Basic Brake Components
Each component in a properly functioning brake system must work in harmony with the other components to achieve maximum braking performance. We will cover each component; it’s selection, modification, and integration into the ‘system’ as a whole. The basic components of a disc-brake system are:
- Actuator - for the driver to actuate the brakes.
- A master cylinder (MC) & reservoir – contains hydraulic brake fluid to actuate the brake calipers and a piston to move the pressurized fluid.
- Hydraulic lines – to convey the brake fluid to the brake calipers, and contain the hydraulic fluid, allowing it to be pressurized.
- Brake Calipers – located at each wheel, the brake calipers are hydraulically actuated clamps that clamp the brake pads against the rotors.
- Brake Pads – located inside the calipers, the pads are the friction material that the calipers clamp against the rotors.
- Rotors – Bolted to the axle hub or integral, the rotors slow and stop the rotation of the wheels when clamped by the calipers. They also absorb the heat created from the friction of the pads against the rotor.