Automobile Brake Disc and Pad Name Institution Automobile Brake Disc and Pad Car brakes are certainly one of the most important elements of an automobile. In fact, drivers consider it the most important and reliable safety device in a vehicle (Owen, 2010)…
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However, in special cases such as in racing cars or for people with disability, hands may be used as a means of enhancing efficiency, according to Owen (2010). It is very interesting that many people still wonders how a small peddle, in the form of a car brake is able to stop a huge car in motion with just a slight press of the brake. Similarly, it is still a mystery to many people, how it happens, though people increasingly understand the working system of a car brake. Basically, when a driver presses the brakes with the help of the legs, a force is transmitted from the driver’s foot to the brakes via a fluid. However, since the car needs a much greater force than applied by the leg to stop, the car normally multiplies the force applied by the foot. The braking system then transmits the force to the car tires and consequently the tires transmit the force to the road where the friction law applies and the car stops (Erjavec, 2008). Car brakes are of two types, namely drum and disc brakes. Drum brakes is a type of breaking system that stops a car in motion by friction, when brake shoes are pressed against the drum. Drum brakes have many components that are important for its operation. These include drum, piston, wheel cylinder, return spring, brake shoe, stud, brake pads, wheel hub, and brake lining. The existence of these components makes it easy for drivers to stop vehicles easily by applying just a little pressure on the brake pedal (Gilles, 2005). Disc brakes, on the other hand, are a round, flat metallic pieces that spin together with the wheel. When brakes are applied against the wheel, a caliper squeezes the brake pads against the disc (rotor) thereby causing friction that makes the wheel to slow down and eventually stop. Disc brakes consist of different components such as brake pads, the caliper that has a piston and the rotor usually mounted to the hub. Research indicates that most modern cars are increasingly adopting the use of disc brakes fixed in front of the wheels while others have disc brakes on all the four wheels (Erjavec, 2003). An example of a disc brake (brake rotor) commonly used on modern cars is the single-piston floating caliper. The most striking feature of this rotor is that it is both self-centering and self-adjusting. The caliper here is capable of sliding from side to side thereby making it move to the center every time the brakes are applied. In addition, since this type of disc lacks the spring to pull the pads away from the disc, the pads normally stay intact with the rotor. This is crucial since the pistons in the brakes have a larger diameter than those in the master cylinder. In case the pistons retract into their cylinders, the brake pedal might require several applications to be able to pump enough fluid into the brake cylinder so as to engage the brake pads (Gilles, 2005). The type of brake rotor one buys depends greatly on the type of vehicle that one drives, as well as the type of driving one does. For instance, carbon reinforced rotors were the most commonly used discs in racing cars such as in Formula One racing cars. This is based on its ability to get heated up to high temperatures needed for proper braking. However, this is no longer the case as it has been replaced by the carbon-fiber reinforced ceramic brake rotor, which is the most preferred for use currently in racing cars. This is attributed to its high performance on the road. For example, high performance cars such as the latest Porsche Carrera GT, Corvette ZR1, and Ferrari Enzo use ceramic
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