether on an industrial machine or a piece of mobile, if a spinning shaft has
to come to a controlled stop, it needs a brake

D.E. Keyser

Selecting a brake for any application tions is the method of actuation. In an Beyond high cycling rates,
¾ whether mobile or industrial, industrial environment, easy access to stopping heavy rotating shafts or
hydraulic or pneumatic ¾ requires compressed air or hydraulic fluid pro- flywheels within a specific time
evaluating the same basic parame- vides a convenient source of power to period demands the highest per-
ters. Torque required to stop a load apply or release a brake using simple formance from a brake. Having to
and the heat generated in the process control valves. For mobile applica- stop a massive rotating shaft within
top the list of design concerns when- tions, the designer must supply a 0.1 sec certainly is not unusual.
ever selecting a brake. What differs means of actuation ¾ a non-boosted Again, heat dissipation is important
between mobile and industrial applica- or boosted circuit or a full-power in high-inertia systems because
tions is the emphasis placed on hydraulic brake system. brakes use friction to stop the load.
certain variables. Moreover, many in- Industrial applications Consequently, heat in the brake can
dustrial machines use brakes actuated Even though industrial applications build rapidly from stopping a load.
by mechanical or electromechanical may be viewed as more predictable This heat must be dissipated before
means, which are not included in this than mobile, they are by no means another braking cycle occurs to
discussion. less demanding. This is because high avoid overheating.
Regardless of the type of actuation cycling rates often challenge the limits Industrial selection
or whether the application is mobile or of brake performance. The least Selecting a brake for an industrial
industrial, a number of different brake demanding applications are those with application can be relatively simple
designs are available. These include relatively low cycling rates ¾ gener- if the driven load has no heavy ro-
drum and caliper disc (which are simi- ally 5 stops per minute or less. tating parts that must be stopped
lar to those used in automobiles) and Stopping torque and transmitted within a specific time period. For
wet disc. The drum and disc types use horsepower usually are the most these instances, brake torque corre-
a dry friction material that impinges on important considerations for these sponds to torque capacity of the
a steel surface. Wet disc types incor- applications. When brake cycles occur prime mover multiplied by a service
porate harder friction materials and a 5 to 6 times or more per minute, iner- factor. A common service factor is
fluid that helps keep operating tem- tia, heat sink capacity, energy per 2.75 for Type B polyphase NEMA
perature low by carrying heat away cycle, and response time also require standard motors. In most cases,
from rubbing surfacces. close scrutiny. these pneumatically actuated
Brakes for industrial applications brakes mount onto the motor.
often require frequent, short-duration
stopping cycles. Brakes for mobile
applications, on the other hand, must
be selected to handle worst-case
conditions that can far exceed those of
daily operation. To illustrate: a
60,000-lb vehicle with a 200-hp engine
may climb a 6% grade at 20 mph.
However, when descending that same
grade at 30 mph would require 5760
braking hp to stop in 3 sec.
The other difference between most
industrial and mobile brake applica-

Fig. 1. Pneumatic brake keeps web tension constant by decreasing drag on spool as web

unwinds. Regulated air pressure applied to cylinder acts as constant-compression spring that

produces linear displacement of rod proportional to change in tension. Linear-displacement

transducer then transmits proportional electronic signal to controller, which commands

NOVEMBER 1992 / HYDRAULICS & PNEUMATICS regulator to increase or decrease pressure to pneumatic brake.
However, when the driven load has A brake may be capable of deliver- HPT = 0.00017(WK2)∆N2R/33,000,
heavy rotating members that must be ing more than enough torque to stop a where:
stopped within a specific peroid, load within the time allocated, but if HPT = thermal horsepower
torque capacity should be calculated the brake cannot dissipate the heat R = rate of engagement, cycles/min.
using the following formula: generated from braking before the The calculated value of thermal
T = (WK2)∆N/308t, next cycle begins, performance, reli- horsepower is compared with the
where: ability, and, especially, life can suffer. thermal rating of the brake to ensure
T = 2torque required, lb-ft 2 Thermal horsepower is used to that the brake is appropriate for the
WK = total inertia of load, lb-ft measure a brake's ability to dissipate application.
∆N = change in speed, rpm heat. It is calculated using this for- In addition to standard pneumatic
t = time, sec. mula: and hydraulic brakes, many industrial

Modular brake system

Ingersoll-Rand's Mining Jumbo maxi-HJ2
drilling machine used in underground min-
ing relies on two braking systems ¾ one
for service and one for emergency-
failsafe/park braking. The HJ2 has
joystick-controlled full parallel boom and
guide positioning with 270° rollover to re-
duce setup time for face drilling. Guide in-
dexing to 90° permits roof and cross-cut
The service braking system is operated
using a foot pedal, which controls power
actuation to internal wet-disc,
hydraulically-applied, axle-mounted
brakes. Tandem circuitry allows independ-
ent boom-end and engine-end axle
braking. Nitrogen-charged accumulators
provide reserve power for multiple power-
off stops.
An enclosed wet-disc, spring-applied,
hydraulically released brake mounted in
each axle provides failsafe (emergency)
and park braking. The brakes are acti-
vated automatically with a loss of brake
system pressure or manually by the
At the center of the system schematic,
an inverse shuttle valve interfaces with a
parking brake control manifold and release
pump assembly via subplate mounting.
The inverse shuttle valve supplies two
accumulators from a single closed-center
hydraulic energy source. An integral check
valve prevents backflow of the accumula-
tor charge should the energy source fail.
The low-pressure switch alerts the opera-
tor of a decay in accumulator pressure,
which could cause an unsafe operating
The park brake control manifold directs
fluid within the hydraulic brake system. An
integral hand-operated pump and relief
valve assembly allows the operator to
manually release or re-engage the equip-
ment's spring applied/hydraulically
released brakes without energizing the
applications call for special-purpose rT = radius of static loaded tire, ft where:
brakes ¾ to maintain tension, for Wv = gross vehicle weight, lb TH = holding torque of brake, lb-ft
example. Tension brakes exert drag on Fd = deceleration factor (alg) NB = number of brakes.
a system to maintain tension. Typical q = angle of decline Note that for a level surface sinq is
applications include a web of paper, RG = gear ratio. 0, so no torque would be required.
cloth, or other material as it unrolls from Similarly, assuming a ground Obviously, a minimum holding torque
a spool. If tension in the web stays con- coefficient of 1, when brakes are would be desirable to keep a vehicle
stant, drag decreases as the diameter wheel-mounted with no gear reduction stationary on a level surface. Also not
of material remaining on the spool between the brake and the ground, the that this equation can be used for a
decreases. Figure 1 shows a setup that denominator of the equation becomes brake mounted within the driveline by
decreases pressure applied to the the number of brakes used instead of using gear ratio instead of the number
brake as material unrolls, which keeps the gear ratio. of brakes in the denominator.
tension in the web constant. Brakes Note that when braking on level sur- Braking ratio
such as these are specified according faces, sinq is 0, effectively removing the
to required torque and thermal charac- grade factor from the calculation. After Finally, weight transfer during de-
teristics. calculating torque, diameter of the celeration on level, inclining, and
Spring-applied brakes that use brake disc, size of the brake caliper and declining surfaces must be consid-
hydraulic or pneumatic actuation for line pressure must be determined. ered. This may result in greater brake
release are also used in industrial appli- These factors often are dictated by the capacity at, say, the front wheels than
cations. These generally are selected application. Disc diameter may be at the rear. Historically, larger brakes
based on torque capacity with little specified based on the maximum were located at the wheels supporting
regard to thermal characteristics. This diameter that will fit into the allotted the greatest load, which, in practice,
is because they usually are used to space. Torque developed by each were usually the rear wheels. How-
hold a stationary load. They also can brake is a function of fluid pressure, ever, under the right conditions, hard
be used as a failsafe brake to stop and number and size of actuating pistons, braking can cause rear wheels to
hold a machine member when system size of calipers, and coefficient of actually leave the ground, meaning
hydraulic or pneumatic pressure is lost. friction between calipers and the that all braking can occur at the front
disk ¾ 0.35 is a common value. Infor- wheels.
Mobile selection Brake ratio is a factor that takes
Selection of a brake for mobile appli- mation necessary to specify a brake for into account uneven effects of brak-
cations must consider terrain over an application is provided in manufac- ing. Brake ratio should be considered
which the vehicle travels. For instance, turers' catalogs. to ensure applying the proper torque
a vehicle descending a hill requires Heat dissipation to front and back wheels. As might be
more braking power than one moving More than one caliper per side can expected, though, brake ratio can
over level ground. Furthermore, ground be installed on a disc to increase vary with surface conditions. A variety
conditions can vary widely from hard- braking torque without increasing the of accessory devices can be installed
packed surfaces to soft mud or any envelope substantially. Keep in mind, in the brake control system to adjust
combination in between. The designer, however, that increasing the number brake ratio accordingly.
therefore, must understand the vehicle brakes per surface increases heat Among the newest brake technolo-
operating conditions and consider generation. Thermal characteristics gies are anti-lock braking systems
worst-case conditions for brake system also are affected by surface speed of that keep tires from skidding. A non-
design. the disc relative to the brake caliper rotating tire on a moving vehicle
Vehicle brakes can be mounted and kinetic energy of each stop, which contributes less directional control for
within the driveline or at individual is calculated by2 using: the vehicle than a runner on a sled.
wheels with hydraulic, pneumatic, or EK = Wv x v /2g, Anti-skid systems provide maximum
mechanical actuation. Vehicle design where: deceleration while ensuring that no
and operating requirements generally EK = kinetic energy, ft-lb 2 matter how much pressure is applied
dictate which type is most suitable for v = velocity of vehicle, ft/sec . to the system, a tire will not skid until
an application. Brakes applied by springs and its ground speed has decelerated to
For a brake mounted within the vehi- released via hydraulic or pneumatic 5 mph or less. HP
cle driveline, and assuming a ground pressure are widely used for static con-
coefficient of 1, required torque of the ditions, usually a vehicle parking brake.
brake can be calculated: To calculate holding torque of a wheel-
TB = rT x WV x (Fd + sinq)/RG, end brake on a grade, use:
where: TH = Wv x rT x sinq/NB,
TB = required torque of brake, lb-ft

MICO, Incorporated MICO West Division

1911 Lee Boulevard (Zip Code 56003-2507) 701 East Francis Street (Zip Code 91761-5514)
P.O. Box 8118 / North Mankato, MN U.S.A. 56002-8118 P.O. Box 9058 / Ontario, CA U.S.A. 91762-9058
( 507.625.6426 Facsimile 507.625.3212 ( 909.947.4077 Facsimile 909.947.6054
Web Site:
Form No. 80-950-102 12/92 Printed in U.S.A.