Disk Brake important part of motorbikes and cars
The modern system of automobile brakes was patented in 1902 by British car manufacturer Frederick William Lanchester (1868-1946). He took the disk brakes then available and radically improved their design. But competition with the new drum brakes meant that disk brakes took almost fifty years to become a reality on a mass-produced car and another five years before the concept became wide speared.
Lanchester and his three brothers formed the Lanchester Engine Company in 1899. He had been designing cars and engines since 1889 and had built the United Kingdom’s first four-wheel drive car in 1895. In 1902 their latest prototype which contained a ten horse powered twin cylinder engine was fitted with the new system of disk brakes.
Disk brakes slow a car by removing energy from the rotating wheel brake pads squeeze both sides of the rotor connected to the wheel. The friction of this generates heat which escapes via air vents and the car slows down. The brake pads are activated by hydraulic pressure through a piston that presses the brake pad onto the rotor. The drum brake in contrast user pistons and brake pads but applies its force via brake ‘shoes’ against the inside of the wheel drum.
Within two years of patenting his idea Lanchester’s company collapsed due to financial difficulties. Car manufactures favored the lighter cheaper drum brake created in the same year, despite the disk brake being more responsive. It too until the 1950s for the disk brake to be rediscovered in the United Kingdom and since then it has been the standard brake design on cars in Europe and The United States.
Disc brake is a type of brake that uses calipers to squeeze pairs of pads against a disc in order to create friction that retards the rotation of a shaft, such as a vehicle axle, either to reduce its rotational speed or to hold it stationary. The energy of motion is converted into waste heat which must be dispersed. Hydraulic disc brakes are the most commonly used form of brake for motor vehicles but the principles of a disc brake are applicable to almost any rotating shaft.