Overview of the Aircraft Disc Brake Assembly

Since the end of World War I, almost all aircraft have adopted braking systems that allow them to safely come to a stop on runways and surfaces. Typically, most modern aircraft utilize a disc brake assembly in which each of the main wheels is fitted with a brake unit. Depending on the size of the aircraft, various designed brake systems may be used, and common types include single, dual, and multiple disc brakes. In this blog, we will discuss what disc brakes are, as well as how they assist in stopping aircraft on the ground.

In general, the aircraft disc brake assembly is similar to that on a ten-speed bicycle, consisting of brake pads, a caliper, rotor, and other various components for fastening and more. The caliper of the disc brake allows for the clamping of the brake pad onto the wheel, and this is achieved through hydraulic actuation provided by fluid pressure. When the brakes are used by the pilot, fluid pressure enters into the caliper cylinder, forcing the pistons outwards to move the brake pad onto the wheel. With a piston seal, hydraulic fluids are kept contained within the system, and the piston seal also assists in retracting the piston once the brakes are released. To ensure that contaminates and sediment do not enter the piston and brake, a small clearance of 0.005” is permitted when the brakes release, and a piston boot impedes the penetration of dirt and water. Additionally, a bleeder screw is also implemented to rid the hydraulic system of air, and it is located on the caliper housing.

For the brake pad to function properly, it is fitted with steel shoes and lining that have been fastened or bonded to the pad. In general, the materials used to make the linings of brake pads are asbestos or semi-metallic materials, though modern aircraft often use the latter due to its ability to withstand higher operating temperatures without risking integrity of friction. To ensure that brake pads do not vibrate and cause wear during operation, clips are snapped onto brake pads to affix them to the caliper, preventing rattling. The rotor, or brake disc, is also part of the brake pad system to slow the aircraft, and the rotor is often manufactured from cast iron. Depending on the size and weight of the aircraft, various configurations of the disc brake assembly may be used, and these include single, dual, and multiple disc brakes, each providing their various benefits for stopping power.

While aircraft may also utilize flaps and other flight surfaces to reduce speed before landing, the disc brake assembly remains crucial for safe stopping power on the ground. When you are in need of reliable aircraft disc brake parts for your operations, look no further than Buy Aviation Parts. Buy Aviation Parts is a leading online distributor of aircraft parts, and we can provide you with rapid lead-times and competitive pricing on over 2 billion parts and components that we carry. Explore our robust catalogues at your leisure, and our team of industry experts are readily available for customers 24/7x365 to provide assistance during the purchasing process.


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