Brake System-Definition, Function, Types in details-Mechanical, Disc, Hydraulic, Power assisted brake

Brake System:

Are you looking for the Brake System? So today we will study in details the Definition, Function, Types in details, Brake shoe, Brakes in Vehicles and Application of Brake. Here you will get the articles of Mechanical Engineering in brief with some key points and you will get to know an enormous amount of knowledge from It. So If you find this articles helpful, please let us know in the comment box, either if any correction required too, also let us know in the comment box.

Brake System Definition:

  • This is one of the most important controls of the vehicle.
  • This can be defined as required to stop the vehicle within the smallest possible distance and this is done by converting the kinetic energy of the vehicle into the heat energy which is dissipated into the atmosphere.


The function of the brake system is to stop the vehicle within the smallest possible distance and hence this is done by converting the kinetic energy of the vehicle into the heat energy which is dissipated into the atmosphere.

Types of Brake:

1. Mechanical Brake:

  • The mechanical brake is used in small power automobiles like scooters, motorcycles and some modern vehicle. The mechanical brake figure is shown below:

mechanical brake

  • As the brake pedal is pressed cam rotates, which pushes the brake shoes outwards and hence brake lining provided on the outer surface of the shoes rub against rotating the drum and hence slow down or stops the vehicles because the drum is connected to the wheels.
  • As the pedal is released, due to retracting spring force shoes return to its original position.

2. Disc Brake:

  • The disc brake is used in motor vehicles and cars, etc.
  • When the pedal is pressed piston pushes the pad by the pressure of hydraulic fluid. The diagram is shown below:


  • These friction pad rub against the rotating disc connected to the wheels of the vehicle and thus braking take place.
  • And as the pedal is released friction pad returns to its original position between the pressure of hydraulic fluid reduces.

3. Hydraulic Brake:

  • This brake works on the principle which is based on Pascal’s principle, which states that “confined liquid transmits pressure without loss in all direction”.

Hydraulic Brake

  • This is simple in construction and has an equal braking effort to all wheels and smooth operation.
  • When the brake pedal is pressed, fluid from master cylinder enters into the wheel cylinders through pipelines by the force of piston. Due to the liquid force, the piston of wheel cylinder pushes outward which pushes the shoes outward. Lining rub against the drum and hence braking take place.Hydraulic Brake
  • Now when the pedal is released, the piston of master cylinder moves backward and fluid from the wheel cylinder moves to the master cylinder through the check valve. This type is commonly used in all cars etc.

Master Cylinder:


  • Master cylinder is the heart of the hydraulic brake system. It consists of two chambers1. The reservoir which is not shown here in the figure. This is mounted on the master cylinder. 2. compression chamber, in which piston reciprocates. The piston is connected to the brake pedal through the piston rod. From the reservoir fluid enters the compression chamber through the parts as shown. Master cylinder is connected to the wheel cylinder through the pipe. The check valve is provided in order to give passage for entering fluid from wheel cylinder to master cylinder when the pedal is released.

4. Power assisted or Vaccum brake:

  • The line diagram which indicates the construction of a power-assisted or vacuums brake as shown below.


  • As the brake pedal is pressed, the fluid pressure causes the upper valve of a control unit to open and lower valve to close.
  • Thus left the side of the servo cylinder piston is exposed to atmosphere and vacuum acts on the right side, which causes the braking effort.
  • Braking takes place by suction from the engine inlet manifold.

5. Air Brake:

  • This type of air brake system is commonly used in the heavy vehicles such as bus, truck etc.


  • In this also when the brake pedal is pressed, air to atmosphere enters the compressor through the air filter to the reservoir through unloader value.
  • From unloader valve air enter brake chamber through brake valve.
  • Brake valve is fitted in order to control the intensity of braking. Thus braking takes place.
  • When the pedal is pressed shoes return to its original through position through the spring force.

6. Girling mechanism brake:

  • This system consists of an expander used for braking and adjuster unit to adjust the brake shoes when desired.


  • As the brake pedal is pressed, the pulls rod of expander pulled out which pulls out the conical wedge.
  • The brake shoe connected to the conical wedge through plunger and steel roller ball pulls outward. Thus braking the wheel.
  • When the pedal is released, spring force brings the brake shoe to its original position.
  • It requires less friction. Without jacking up vehicles brakes can be adjusted.

Electrical Brake:

  • The principle of working of this type of brake is to utilize the electromagnetic force on the brake shoes.
  • It consists of an electromagnet, armature disc.
  • An electromagnet is mounted on the back plate and armature disc is fed to the drum.
  • This is simple in construction.
  • For working, electric current for the battery is utilized to energize the electromagnet which actuates the cams that expands the shoes. Thus braking the wheel.


  • Hand brakes or the parking braes operates independently of the foot brakes.
  • These are used for parking on slopes or while waiting at traffic lights, where the handbrake function is mainly to minimize accident.
  • This brake is applied after the foot brake is applied.
  • These are mechanical brakes.
  • Apart from the hydraulic braking system, all cars have a mechanical handbrake acting on two wheels – usually the rear ones
  • The handbrake gives limited braking if the hydraulic system fails completely, but its main purpose is as a parking brake.
  • The handbrake lever pulls a cable or pair of cables linked to the brakes by a set of smaller levers, pulleys, and guides whose details vary greatly from car to car.
  • A ratchet on the handbrake lever keeps the brake on once it is applied. A push button disengages the ratchet and frees the lever.
  • On drum brakes, the handbrake system presses the brake linings against the drums.
  • Disc brakes sometimes have a comparable handbrake arrangement, but because it is difficult to place the linkage on a compact caliper, there may be a completely separate set of handbrake pads for each disc.

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