Don't worry drive safe. By- Abhishek Kolay

Updated: Apr 10, 2020


What is speed for a real vehicle lover ? It is thrill for some and adventurous for others. Hey enthusiast don’t forget about the brakes which is one of the major component of the vehicle .Here comes the question in mind what is this Brake all about? In layman terms brakes is a mechanical device which is used to stop or slow down a vehicle or an engine. Now we get an basic idea of what brake is all about . Now lets discuss about the mechanism of the brakes.

Mechanism of Brakes

What is the mechanism behind? By pressing down the brake pedal ,we activate the master cylinders which delivers brake fluid to the calipers that engage our brake pads. The brake pads then apply some pressure to the rotors on the wheel hub, creating friction which is needed to slow or stop a vehicle of an engine . Sole purpose of the components of brakes is to maintain safety and stopping power.

Types of Brakes

On a broader perspective there are 3 types of brakes

1) Mechanical

2) Hydraulic

3) Air Brakes

Mechanical Brake

Mechanical brakes are used in Hand brakes i.e parking brakes. A lever is provided beside the driver seat as we have seen in recent cars and through steel wire connected to brakes at the rear portion of the vehicle

When the hand brake is applied a tension is generated and the brake shoe holds the drum from rotating and it restricts the movement of the vehicle, even if it is parked on an inclined surface.

Hydraulic Brake

The hydraulic brake system uses brake fluid for transferring pressure from the brake pedal to the pads or shoe. By pressing the pedal, brake fluid is transferred which creates pressure to the brake pads. This transfer of pressure is very reliable and consistent because liquids are not compressible, i.e. pressure applied to liquid in a closed system is transmitted by the liquid equally to each and every part of system. When a driver applies pressure at the brake pedal, the mechanical force is changed to hydraulic pressure which is transmitted through liquid to respective cylinder and changed back to mechanical force .

There are two types of hydraulic brake

Disc Brake

The disc brake is a device for slowing

or stopping the rotation of a wheel. A brake disc

or rotor usually made up of cast iron or ceramic

material which turn connected to the wheel or the axle. For stopping the wheel ,a friction material in the form of brake pads mounted in a device called a brake caliper is used. This forced mechanically, hydraulically or pneumatically or electromagnetically against both sides of the disc. Friction causes the rotors to slow down or stop.

Drum Brake

A drum brake is another type of brakes in which the friction is caused by a set of brake shoes that press against the inner surface of a rotating drum. The drum is connected to the rotating wheel hub. Drum brakes are generally can be found on older version of car and truck .However, because of their low production cost, drum brake setups are also installed on the rear of some low-cost newer vehicles.

Air Brakes

Air brake system consist of components like

air compressor, air reserve tank, check valves,

safety valves etc. The working is very similar

to the working of hydraulic brakes. The key

difference is that mechanical forces are transmitted to ends of the wheel through air pressure, instead of fluid pressure. Air brakes are most preferred in heavy vehicles, trains etc.


Brake system is an important mechanism for usage for safety ,slowing down or stopping of any vehicles . The above is an attempt to give the relevant information in as simple manner as possible.



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