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Disc Brakes

A disc brake is a type of brake that uses calipers to squeeze pairs of pads against a disc in order to create friction that retards the rotation of a shaft, such as a vehicle axle, either to reduce its rotational speed or to hold it stationary. the energy of motion is converted into waste heat which must be dispersed. disc brakes are most commonly used for vehicle braking but they are applicable to almost any rotating shaft. the brake disc (or rotor in american english) is usually made of cast iron, but may in some cases be made of composites such as reinforced carbon–carbon or ceramic matrix composites. this is connected to the wheel and/or the axle. to retard the wheel, friction material in the form of brake pads, mounted on a device called a brake caliper, is forced mechanically, hydraulically, pneumatically, or electromagnetically against both sides of the disc. friction causes the disc and attached wheel to slow or stop. brakes convert motion to heat, and if the brakes get too hot, they become less effective, a phenomenon known as brake fade. the development and use of disc-type brakes began in england in the 1890s. the first caliper-type automobile disc brake was patented by frederick william lanchester in his birmingham, uk factory in 1902 and used successfully on lanchester cars. compared to drum brakes, disc brakes offer better stopping performance, because the disc is more readily cooled. as a consequence disc brakes are less prone to brake fade, and recover more quickly from immersion (wet brakes are less effective). most drum brake designs have at least one leading shoe, which gives a servo-effect. by contrast, a disc brake has no self-servo effect and its braking force is always proportional to the pressure placed on the brake pad by the braking system via any brake servo, braking pedal or lever. this tends to give the driver better "feel" to avoid impending lockup. drums are also prone to "bell mouthing", and trap worn lining material within the assembly, both causes of various braking problems.