The technical purpose of brakes is to decelerate moving vehiclesthrough the tire/road contact, to adapt their speed to trafficconditions, and to prevent their involuntary movement once stopped.They transform kinetic energy into thermal energy for storage inthe brakes, followed by dissipation to the surrounding air, andmust be able to exert sizable torques to the wheels even atstandstill. Peak power levels in emergency braking far exceedmaximum engine power. Appropriate brake force distribution to thewheels in keeping with road surface conditions (e.g. icy/dry) andbraking stability (left/right and front/rear), adapted to thedriving state of the vehicle (e.g. gradual speed change versusemergency braking), are vital for accident prevention.
Customers are particularly interested in short stoppingdistances, ease of operation, prevention of fading and skidding,high braking comfort (actuation, noise and vibration) and longservice intervals.
Engineers must meet customer demands as well as strictregulatory and OEM specifications respectively for brake systemsafety and reliability, dimensions and packaging, comfort,maintenance, recycling and cost.