Mechanical Brake Assembly
Posted on May 15th, 2015 by Toni Carlstrom.
Matthew Balafas just completed his freshman year at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. In addition to this, he joined the Solar Vehicle Project and completed the design, analysis, material sourcing, construction, and assembly of the braking system for our teams new vehicle. The fluid braking system features two master cylinders linked with a balance bar. The balance bar can be adjusted so that one set of brake calipers locks up before the other.
The design quickly evolved from a two-wheel braking system to a four-wheel system when calculations indicated that the coefficient of friction between the tires and the road would prevent the car from stopping in the required distance. In addition to this, it is dangerous for the rear wheels to lock up before the front wheels. If the rear wheels lock up first, the car can fishtail, which is dangerous for the driver. Therefore, a balance bar was added to the design. Once installed on the vehicle, the brakes will be adjusted so that the front wheels lock up first.
The bracket that holds the master cylinders and pedals was cut out of aluminum and welded together. The team machined some of the internal parts for the balance bar, and also assembled the pedal and pad in-house.