Engineering Inspiration by Peter SturgessEngineering consultants specialising in braking systems, other engineered systems, specifications, component integration, safety critical systems etc.
The Future

The future of hydraulic brakes is starting to look bleak. The need to recycle cars is forcing manufacturers to investigate electric brake systems. The huge current demands for high speed electric disc brakes is limiting progress and without 42V systems looks impossible. By 2005 we have seen electric parking brake systems and electric drum brakes for rear applications but a small German company eStop may well have had the solution.....that is until there were gobbled up by Siemens VDO who in turn have been taken over by Conti-Teves. Called the EWB by Siemens they predicted production for 2010, Continental may have other ideas though as all details have disappeared from the website..

The design is a disc brake caliper, similar to a production hydraulic caliper but the inboard pad is applied by a series of rollers on ramps. The biggest drawback of servo brakes, the sensitivity to locking is now used as an advantage. The brake requires minute amounts of energy to apply it because the brake factor is extremely high. The output torque is then monitored and controlled by high speed motors.

A similar system is also being developed under licence by Haldex to replace air disc brakes on commercial vehicles.


Exploded diagram of the Electronic Wedge Brake