The Types of Mechanical Brakes and How They Differ

Every day around the world, several types of mechanical brakes are used in material handling, production, and other heavy industries. While you may only think of car brakes, these brakes help the industry that powers our world. 

Types of Mechanical Brakes

Brakes can be divided into mechanical and non-mechanical types of braking. 

Mechanical brakes use friction to slow or stop machinery and wheels. Non-mechanical brakes such as eddy current brakes are also used. 

1. Disc Brakes 

Disc brakes use a rotor that is connected to a shaft. This rotor spins between a caliper, which has multiple cylinders that each can push a brake pad or other friction material onto the rotor. This causes the rotor to slow momentum as friction builds up. 

Disc brakes, in particular, are often used hydraulically. One key area in the debate of hydraulic vs. mechanical disc brakes is the dispersion of heat. Heat is a natural byproduct of arresting momentum with friction, and all brakes heat up while in use. 

2. Drum Brakes

Drum brakes are one of the oldest and most common types of mechanical brakes. A curved bracket called a shoe has the brake pad attached to it. Two shoes are usually inside the drum, and when activated, they press on the inside of the drum, slowing the spinning drum. 

Mechanical load brakes are a form of drum brake used to help hold up a hoist. They serve as secondary brakes to prevent a crane from failing under heavy stress. 

3. Band Brakes

A band brake works by having bands of material that tighten around a moving object. This tightening force causes friction to build up and causes the spinning object or shaft to stop moving. This tightening can lead to excessive heat build-up and isn’t useful in all situations. 

4. Spring Brakes

Industrial brakes come in a lot of shapes and sizes. Spring brakes are mechanical brakes but require air pressure to operate. These brakes remain clamped unless air pressure is applied to open them. This is often called a failsafe brake, as it does not allow a part to move when not intended. 

5. Cone Brakes

A cone brake is one of the types of mechanical brakes that uses a drum, but the internal mechanism is different. Instead of using a shoe that is a bent bracket with a brake pad, the cone brake uses cones. These cones are coated with lining material and push against the drum to halt its momentum. 

Industrial Brakes  

Industrial brakes are used in all areas of operation for many industries. Mechanical PTO clutches are often used with these brakes. Using a clutch, power can transfer from a generator to an auxiliary piece of equipment. This can bleed of energy that would otherwise cause wear and tear on the brakes. 

Good Brakes are Essential 

High-quality mechanical brakes make work more efficient and prevent wear and tear on equipment. Safety is essential to any thriving industry, and Kor-Pak Corporation has the types of mechanical brakes you need for your business to run smoothly and safely.

Posted in Industrial Brakes and Clutches.