What are the Disadvantages of Drum Brake?

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Drum brakes, like most other brakes, convert mechanical energy into heat by friction. This heat should dissipate into the encompassing air, but can even as easily transfer to other braking system components. Brake drums must be large to address the huge forces involved and must be able to absorb and dissipate lots of warmth. Heat transfer to air will be aided by incorporating cooling fins onto the drum. However, excessive heating can occur because of heavy or repeated braking, which might cause the drum to distort, resulting in vibration under braking.

The other consequence of overheating is brake fade. This is often one among several processes or more usually an accumulation of all of them.


To list the disadvantages of drum brakes:

    1. When internally-expanding brake drums are heated by hard braking, the diameter of the drum increases slightly because of thermal expansion, the shoes must move farther, and also the driver must press the pedal farther.
    2. The properties of the friction material can change if heated, leading to less friction. This could be a far larger problem with drum brakes than disc brakes, since the shoes are inside the drum and not exposed to cooling ambient air. The loss of friction is sometimes only temporary and also the material regains its efficiency when cooled, but if the surface overheats to the purpose where it becomes glazed the reduction in braking efficiency is more permanent. Surface glazing is worn away with further use of the brakes, but that takes time.
    3. Excessive cylinder heating can cause the brake fluid to vaporize, which reduces the hydraulic pressure applied to the brake shoes. Therefore, the brakes provide less deceleration for a given amount of pressure on the pedal. The effect is worsened by poor maintenance. Brake fluid that’s old and encompasses absorbed moisture has a lower boiling point, so brake fade occurs sooner.

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