Air brake was invented by American manufacturer George Westinghouse and was first used on passenger trains in 1868. The primary principle involved is the use of compressed air acting through a piston in a cylinder to set block brakes on the wheels.
The compressed air is used for obtaining brake application and the brake pipe and feed pipe run throughout the length of the coach. Brake pipe and feed pipe on repeated coaches in the train are coupled to one another by means of respective hose couplings to form a continuous air passage from the locomotive to the rear end of the train.
The compressed air is passed to the brake pipe and feed pipe from the locomotive and the magnitude of braking force increases in steps with the corresponding reduction in brake pipe pressure and vice-versa.
How does the invention of Air Brakes help?
In Air Brakes, compressed air is pushed into the cylinder and it can be connected to a brake shoe which can rub on the train wheel, creating friction and stopping the train.
At first Air Brake is used in trains and now it is commonly used in automobiles such as buses, trailers, trucks, and semitrailers.
Air Brake system can be used to stop heavy-duty vehicles, railroads trains and air planes.
An Air Brake systems provide a low cost solution and function continues even the minor leaks is occurred.
Air Brakes are more reliable as compared to the hydraulic brakes.