Automotive brake systems are one of the most important elements of any motor vehicle. They serve to slow down or completely stop the car, ensuring the safety of the driver and passengers.
There are different types of braking systems, which can be divided into two main categories: disc and drum.
Disc brakes consist of a metal disc, usually steel or aluminum, that rotates with the wheel. When you step on the brake pedal a caliper grips the disc, causing friction and generating heat. This heat is dissipated through the disc and calipers, preventing them from overheating. Disc brakes are more effective and resistant than other types and are therefore mainly used on large-engine and high-performance vehicles.
Drum brakes, on the other hand, consist of a metal drum that rotates with the wheel. When you press the brake pedal, pads, called “brushes,” squeeze against the drum, causing friction and slowing your vehicle. Drum brakes are less efficient than disc brakes but are easier to make and therefore less expensive. Because of this they are mainly used on small engine capacity vehicles and those with medium performance.
Other types of brake systems
In addition to these two main types, there are also other braking systems, such as carbon brakes and compressed air brakes.
Carbon brakes consist of a carbon surface that is rubbed against the drum, causing friction and slowing the vehicle down. Air brakes, on the other hand, use compressed air to operate the disc brake calipers or drum brake brushes.