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Brake Hydraulic System Principles & Service Tips.
Author/s: Bob Freudenberger
Issue: Sept-Oct, 1999
Everyone who works on brakes MUST know these concepts and procedures
In the early days of the automobile, some very clever engineering was employed to apply brakes mechanically. For example, the Italian Bugatti routed the cables over the top of the front axle so that the twisting action generated by stopping added force to the shoe cam lever.
No matter how ingenious the design, however, there was always a major drawback: Nothing could insure that braking force would be exactly equal at any pair of wheels, so there was a good chance that stepping on the pedal would cause swerving and skidding. This made the idea of hydraulically actuated brakes attractive--according to Pascal's Law, pressure at all points in a closed hydraulic system must necessarily be the same--but it took many years to develop dependable systems. The first car of any consequence to carry four-wheel hydraulic brakes was the. 1921 Dusenberg of the U.S.
On the most basic level, all brake hydraulic systems share the same principle: Muscle strength amplified by leverage and perhaps a power booster displaces fluid from the master cylinder and causes pressure to increase all through the circuits. This overcomes the retracting springs in drums and the seals' elasticity in disc calipers and pushes the friction material against the rotating member.
That much is obvious, but the subtleties of modern designs that provide proper performance in the real world deserve some explanation. Hence this article, which also includes important service information every mechanic should know about.
Although it has been in use for decades all over the world, the dual (also called "split" or "tandem") master cylinder is still widely misunderstood, so we had better explain its construction and operation. A typical late-model specimen will be of the composite variety (aluminum with a plastic reservoir), but iron one-piece units are still around in abundance. Two pistons ride in the bore, and here is where we encounter some confusing terminology. The rear piston is the primary, and the one in the front is the secondary. This apparent misnaming resulted because the rear piston is the first to receive the force of the driver's leg.
Each piston has a primary seal at its front and a secondary at its rear, so you will be hearing such combinations as primary piston secondary seal, secondary piston secondary seal, etc. The primary seals are the most important because they trap the fluid that is about to be squeezed into the lines. The primary piston's secondary seal keeps fluid from escaping out of the back of the cylinder (commonly into a booster), and the secondary piston's secondary seal acts as a barrier to make two essentially separate cylinders out of one.
In normal braking, the push rod from the pedal or booster forces the primary piston forward. No pressure is created until the primary seal covers the compensating or vent port from the reservoir. Once it does, fluid is trapped in the chamber between the pistons and becomes, for all intents and purposes, a solid column. Pressure is routed from this chamber to two wheels. The trapped fluid and the primary piston coil spring both bear on the secondary piston, moving it forward and creating pressure in the chamber ahead of the secondary piston's primary seal, to which the line to the other two wheels is attached.
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When the pedal is released, a partial vacuum occurs in both pressure chambers because the fluid's inertia and viscosity prevent it from returning from the lines immediately. In order to re-arm the brakes instantaneously, the primary seals are designed to allow fluid to flow one way (forward) from behind each seal into the pressure chambers.
The replenishing ports allow fluid to move freely between the chambers behind both pistons' primary cups and the reservoir according to demand and expansion and contraction from temperature changes.
If a hose should rupture or one of the brake lines should become perforated from corrosion resulting in a catastrophic loss of fluid in half the system, the other half will still provide a means of decelerating the vehicle, albeit with a lower pedal and reduced stopping power.
Both pistons have extensions which project out ... more
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Stanford Prison Experiment
Summary and Critique of The Stanford Prison Experiment
The Stanford Prison Experiment of 1973 raises troubling questions about the ability of individuals to exist repressive or obedient roles, if the social setting requires these roles. Philip K. Zimbardo, professor of Psychology at Stanford University, began researching how prisoners and guards assume submissive and authoritarian roles. He set out to do this by placing advertisements in a local newspaper, stating that male college students would be needed for a study of prison life paying fifteen dollars per day for one to two days. Of the seventy-five responses, twenty-one were selected, half of them as “guards” (Zimbardo p. 364) and the other half as “prisoners.” (Zimbardo p. 364) Philip Zimbardo’s primary goal in this experiment was to find out the process when prisoners and guards become controlling and passive. He did this by setting up a mock prison in which all of the prisoners were assigned the same uniforms and cells, and used numbers instead of names. The guards were assigned uniforms and offices, somewhat similar to the prisoners except they were equipped with billy clubs, whistles, handcuffs, and keys, and had freedom. These conditions allowed a setting similar to prisons; this also allowed everyone to be stripped of identifying characteristics, therefore “equal.” One of Philip Zimbardo’s claims was the “process” of becoming a prisoner. In this process, all of the applicants were arrested, read their rights, and charged with a felony. After they were taken down to the station to be fingerprinted, each prisoner was left isolated to wonder what he did. After a while, he was blindfolded and transported to the “Stanford County Prison.” Here, he was stripped naked, skin-searched, deloused and given a uniform, bedding, soup, and a towel. In this “mock prison” (Zimbardo p. 365) “prisoners” lost their liberty, civil rights, independence and privacy, while “guards” gain social power by accepting the responsibility for controlling the lives of their dependent charges. In the mock prison, inverse psychological relationships developed between prisoners and guards. Prisoners began to feel that there was no way to beat the system. They felt that it is better to do nothing, except what the guards told them. They didn’t want, act, or feel anything so they wouldn’t get in trouble. Guards, on the other hand, assumed authority roles to control the prisoners and keep the prison in order. Some of the guards reacted extremely, and behaved with hostility and cruelty towards the prisoners. Others, however, were kinder, and occasionally did favors for the prisoners and didn’t punish them as much. On the morning of the second day of the experiment, the prisoners broke out in a rebellion. They barricaded themselves in their cells by pushing their cots up against the cell doors; they also proceeded to curse and jeer at the prison guards. The guards regained control of the prison by spraying fire extinguishers on the prisoners and stripping them of their clothing. The guards also forced the leaders of the riot into solitary confinement. Following the riot, the prisoners were more compliant to the rules the guards laid out for them. There was never another united uprising by the prisoners against their authority figures, the guards. After the prisoners had accepted and fully assumed their roles, they suffered a loss of identity. This led the prisoners to not relate with one another on a personal level; it caused them to try and survive in their environment and concentrate on their personal well being. Eventually the prisoners became like sheep trying to survive and stay out of trouble. They lost the need to relate to others and have social relationships. With this loss of normal relationships entailing personal connections and social connections they lost respect for one another. There are some reasons that people voluntarily become prisoners. “Some people choose to remain prisoners so that we do not have to be responsible for our actions.” (Zimbardo p.375) I agree with this statement, because it somewhat relates to the workforce in America. Some people get paid in commission, or how much work they accomplish, and others get paid by the hour. In some cases, the people that get paid by the hour wish to ... more
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