The Air Brake
"An air brake is a conveyance braking system actuated by compressed air."
Life Before Air Brakes
Before air brakes, trains used a primitive brake system that required an brakeman, in each car to apply a hand brake at the signal of the train director or engineer.
Introduction of the Air Brake
The air braking system was originally created for the railway vehicles seeking to improve their braking responsiveness and safety and avoid the all too frequent train crashes. Following a number of improvements and developments of the original model and once their effectiveness had been proven, the air braking systems started to be applied in the road vehicles as well.
Evolution of the Air Brake
In 1869, an engineer named George Westinghouse realized the importance of safety in the relatively new railroad industry and invented the first triple-valve air-brake system for railcar use. Westinghouse’s system worked the opposite way of a direct air-brake system. The triple-valve system performed three functions.
Positive affects from Air Brakes
Thanks to the air brakes, vehicles are now more safer. Instead of using force or directed air to apply the brakes much like hydraulic fluid in our cars, the triple-valve system fills a supply tank and uses air pressure to release the brakes.
Negative Impact from Air Brakes
"Air Brake manufactures a "non-electronic" antilock brake system for trucks and trailers, which purports to comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 121, a NHTSA regulation concerning antilock brakes" The brake also makes a loud noise produced by trucks using compression-release engine brakes.