Types of Brakes | Different types of Braking System


The mechanism which is used to slow and stop the vehicle is known as braking system. It is an important component of a vehicle. In other words. the total system starting from brake pedal or lever to the brake shoe is known as braking system.

Principle of braking system:

In this system, the kinetic energy is converted into heat energy due to friction between two mating surfaces of brake lining and brake drum. Then. the heat is dissipated into the atmosphere.

Need for brakes:

1. To stop or slow down the vehicle at the will of an operator.
2. To control the vehicle descending a hill.
3. To keep the vehicle in a desired position even at rest.
4. To park the vehicle and hold it in stationary position without the presence of driver.

brake diagram
brake diagram

Types of Brakes

The automobile brakes are classified on the basis of following.

1. According to the applications:
i) Service or running or foot brake
(ii) Parking or emergency or hand brake.

2. According to the number of wheels:
(i) Two wheel brakes
(ii) Four wheel brakes.

3, According to the brake gear:
(i) Mechanical brake
(a) Hand brake
(b) Foot brake.
(ii) Power brake:
(a) With booster
(b) Without booster.

4. According to construction:
(i) Drum brake
(ii) Disc brake.

5. According to location
(i) Transmission brakes
(ii) Wheel brakes.

6. According to method of braking contact:
(i) Internal expanding brakes
(ii) External expanding brakes.

7. According to the power unit:
(i) Cylinder brake
(ii) Diaphragm brake.

8. According to power transmission:
(i) Direct acting brake
(ii) Geared brake,

9. According to method of applying brake force:
(i) Single acting brake
(ii) Double acting brake.

10. According to power employed:
(i) Vacuum brakes
a, Atmospheric suspended
b. Vacuum suspended
(ii) Air Of pneumatic brakes
(iii) Hydraulic brakes
(iv) Hydrostatic brakes
(v) Electric brakes.

In Detail Brake types Explained : 

Depending on the vehicle you are driving, there are different types of brake systems:-

  1. MECHANICAL BRAKES – These act by generating frictional forces as two surfaces rub against each other.There are two types of mechanical brakes :
  • Drum Brakes : The drum brake has a metal brake drum that encloses the brake assembly at each wheel. Two curved brake shoes expand outward to slow or stop the drum which rotates with the wheel.
  • Disc Brakes : A friction system using a wheel brake to slow the rotation of the automobiles wheels; brake pads are pushed against the brakes rotor with a set of calipers.
  1. HYDRAULIC BRAKES – the brakes which are operated by means of hydraulic pressure are called hydraulic brakes. These brakes are based on the principle of Pascal’s law.

Single-Circuit Hydraulic Brakes: A master cylinder fed by a reservoir of hydraulic brake fluid and connected by a system of metal pipes and rubber fittings attached to wheel cylinders; each wheel has opposing pistons on band or drum brake; pressure is produced to push pistons apart and force brake pads into wheel cylinder.

Dual-Circuit Hydraulic Brakes: consists of a command circuit that activates when brakes are pressed, and a second circuit controlled by the cars computer that calculates applied force and applies it to the hydraulic pump system.


Air Brakes: a system using air instead of hydraulic fluid to activate a standard disc or drum brake, usually used in buses, trucks and trailers.

Power Brake Booster: a system utilizing the vacuum power naturally produced in an engine to amplify a driver’s foot pressure to stop even very heavy vehicles.


Brake-by-wire: a system of electronic wires that, when brake pedal is pushed, measures electrical resistance and sends signals to the cars computer, which calculates applied force and applies it to the hydraulic pump system

Antilock Braking System (ABS): an electrical control unit, hydraulic actuator and individual wheel speed sensors that work together to prevent brakes from locking up when they are slammed on by rapidly pumping brakes when a potential lockup is detected; each wheel is controlled individually to maintain traction.

Advanced Emergency Braking System (AEBS): an autonomous safety system that employs sensors to monitor a vehicles proximity to others in the vicinity and automatically applies emergency braking mechanisms to avoid an imminent collision.

5 . PARKING BRAKES – A parking brake allows for a vehicle to remain stationary when parked on an incline or flat surface, and prevents rolling while a vehicle is not in operation. The parking brake is usually operated by a small pedal near the driver’s side door beneath the steering column, or by a lever in the center console, either requiring mechanical force to operate. Some newer-model vehicles have replaced these devices with a simple button.

6. EMERGENCY BRAKES – The parking brakes double as emergency brakes, so the mechanisms used to control both are the same. The difference in the terms is situational, and the way the vehicle responds when using the parking brake as an emergency brake can be extremely different

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