In simple terms, pneumatic Brake is the component in any vehicle which helps in reducing the speed or stopping the vehicle. To apply the brake, we have to either press a pedal or pull a lever. But Just think how this transmission of force happens from pedal/lever to brakes located at wheels? To achieve this we have different systems (Pneumatic/Air Brake) to choose from depending on the requirement;-
1-Mechanical – Wherein steel cables will be responsible to apply the brakes at wheels, the moment you pull the brake lever. Ex – Parking brakes of a car or Rear drum brake of a bike are commonly operated via. cables.
2-Hydraulic – Hydraulic oil is responsible to pass on the driver applied force via. pedal or lever to the brake piston which in turn applies the brake on wheels. Ex – Normal Braking system of a car or a Disc Brake on a bike.
3-Pneumatic – As the word speaks for itself, it operates via. Air. The braking system maintains a high-pressure air inside it and the moment the driver applies the brake, pressure in the line starts dropping. This results in applying brakes on wheels. It will sound a bit strange but this is how it works. Ex – Heavy vehicles like Truck, Bus, Trailer or Train.
WORKING OF PNEUMATIC BRAKE
Pneumatic or Air brakes operate on compressed air. The entire braking system pipeline is initially charged up with compressed air to maintain optimum pressure. This charged up brake line makes sure the brakes are disengaged. Moment driver applies force on the brake pedal, air pressure drop initiates via. driver’s brake valve. Due to this pressure drop, the control reservoir gets disconnected from the brake pipe and the auxiliary cylinder gets connected to the brake cylinder. Compressed air from auxiliary cylinder rushes into the brake cylinder causing the brake to get engaged. This is how pneumatic brakes work in real-time operation of the brake pedal by the driver.
To apply parking brakes, the driver pulls the small hand lever on the dashboard which causes air pressure inside the brake cylinder to release, resulting in brake spring to expand and in-turn engaging the brake. This is how Parking Brake works in a pneumatic braking system of heavy vehicles.
WHY NEED PNEUMATIC/ AIR BRAKE SYSTEM
As the load over a light vehicle and heavy vehicle varies the brake force required to stop the heavy vehicle is far more than that of light vehicle, so the heavy vehicles should be equipped with a braking system that can provide enough braking force that can stop or decelerate the vehicle.
As the fluid is used to press the piston in hydraulic braking system the safety is the great concern as if there is any leak in the components of the hydraulic system the efficiency of the braking is readily reduced or even lost completely since air is always available so the brake failure due to leakage is the less concern in air braking system.
1. Air compressor- It is the compressor that pumps air from the atmosphere to the air storage tank and is driven by the engine through a belt drive.
2. Air compressor governor- It is the governing device used in the air brake system that controls the compression pressure of the air that is pumped to the air storage tank through the air compressor.
3. Air dryer- It is the device used to remove moisture content from the air coming from the atmosphere to prevent the lines and air storage from water condensation that can cause brake failure such as during winters due to the freezing of that condensed water.
4. Air storage (reservoir)- It is the tank that is used to store the compressed air sent by the compressor, this storage always has enough amount of compressed air so that the brakes can be applied several times and also prevents the brake failure when the air compressor shows malfunctioning.
5. Brake pedal- It is the mechanism that is operated by the driver and is used to actuate the brakes in order to stop or decelerate the vehicle. Brakes, when pressed, pushed the compressed air which in turn applies brakes to the moving tire.
Some advantages of a Pneumatic system;-
- Low inertia effect of pneumatic components due to the low density of air.
- Pneumatic Systems are light in weight.
- Operating elements are cheaper and easy to operate.
- High noise levels.
- Oxidation causes blockages.
- High maintenance.
- The entire system goes down if the air supply shuts down.
The air brake system is quick to act and the pressure applied on the brake is directly proportional to the air brake system. The efficiency of the air brake system is relatively high when compared to the other types of brakes.
IN CASE KIND OF PROJECTS
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