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Old 12th February 2010, 11:57   #1
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Default Magnetic Non Friction brakes, could it be the future?

Came across this magnetic braking system used on the "North American Eagle", a jet engined land speed vehicle.

Seems like a good substitue for regular friction brakes. Only concern is that the braking force is generated when there is movement between the magnetic and the aluminium plates and gets stronger as the speed increases (which means that unless the wheels moving, there wont be any braking force available and braking power reduces as the wheel rpm drops), tricky if you wanna stop on a slope or use threshold braking. It will prob need a small 2ndry friction brake for parking the car and im not sure how the threshold braking can be taken car of.

But it would be great to have non contact brakes like these in the future.


Last edited by Shan2nu : 12th February 2010 at 12:05.
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Old 12th February 2010, 15:01   #2
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Interesting stuff Shan!

Haven't ever seen anything like this before. However, magnetic Eddy currents are(were) also used elsewhere in automobile applications.

Speedometers needles were actually attached to an aluminum piece, and a spinning magnet (via the speedo cable) would spin near it.
From what you saw in the video - the faster the movement of the magnet, the greater the force - causing the spring loaded speedo needle to move further - denoting more speed.

More reading on this : HowStuffWorks "Eddy-Current Speedometer"

Originally Posted by Shan2nu View Post
....im not sure how the threshold braking can be taken car of.
This might be able to be controlled by the distance between the magnets and the spinning aluminum disc?

But as you mentioned - slow speed braking would be another issue!

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Old 12th February 2010, 15:11   #3
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I actually saw this program on Discovery (or was it Nat Geo). I am under the impression that such brakes are already under use in railway locomotives. But on second thought I do hear wheel squealing when a train brakes so cant be these types of brakes? Or maybe they use both (magnetic at high speeds and dry at low speeds).
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