Without a proper braking system, it is impossible to operate an automobile. Braking systems allows a vehicle to stop or slow down by applying only a small force on the brake pedal. Whatever it is, from bicycles to aeroplane, every vehicle we use must have a proper braking system. The electromagnetic braking system, servo braking system, mechanical braking system, hydraulic braking system, ABS brakes, etc.. are some braking system categories that are in use. Recently, most of the automobiles have brakes on its 4 wheels to ensure safety while driving. Among the four, brakes located on the front wheels play an important role in stopping the car.
Here, we can discuss more details on the hydraulic braking system that are commonly used in cars or automobiles.
The hydraulic braking system uses hydraulic fluid(commonly brake oils containing glycol ethers or diethylene glycol) to transmit the force applied on the brake pedal to the final drum shoes or disc calliper to stop the moving vehicle. The major components in the hydraulic brake system circuit are connected fluid-filled master cylinder and slave cylinders. When the driver applies force on the brake pedal, the fluid in the master cylinder is pushed to the slave cylinder through the connected brake lines. When fluid enters into the slave cylinder, the piston rod will move outwards and create the friction that makes the wheels to stop. This is the principle of hydraulic brake working.
Also, Read: Hydraulic system components and their Functions
Now, the next topic is what all components are used in the hydraulic brake system circuit. The important components and their functions are listed below.
Brake Pedal: To slow down or stop the movement of a vehicle, the driver will apply force on a pedal. This component where the driver presses with his/her foot is called the brake pedal. It is connected to the master cylinder through a mechanical cord or linking rod.
Master Cylinder: An important unit of every braking system that converts the applied force on the pedal to hydraulic pressure. The basic functions of master cylinder include developing pressure, equalizing the required pressure for braking, preventing contaminants like air and water, etc… Master cylinder components are housing, reservoir, piston, rubber cup, pressure check valve and more.
Wheel cylinder: Wheel cylinders are responsible for converting hydraulic pressure to mechanical pressure used for pushing brake shoes towards the drum. The stepped wheel cylinder and the single-piston wheel cylinder are the two major categories of wheel cylinders.
Brake Lines & Hoses: Brake lines or hoses are used for transferring high-pressure fluid between different components. In these two, brake lines are rigid and are constructed using double-wall steel tubings. Whereas the brake hoses are flexible that can be moved.
Brake Fluid: Brake fluids are the medium that transfer pressure to the wheel cylinders. Low freezing point, water tolerance, lubrication, non-corrosiveness, proper viscosity and high boiling point are the required properties for hydraulic brake fluids.
Drum Brake: It is a small round drum containing a set of brake shoes inside it. The brake shoes are supported on a back-plate that is bolted to the axle-casing. This will rotate along with the wheels and when the driver applies the brake, the shoes will come closer to the drum and will resist the rotation of wheel.
Disk Brake: It contains a disc-shaped metal rotor bolted to the wheel hub. So, this metal rotor will spin within the wheel. While pressing the brake pedal, the brake pads will be squeezed against the disk and slow down the vehicle.