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History of Brakes

  • Date Submitted: 08/25/2013 01:30 AM
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History of Braking Milestones
Disc-style brakes development and use began in England in the 1890s. The first calliper-type automobile disc brake was patented by Frederick William Lanchesterin his Birmingham factory in 1902 and used successfully on Lanchester cars. However, the limited choice of metals in this period meant that he had to use copper as the braking medium acting on the disc. The poor state of the roads at this time, no more than dusty, rough tracks, meant that the copper wore quickly, making the disc brake system non-viable (as recorded in The Lanchester Legacy). It took another half century for his innovation to be widely adopted. In the early days of the automobile, drum brakes were the standard. Drum brakes offered several advantages over other types of brakes. One of these was that the drum could keep out water and dust, materials that could damage disc brakes which were out in the open. The other, more important advantage, was that drum brakes required drivers to apply less pressure on the pedal as compared to disc brakes. This was especially important in the days before hydraulic and power brake systems, both of which decrease the amount of pedal pressure needed

(Sourced From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disc_brake)

The next major advancement in brake technology came in 1918 with the invention of four-wheel hydraulic brake systems by Malcolm Loughead. It is interesting to note that Loughead was a member of the Lockheed family, a company known better for producing airplanes. The hydraulic brake system replaced the mechanical brake system that was in use at this time. The mechanical system had numerous disadvantages. It made it difficult to brake all the wheels evenly, often causing a loss of control. In addition, it required drivers to exert tremendous amounts of force on the brake pedal to slow the car. The hydraulic brake system multiplied the force that was applied to the brake, lessening the amount of force needed to be applied to the...


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