The brakes will transmit the force of the tires by using friction, and the tires then transmit that force to the road by also using friction.
There are different types of brakes:
• Disc Brakes
• Drum Brakes
• Hydraulic brakes
• Regenerative Brakes that are used in Hybrid Vehicles
Disc brakes are for slowing or even stopping the rotation of a wheel. A brake disc or rotor, is usually made of cast iron or ceramic and it is connected to the wheel or the axle. To stop the wheel from turning, friction material in the form of brake pads is forced mechanically, hydraulically or pneumatically against both sides of the disc. Friction will cause the disc and the attached wheel to slow or even stop.
Drum brakes is a brake in which the friction is caused by a set of shoes or pads that will press against the inner surface of a rotating drum. This drum is connected to a rotating wheel. Depending on the way the shoes are hinged, drum brakes can have a “self-servo” characteristic. This will increase the stopping power without any additional effort by the driver because the rotation of the drum will drag the shoes around with it, and this will increase the force holding them together. These brakes are more prone to brake fade.
Hydraulic brakes is an arrangement of a braking mechanism which uses hydraulic fluid, normally some type of light viscosity petroleum oil, that will transfer pressure from the controlling unit. This is usually near the operator of the vehicle, and to the actual brake mechanism, which is usually near the wheel of the vehicle. The most common arrangement of hydraulic brake, found on most automobiles, consists of a:
• Brake pedal
• A master cylinder
• Hydraulic lines
• A slave cylinder
• A braking unit
When the brake pedal is depressed, leverage multiplies the force that is applied from the pedal to a piston in the master cylinder. As force is applied to this piston, pressure in the hydraulic system will rise, forcing fluid through the lines to the slave cylinders. The arrangements of the slave cylinder are a pair of opposed pistons which are forced apart by the fluid pressure, (drum brakes) and a single piston which is forced out its housing (disc brakes).
A regenerative brake is an apparatus, a device or a system which allows a vehicle to require and store part of the kinetic energy that would otherwise be lost to heat when breaking.
With any typical brake system, when you put your foot on the brake pedal, you actually push against a plunger in the master cylinder which forces hydraulic oil or brake fluid through a series of tubes and hoses to the braking unit at each wheel. The fluid is directed to its destination through many twists and turns, and it arrives with the exact same motion and pressure that it started with. It is very important that the fluid is pure liquid and that there are no air bubbles in it. Air can compress, which causes a sponginess to the pedal and severely reduces braking efficiency.