How to Select Mechanical BrakesHow to Select Mechanical BrakesHow to Select Mechanical Brakes

Image Credit: Branham, W.C. Inc.

 

Mechanical brakes are assemblies consisting of mechanical elements for the slowing or stopping of shafts in equipment drives. They use levers or linkages to transmit force from one point to another. Braking slows or stops the movement of the coupled shafts.

 

Applications

 

There are many applications for mechanical brakes. Some products are used in conveyors, bottle capping, and in wire, paper, foil, film, and textile processing. Others are used for life testing on motors, gears, pulleys, belts, chains, and other rotating devices.

 

Often, mechanical brakes are bundled with mechanical clutches in assemblies which consist of elements for both the connection and disconnection of shafts (clutch) and for the slowing or stopping of shafts (brake) in equipment drives.

 

Types of Mechanical Brakes

 

There are several types of mechanical brakes.

 

  • Band brakes, the simplest brake configuration, have a metal band lined with heat and wear resistant friction material.
  • Drum brakes, which are commonly used on automobile rear wheels, work when shoes press against a spinning surface called a drum.
  • Disc breaks are constructed of brake pads, a caliper, and a rotor. During operation, the brake pads are squeezed against the rotor.
  • Cone brakes are made with a cup and a cone, which is lined with heat and wear resistant material.  During actuation, the cone is pressed against the mating cup surface.

 

Specifications


Specifications for mechanical brakes include torque rating, power, speed, and maximum pressure. A variety of brake engagement methods are available, including friction, wrap spring, oil shear, toothed surface, and non-contact methods.

 

Selecting mechanical brakes also requires an analysis of measurements and mounting configurations. Important measurements include diameter, the cross-sectional width of the assembly; length, the dimension along the axis of rotation; and weight.

 

Shaft configurations can be in-line along the axis of the load, parallel but offset from the axis, or perpendicular (right angle) to the axis. Drive and load connections for mechanical brakes can use shafts that attach to bores or flanges. With some drive shafts that attach to a bore, the output is a drive component such as a pulley, gear, or sprocket. Often, these types of mechanical brakes are designed to accept several different drive components. 

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