How does a car hydraulic brake work?

What is a braking system?

The braking system of a vehicle is a set of parts and mechanisms, the main purpose of which is to slow down the rotation of the wheels in the shortest possible time. Modern systems are equipped with electronic devices and mechanisms that stabilize the car during emergency braking or on an unstable road.

Such systems and mechanisms include, for example, ABS ( read about its structure here ) and differential (what it is and why it is needed in a car is described in another review ).

A brief excursion into history

As soon as the wheel was invented, the question immediately arose: how to slow down its rotation and make this process as smooth as possible. The first brake mechanisms looked very primitive - a wooden block attached to a system of levers. Upon contact with the surface of the wheel, friction was created and the wheel stopped. The braking force depended on the physical characteristics of the driver - the harder the lever was pressed, the faster the vehicle stopped.

Over the course of many decades, the mechanism was refined: the block was covered with leather, its shape and position near the wheel were changed. In the early 1900s, the first development of an effective automobile brake appeared, although it was very noisy. A more improved version of the mechanism was proposed by Louis Renault in the same decade.

With the development of motorsport, significant adjustments were made to the braking system, as cars increased in power and, at the same time, speed. Already in the 50s of the twentieth century, the development of truly effective mechanisms appeared that ensure rapid deceleration of the wheels of sports vehicles.

At that time, the automotive world already had several options for different systems: drum, disc, shoe, belt, hydraulic, and friction. There were even electronic devices. Of course, all of these modern systems are very different from their first counterparts, and some are not used at all due to their impracticality and low reliability.

These days, the most reliable system is a disk one. Modern sports cars are equipped with large discs that work in tandem with wide brake pads, and their calipers have from two to 12 pistons. Speaking of the caliper: it has several modifications and different devices, but this is a topic for another review .

Budget cars are equipped with a combined braking system - discs are mounted on the front hubs, and drums are mounted on the rear wheels. Luxury and sports cars have disc brakes on all wheels.

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