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Disc Brake vs Drum Brake

What is the difference between a disc brake and a drum brake? Disc brakes are better in performance than drum brakes.

Disc Brake

Mostly all cars have disc brake on the front wheels, and some have disc brakes on all the four wheels. A disc brake uses a flat, round disc (or rotor), attached to the wheel hub instead of drum. The brake shoes, also called pads, are positioned on opposite sides of the rotor and are mounted in the brake caliper. The caliper contains the hydraulic pistons used to apply the shoes and to the suspension members. Most brake discs are solid, but some vehicle have ventilated discs which contains radial vanes between its rubbing surfaces for optimum cooling performance.

Drum Brake

The drum brake is the traditional type of brake and is currently used in rear wheels of many vehicles. The pan shaped drum is attached to the axle or hub flange, just inside the wheel, and it rotates directly with the wheel. The brake shoes are positioned just inside the drum and are mounted on the backing plate. The shoes are anchored to the backing plate so that they can pivot in and out of contact with the drum but cannot rotate with it. The anchors can be arranged in such a way that an opening of the shoe is placed over a round anchor or the smooth end of the shoe butts against a flat anchor block. The braking forces are transmitted from the shoe to the anchors, to the backing plate, and then to the suspension members.


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